Old Trafford, the once fortress like coliseum of entertaining and ruthless football is no longer apparent in more recent times. Scents of past glories gloom continually throughout the entire club. The rumble of the ever rising ‘noisy neighbours’ grows louder season by season. Never more than now.
The appointment of Pep Guardiola is will only increase demand to keep up with the chasing pack. Most notably Manchester City’s grip on English football has tighten. The class of players they have managed to sign, the fleeting success over the clubs academy system, the money which has been pumped into the entire club is quite phenomenal. All of this, can be glanced upon by United’s hierarchy as no imminent threat. United of course, have a outstanding academy structure, and still have the capabilities to attract big names to the club. However, the newly appointed manager at the Etihad Stadium could perhaps turn this into the biggest battle Manchester United have ever had to face. This is not the Arsenal invincible’s team loaded with great players, this is not the Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team of 2005. This is Manchester City. Fierce local rivals who once had to settle for a mid-table finish at best. A team, who when the Brazilian international Robinho signed for the Sky blues back in 2008, admitted that he had never heard off City on arrival to the Premier League. “I did not realise Manchester had two teams” Robinho joked after leaving the English game.
That is no longer the case. City has more-or-less established themselves on the world stage. After years of constant failure progressing into the Champions League knockout stages they finally succeeded. As for United a woeful display in a relevantly easy group left them facing Europe League football, something utterly unheard off in the Fergie ere. The moment Pep strolls into Manchester City, the penny might drop that United are in grave danger of falling behind. Scintillating football is on the menu for City fans next season, if Guardiola’s Barcelona and Bayern Munich sides are anything to go by. Simply crushing opponents with free flowing, high pressure, attacking football. Guardiola’s managerial roots are deeply woven within the teams he orchestrates, which is now seen as a tried and tested formula.
With current Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal under continued pressure, mainly due to a rather average season (apart from the two previous results). Thoughts about who could replace the experienced Dutchman has had everyone talking. Whispers of who began to circle a few months back. Those ‘whispers’ are now high pitched squeals begging for attention from all angles. Mainly however, from that particular manager’s ‘camp’. Plea’s off ‘please come get me Ed Woodward’ is splashing across each and every sports channel and newspaper. Although, Woodward has recently strongly backed his manager. There is no getting away from the possibilities about who could be in charge next season. Mounting speculation over the potential next United manager has reportedly ‘spilt’ the players. As some could some favour and relish the possible arrival. Yet, others may hang their heads with a pondering thought of where do I go next. A club with the historical value and commercial pull of Manchester United is still potent as ever. Someone who can handle the pressure is what is badly needed. A born winner and constant trophy flow is also required. A man who is knowledgable of the game and has the tactical nous to overcome opponents. Also, a man motivator, who can be a friend, brother, or father figure for those within the dressing room. Finally, a man who can stand up to peers such as Guardiola, Wenger, and Klopp is needed. The Old Trafford crown is calling out for the man self-acclaimed ‘The Special One’.