Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Red Road to Recovery ; with United under Fire on All Fronts, Moyes Could Take Comfort from the History Lesson of 2006

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Red Road to Recovery ; with United under Fire on All Fronts, Moyes Could Take Comfort from the History Lesson of 2006

Article excerpt

OBITUARIES abounded. Crisis talk was prevelant.

The Old Trafford Empire was crumbling. The United manager wasn't up to it. The Reds were staring into the abyss.

Adrift in the Premier League title race. Out of the FA Cup, dressing room turmoil eating away at team spirit.

The only salvation? The League Cup. United's rivals were quietly sniggering that the trophy that had once been described as worthless by the Reds other than a breeding ground for their youth products, was now a do-or-die piece of silverware.

However, it's not 2014 we're talking about but 2006.

Similarities between eight years ago and now can be offered as comfort and a positive in the sea of negatives United are swimming in at present.

One respected journalist from the 'heavyweight' newspapers wrote as United prepared for the '06 Carling Cup final against Wigan Athletic at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, "It is a reminder of the extent that United's aspirations have shrunk."

He went on to describe the possibility that if the Reds won the trophy in Wales it could well be Sir Alex Ferguson's last on his Old Trafford CV!

It wasn't of course as there were a further nine items of silverware to be added to his illustrious record before retiring last May.

But that February 26 4-0 triumph against Wigan in 2006 helped United move onto another glory phase.

Just like today it was a period of utter misery as every Tom, Dick and Harry used it as open season to take pot shots at the Reds.

According to the critics Fergie had lost the plot and the dressing room rows pointed to a man who looked in grave danger of losing his authority.

Roy Keane had overstepped the mark the previous autumn with his infamous MUTV alleged slating of team-mates. Fergie and the volatile, outspoken Irishman were at the end of their working relationship. The one-time inspiration's Old Trafford days were soon over.

Amidst that turmoil, United even suffered the humiliation of finishing bottom of their Champions League group. Out of Europe in December, it was the lowest of the low.

The week before the League Cup showpiece United were punchless at Anfield as they meekly surrendered with hardly a shot on goal against Liverpool as their arch enemy ended the Reds FA Cup hopes. …

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