The common theme contributing to Liverpool’s glory and Manchester United’s mess

HASIB AFZAL explores the importance of unity, team spirit and togetherness to Liverpool’s success – in comparison to the struggles of historical rivals Manchester United.

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From squeaky bum time, to Ole at the wheel – Manchester United’s so-called ‘theatre of dreams’ has turned into a hall of nightmares.

A Champions League nightmare capped it off, as they failed to qualify from a group including French champions Paris Saint-Germain, German outfit RB Leipzig and Turkish newcomers İstanbul Başakşehir. “How the mighty have fallen”. And thankfully this time, it’s not Liverpool.

In the age-old battle, started by the one who made chewing gum fashionable again, Sir Alex Ferguson said it best: “My greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f***ing perch.”


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And yet, as with all challenges, there are always more around the corner. Fast forward into 2020, and Liverpool have returned to the pinnacle of world football. Gary Neville’s latest comments on his podcast said as much.

“I think Liverpool win this league at a canter if [Virgil] van Dijk is fit. I really do, nobody can get near them. I still think Liverpool will win the league, but there are little things going against them that haven’t in the last couple of seasons.”

But why stop there? Just ask Paul Scholes. When speaking on Liverpool’s title chances, the former Manchester United man told Amazon Sport: “I won’t say I hope they win it again for their fans, but I think they’re well on their way to doing that anyway.”

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With an injury-ravaged side, surely this would be the time to close the gap on Liverpool? But championship-winning mentalities always show as this Liverpool side knows no bounds.

So what is it all down to? Quite clearly, a steady ship. For Manchester United, the ship is sinking – rather quickly.

The Paul Pogba saga refuses to go away. Mino Raiola’s damning statement to Tuttosport summed it up…

I can say that it’s all over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United.

Mino Raiola, Paul Pogba’s agent

And yet, we could all see it coming. Liverpool, in contrast, have a team spirit glued together by a German maestro. Each piece finely tuned to produce a heartwarming symphony. We don’t have to look far to see those notes.

Mohamed Salah’s annoyance at being subbed off against Brighton and Hove Albion ended immediately. A goal and assist followed in Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over Wolves. The rest was history.

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Klopp has embodied something that only Ferguson has done in recent memory. Win and continue to do so at all costs. Ole Gunnar Solskjær, however, looks a man who has outwitted himself.

He is living in a shadow of Ferguson but, all the while, forgetting what made footballing sides great – togetherness. So what does the future offer?

For Manchester United, it’s back to the drawing board. For Liverpool, well… need I say more?


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