Friday, February 24, 2006

Start of a new dynasty?

The pundits are out in full force. A last chance to salvage a modicum of respectability. The oft-ignored League Cup Final is apparently United's last hope. Times are desperate, and this trophy will make all the difference.

All true, perhaps, and yet there are some interesting historical parallels that suggest that we could be on the verge of something great, rather than struggling to avoid complete disaster.

Cast your minds back 14 years. In April 1992, United went into the League Cup Final against Nottingham Forest. Two years prior, in 1990, the FA Cup had been won, despite the fact that many were calling time on Alex Ferguson's reign at Old Trafford. The 1992 Youth Team swept all before them. And at Wembley, Choccy scored the goal that sparked the most incredible decade that football has ever known. We won the League Cup, and didn't look back.

14 years later, it is February 2006. United are going into the League Cup Final against Wigan Athletic. Two years prior, in 2004, the FA Cup was won, despite the fact that many were calling time on Sir Alex Ferguson's reign at Old Trafford. The 2006 Reserve Team is sweeping all before them, sitting pretty with 16 wins out of 20 at the top of the Reserve table. And on Sunday, we go to Cardiff.

Granted, you can draw parallels with just about anything, and I've conveniently ignored the 1991 Cup Winners Cup, but could it be that us United fans should be looking forward with hope, rather than back with despair?

In 1992, we lined up with Schmeichel, Parker, Irwin, Bruce, Pallister; Phelan, Ince, Kanchelskis and Giggs; McClair and Hughes. That core was augmented with the youngsters from the champion youth squad, and a couple of key signings, including a young Roy Keane, and the hitherto unheralded Eric Cantona. And look what happened.

This weekend, we've got Vidic and Brown (and Rio) at the back, Park and Ronaldo on the flanks, Ruud and Rooney up front, and we have young talents such as Bardsley, Pique, Eagles, Jones and Rossi lighting up the reserves. You heard it here first - this team has a future. Top quality experience in the form of Van der Sar, Neville, Scholes and Ruud, and a great blend of young talent to work with that backbone. What's to worry about?

1 comment:

russellsid said...

AND WE WON IT...... cmon u reds... cmon u reds...

Full credit to Fergie for going with SAHA rather than picking ruud. (I love him though).

Finally Rooney has proved again that he is a big game player. If england reach the finals at the world cup, I think that would be decided, that England's going to win, (if rooney fit & plays). Ronaldo is picking up too and am just waiting for next season when he is going to be a major part of a premiership winning side.

I Love Fergie. Right now I beleive that no other manager in the world is capable of managing MAN U other than Fergie.