Another season begins with Manchester United once again favourites to take the title. Even after their dominance of the league last season, Ferguson has strengthened and rebuilt the side for another challenge. Despite losing some big names again this year, United will more than likely come back even stronger and it is this ability to adapt to changes over the years that has really set them apart.
During Fergie’s reign he has built three or four sides, as some ageing legends have moved off and needed replacing. Despite the losses of big names Ferguson has always been able to make the side adapt as a squad and a team, changing their playing style through each era, as well as bringing in changes away from the field to keep them ahead of the rest. After Chelsea’s dominance for a few years, Ferguson opened another new phase for United, where he created a new side, one that could operate in different ways, with attacking football still always at it’s heart. United became meaner defensively, and varied their tactics to suit, and got their rewards for their willingness to change with the times and adapt to changes in their side. They have always remained competitive throughout these periods of change at the club, with an astonishing continuity of achievement throughout Ferguson’s reign.
Despite winning trophy’s and dominating the Premier League, Fergie has always been one step ahead of the game in spotting a need to evolve his team and freshen. He has always managed to focus on a season in hand whilst simultaneously looking towards the future, which is why United have remained a force at the top for so long. Over the years he has shown an immaculate sense of timing about when to get rid of huge players with massive influence, right back from Bryan Robson, through to Paul ince and David Beckham, and he has rarely if ever been wrong. He has always found the right sort of players to bring in after big departures-save for a few mistakes-and the same has applied to the staff as well, he has regenerated the whole club over the years, as they have adapted to the changes of modern day football and everything that comes with it.
Big names have left Manchester United before and the club have come out stronger. When Ronaldo left, people were saying he was irreplaceable, the same as Beckham, Keane, and more before them. You would think United would struggle after the losses, but they have always bounced back, and this season should be no exception as they look to rebound after the losses of Scholes, Van der Sar and Neville
The latest golden age is coming to an end-over the last decade they have lost players like Beckham, Keane, Butt, Cantona and now Scholes-but United will still come out stronger again in a new phase. Fergie has had to rebuild after every big departure from the club and has shown an astonishing ability to do this successfully. He was never going to find like for like replacements for those quality players, but he has tinkered with combinations and players over the years to ensure that the quality is restored, via the right tactical and financial moves. This time around Fergie has created a side with lots of young talent from their academy, while bringing in some quality youngsters like Ashley Young and Phil Jones to bolster the side.
Despite dominating last seasons Premier League, Fergie will once again make sure his side adapt to ensure they stay ahead of their rivals and are better equipped to challenge Barcelona. He is a master when it comes to losing his best players through age or retirement, and he will prove that once again this season. His tenure has been a series of exciting new beginnings, with this season likely to be the last time he builds and puts together a great side. Manchester United have continually raised the bar and this constant evolution of the squad and their ability to adapt year on year, rather than resting on their laurels, is what truly sets them apart from their rivals.
What do you think has set United apart over the years? Comment below or follow me on Twitter @LaurenRutter for more comment and debate.
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