Manchester United: Where does the club stand 10 years on from Sir Alex Ferguson?
Friday marks the 10th anniversary of Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game as Manchester United manager, with the club still searching for a return to their glory days under the long-serving Scot.
Here, we compare those years to the last decade of Ferguson’s triumphant reign.
Ferguson’s last 10 years
United won the Premier League in five of Ferguson’s last 10 years in charge, taking his total to 13 titles overall. That included a run of three in a row from 2006-07 to 2008-09, before he added the 2010-11 title and signed off in 2012-13 with another.
They never finished outside the top three in that time, with an average league position of 1.7, and averaged 84.4 points per campaign. His sides won 68 per cent of their league games and 66 per cent overall as they also collected three League Cups, an FA Cup and the 2007-08 Champions League title. Their 10 major trophies were supplemented by the 2008 Club World Cup and five Community Shields. They scored an average of 1.94 goals per game and had a goal difference of +632 across their 578 games in all competitions.
The decade since
United have been through five permanent managers in the years since Ferguson’s departure, in addition to last season’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick and caretakers Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick. Ferguson’s anointed successor David Moyes did not even make it through the first season of his six-year contract while Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also failed to bring sustained success. Current boss Erik ten Hag has impressed in his first season in the role and offers hope the club are turning the corner, but their statistics in the last 10 years stand in stark contrast to Ferguson’s record. Most glaring is the lack of a league title, with local rivals Manchester City instead chasing a sixth win in those 10 years, Chelsea winning two and one each for Leicester and Liverpool. Mourinho’s 2016-17 season is the high water mark, with United winning both the League Cup and the Europa League. Ten Hag has already matched the former and will have the chance against City next month to emulate the FA Cup won in 2016 in fellow Dutchman Van Gaal’s last match in charge. Even a pair of Community Shields can only lift the trophy count ahead of that final to six, and the club’s league record paints a similar picture. They have gone from constantly battling for the title under Ferguson, and winning it half of the time, to a similar record in the battle simply to qualify for the Champions League. Should Ten Hag’s side hold on to their top-four spot this season that will be five in 10 years, with an average position of 4.5 after finishing second twice, sixth on three occasions and once each in third, the fourth place they again occupy this season, fifth and seventh. They have averaged 68.2 points over the nine completed seasons, 16 fewer than in Ferguson’s last decade. With 66 this season and three games remaining, they are at least on course to improve on that mark. They have won 52 per cent of league games, rising to 55 per cent across all competitions, scored 1.68 goals per game and have a goal difference of +381 in 559 games.
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