Last for some time

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER -

up” while “ask­ing sup­port­ers to be pa­tient . . . at a time when the ex­pec­ta­tion lev­els are still enor­mous”.

Just as Alan Hansen re­tired shortly be­fore Souness took charge at An­field, Paul Sc­holes had hung up his boots be­fore Moyes started and what Souness ex­pe­ri­enced with the likes of Peter Beard­s­ley, Steve McMa­hon, Ray Houghton, Bruce Grobbe­laar and Ron­nie Whe­lan, Moyes went through with Rio Fer­di­nand, Ne­manja Vidic, Pa­trice Evra and Ryan Giggs.

Wilf McGuin­ness, who took over from Busby, and his suc­ces­sor, Frank O’Far­rell, will doubt­less have en­coun­tered sim­i­lar stresses as they sought to man­age the be­gin­ning of the break-up of United’s beloved 1968 Euro­pean Cup-win­ning side.

“Ev­ery suc­cess­ful club has a void — a pe­riod when things don’t go so well — but United would not ac­cept this,” O’Far­rell said, sound­ing re­mark­ably like Van Gaal did when he told the Old Traf­ford faith­ful they should lower their ex­pec­ta­tions.

Mour­inho, whose op­ti­mism at Old Traf­ford seems to have grad­u­ally eroded, has been hint­ing at as much him­self. Are United, as Van Gaal sug­gested, sim­ply “too big” to face an in­ter­minable wait for their next cham­pi­onship?

Per­haps, but Liver­pool prob­a­bly felt that way once, too.

‘Ev­ery club has a void, a pe­riod when things don’t go so well’

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