Manchester United's Future Could Be Truly Bleak As Liverpool FC Can Prove

True BlueCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2011

Shankly, the founding father of Liverpool's success
Shankly, the founding father of Liverpool's successLaurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Prior to the inception of the Premier League, Manchester United had not won the League title for over twenty four years.

(In fact, Manchester City had won it more recently by one year.)

Such a period of failure in the League seems impossible to imagine; now of course as United are a true powerhouse in the English game.

But back in 1992 when the first season of the Premier League began, United were far from being considered the best club side in league.

At that point, United had been crowned champions on seven occasions.

Aston Villa had achieved the same number of titles, Everton had nine league successes under their belts, Arsenal, ten and Liverpool really were streets ahead with eighteen.

Are Everton or Aston Villa thought of as giants of the game and in the same bracket as United now? I doubt they are by many.

Back in 1992 when money was more equally distributed, it was in fact Liverpool who entered a period of deterioration, and they haven't won another championship since.

So what happened to them?

In simple terms, the change from great managers to a managers who were simply not good enough.

Just as United's success has been built by a true footballing genius, Alex Ferguson then Liverpool's dominance was started by a fellow Scot, Bill Shankly. 

When Shankly arrived at Liverpool they were far from the successful club he went on to create, as they languished in mid table of old the second division. Mediocre was a fair description of the club on all levels.

By the time Shankly retired, he had not only returned pride to the club, he had achieved three league successes.

The most important thing Shankly did though was to create a dynasty via the famous "Boot Room" mindset.

Coaches would meet up and discuss things openly, developing a wider appreciation of the clubs development and laying the foundations of a dynasty.

The "Boot Room" is where Liverpool's dominance came, not from one genius as United's success has.

Shankly handed over to the more successful Paisley, he then passed the baton to Fagan, and then the last real Liverpool man to manage the feat was Dalglish.

The masterplan created a number of managers who took the club seamlessly forward over more than twenty years.

Of course, Liverpool also dominated Europe for many years but the domestic successes we're amazing.

Shankly - 63, 65 and  72

Paisley - 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82 and 83

Fagan - 84

Dalglish - 86, 88 and 90

The club lost its way once Dalglish moved on to Blackburn (where he again won the title) and they haven't won the league since.

The United way seems to be setting the club up for another period of upheaval, and they certainly haven't learned from the end of the Busby era where another true great of management saw all of his work lost as the club had to wait for those twenty four years before Ferguson finally broke Liverpool's dominance.

So when Fergie retires, and he will have to at some point, what is the plan?

There is no contender from within the club that seems capable of taking on the task.

And of course, there is no guarantee that a name from outside the club will add to the foundations laid by Ferguson.

It may just be that as United finally overtake Liverpool's record of 18 league titles, they may match them with a period of years with no success.

To see the future you often have to look to the past.


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