Manchester United may be bringing in huge revenue. But, this among others does not intimidate their opponents. Instead, on the pitch, they are no longer afraid of them.
The Red Devils announced club-record revenue figures of £627.1m this week. They narrowly avoided embarrassment with a midweek penalty shootout Carabao Cup win over League One Rochdale at Old Trafford.
United’s below-par performance in that fixture extended frustrations at the beginning of the season. Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s side dropped Premier League points against Wolves and Southampton and lost to Crystal Palace and West Ham united.
Man United will host Arsenal on Monday for another Premier League match. One unusual thing is the fact that Arsenal will not hold the same fear factor they have done in previous times- says Steve Bates the chief football writer.
Steve Bate on United
He believes in the field; United’s standing has been damaged by their repeated seasons of struggle since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
“The aura and mystique are gone,” he says. “It went a long time ago, probably even around the time or before Fergie was going.”
“Even when they won that last title in 2013, they won it by 11 points. But people were thinking: how did they win that? And that was the last time it happened.”
“Do football teams go to Old Trafford and fear them? No. you saw the way Rochdale played there. The League One team put on a real performance.”
“There is still something special about Manchester United. But generally, the aura and mystique about them as a football team has gone. Teams used to be beaten before they went out at Old Trafford in Fergie’s day. But that’s long gone.”
The chief sports writer at the Daily Mail, Martin Samuel agreed to Steve Bates’ words. He even points out that many of the players United face this season will be unfamiliar with their era of dominance.
“There are a lot of foreign players in the Premier League and they are not intimidated by Old Trafford.” He said.
“They don’t remember going there and seeing Ferguson’s team or being at White Hart Lane when United were 3-0 down and winning 5-3.”
The situation in Manchester United is something not easy to figure out. Do the fans trust Solskjaer words that he is changing the culture in the club?
Now that their opponents are no longer “afraid” of them, what next? We have to find out tomorrow when Manchester United plays against Arsenal.
Who will dominate the game?