The 2013-14 season is one Manchester United fans will want to forget in a hurry, with David Moyes' first and only season in charge of the club resulting in a disappointing seventh-placed Premier League finish and the manager's dismissal in March.
Speaking with The Telegraph's Mark Ogden, Nemanja Vidic revealed the players often found themselves arguing amongst each other, and while that wasn't necessarily a bad thing, the frequency of such arguments was both noticeable and painful:
We argued amongst ourselves. This year more than any other, because when you have bad times, people show they care. We are still friends, but we were arguing to get better. We wanted to improve.
We could say those things to each other because we have been together for so long, but it hurt. If you didn’t argue, it would not be right. We had some hard moments in the dressing room between ourselves.
Vidic is set to join Inter Milan over the summer, as shared by the club's official Twitter account, and despite his United career ultimately ending in disappointment, the Serb was unwilling to truly throw Moyes in front of the bus.
Speaking on his former manager, Vidic lauded his work ethic and refused to call him a bad manager, citing differences in football philosophy as the main reasons for Moyes' failure at United:
There was a transition. You get someone who sees football in a different way and he will want to put his stamp on the team and the way he wants to play. Ryan [Giggs] shares the same ideas as Sir Alex Ferguson and his was a more similar approach to the one we had with Sir Alex. The players are more used to it and felt more comfortable with it.
I am not saying that the David Moyes way was bad, but these players feel more comfortable playing a certain way of football. You have to respect where you are and what you represent, though, and there is no point speaking about someone who was here, who everyone knows lost his job because he did not succeed in doing what he wanted to achieve.
Vidic's confirmation of problems in the dressing room under Moyes is not surprising, to say the least. With the squad largely unchanged from the one that won the Premier League title just a year earlier, United looked like a team searching for an identity from the very first match.
Sir Alex Ferguson and team officials asked for patience, but with every passing match, the club seemed to regress, and very soon the word "crisis" started to be heard around Old Trafford.
Vidic is one of many veterans expected to depart the club this summer, with Rio Ferdinand already headed for the exit door and Patrice Evra likely to follow, as shared by The Times' James Ducker:
United have to keep Evra now Ferdinand is following Vidic out of the exit door. Would be a mess losing those 3 in one summer #mufc— James Ducker (@DuckerTheTimes) May 12, 2014
While all three players are closer to the ends of their playing careers than they are to the starts, their departures will still send a shock wave throughout the club.
Whenever three veterans leave a club as storied as United simultaneously, it's indicative of a deeper problem, one that has to do with the very heart of the club.
In 2013-14, that heart was Moyes, a manager who was never able to escape the long shadow cast by the legendary Ferguson. The sacking of Moyes was inevitable in the end, and fans in general seemed to approve of the decision made by the Glazer family, but the damage had already been done.
The Telegraph's Ogden confirmed earlier this week Louis van Gaal is set to become the next manager of "the biggest club in the world," and the Dutchman will now be tasked with rebuilding both a squad that will be losing several of its veterans, and a morale that suffered greatly under Moyes.
Installing the winning culture traditionally associated with the Red Devils will be Van Gaal's first task, and the Dutchman will not be given the benefit of the doubt like Moyes was in his first few months at the club.
United fans are tired of hearing about "transition" and want their club to get back to what they do best—winning matches.