Manchester United have failed to live up to their lofty standards since the departure of the mercurial Sir Alex Ferguson and the club must move on.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes that Manchester United are struggling to “find their own identity” in the post-Alex Ferguson era. Sir Alex retired in 2013 after an unprecedented, trophy-laden 26-year reign. The club have since witnessed a swift turnover of managers without the desired outcome. It feels like the English giants are stuck in the man’s shadows all the while. Now, the Swede urges his former employers to let go of the past in order to return to the re-establish their dominance.
“It has to find its own identity”
“Everything that happens is judged by the era of Ferguson,” Ibra told the Mirror.“They are saying if Ferguson was here, this would not happen, Ferguson would not do it like that. Ferguson would do it like this. Everything was Ferguson. If it was me, I would say I don’t have Ferguson any more. And I come here and I want to make my own history, I want to make my own story.”
“So I do not want to hear what happened before. I want to do it in the present. You come in with a new mentality. Ferguson has his place in history at this club but now the club continues. It has to find its own identity and it is difficult.”
Pogba and Rashford are the future
United’s revival under Solskjaer has been evidenced by the form of two key players. Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba. Ibrahimovic insists that the club must build around the duo.“I think Pogba has the potential to be the best player in the world in his position,” said the LA Galaxy No.9.“He is a good guy, he trains hard, he listens, he wants to become better, he wants to win. He wants to perform in every game.”
“Rashford is the future of United. In the beginning, I saw him more as an individual, now he is playing more for the collective. He is using his quality more for the team, not for himself only. He has big potential and a big future with United and the special thing is that he comes from the academy. I think he has no limits.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic saying that Manchester United need a new identity and must move on from Sir Alex might sound ridiculous to some. But there is some credence to his claims. The man has won wherever he has stepped foot and is no stranger to change as well.
He knows how to move on from familiar surroundings and adapt to a new environment successfully. However, Solskjaer has managed to embrace the past and it has borne fruits. But can he cope with the weight of Sir Alex’s presence in the long run? Only time will tell.