Manchester United were dumped out of the Champions League on Tuesday night in a defeat that highlighted just how far they had fallen. Atletico Madrid beat the Premier League side 1-0 at Old Trafford having drawn 1-1 in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie, booking their spot in the quarter-finals.
The Red Devils lacked a lot of quality on the night and almost seemed to run out of ideas in the second half, having gone behind in the 41st minute. Despite having Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford on the pitch for the last 20 minutes, they struggled to craft clear-cut opportunities.
United’s performance indicated that they need a major revamp if they are to be competitive in any competitions going forward. The Old Trafford outfit currently occupies the fifth spot in the Premier League and look unlikely to budge Arsenal out of the top four.
A lot is riding on a new arrival in the dugout at the Theatre of Dreams and the hope that they will be able to spark change at the club. But even if the new boss is able to persuade two of the most exciting young players on the planet to join them over the summer, United legend Rio Ferdinand still does not believe it would make them title contenders.
But there is no quick fix for United’s issues, and the reports of the attitude problems behind the scenes show that a lot of changes are going to slowly and surely be instated at the club. Ferdinand continued: “Once you get the right manager and get the right person in place, then it’s a minimum of two or three years before you start challenging for trophies.
“By the way, Liverpool and City have set a high bar now. The consistency at which they play. It shows that no matter what talent you bring together, you need a manager that can harness that and put it all together.” It remains to be seen what talent United can attract over the coming seasons and whether top players are willing to commit to the project at the club.
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