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Zlatan Ibrahimovic talks about Manchester United’s unhealthy obsession with Sir Alex Ferguson's reign

Written by: Anjishnu Roy

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The likes of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho failed to replicate the club's glory days.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels that the nostalgia surrounding Sir Alex Ferguson’s glorious reign at Manchester United is holding the club back and is one of the many reasons why no manager to succeed Sir Alex has been able to come close to doing justice to his legacy, with a great spell of success at the club.

Sir Alex called quits on his time at Old Trafford in 2013, having won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions Leagues and has overseen generations of footballers grow under his wings and become legends in an unprecedented 26-year-reign at United.

However, since his departure, his shoes have been too big to fill for his successors and the likes of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho – all of them distancing themselves from Ferguson’s era – have struggled with consistency and producing quality on the pitch. Manchester United haven’t won a league title since and have also lost their continental dominance.

New caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who played under Fergie however, who has played some of the best football and overseen some of the greatest performances ever since Ferguson left the club, identifies closely with Sir Alex’s philosophy and is close contact with him. This is credited as being one of the reasons for his success at stabilising United so far.

Zlatan, however, thinks that the burden of Fergie’s reign acts as a negative catalyst for the club and that their obsession with him is unhealthy. It clouds their judgement.

He explained, “Everything that happens is judged by the era of Ferguson. 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."

Speaking about the Class of 1992, he said, "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. They are not there anymore. They are on TV and complaining all the time because they are not active in the club. If you want to work in the club, go and search for work in the club. So you cannot be on TV and always complaining and criticising. Yeah, ok, you’ve had your time, we know it.”



Published: Tue Mar 19, 2019 02:31 PM IST

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