Manchester United can’t buy a win at the moment, and are a far cry from the team that just a few short years ago, were ruling the roost in England and indeed all over Europe.
The team that shook other sides to the absolute core not so long ago included some big names, but perhaps it was their big personalities that made other teams fear them, and former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar believes that just doesn’t happen anymore.
“Of course it’s difficult,” van der Sar revealed to ESPN FC.
“I left there eight years ago and it was a tremendous last six years of my career, winning four Premier League titles and playing in three Champions League finals.
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“And of course they have changed managers a couple times now and the real progress is not seen yet, only the thing that they bought in the summer. They bought younger, inexperienced players with a certain desire and hunger, and not like the big names they bought the last six, seven years.
“I think for ourselves, when I came in the dressing room we had Ryan Giggs, you had (Paul) Scholes, you had (Rio) Ferdinand, (Gary) Neville and even Roy Keane at that time. So I think there’s always been strong characters. And I think for the last couple of years the strong characters have disappeared and (are)not making a difference anymore,” the Dutchman revealed.
“Of course, the name is there. And of course the following they have all over the world,” he went on.
“But for a player…you want to play at a certain level, you also want to have an idea that you can win trophies and they must take that opportunity also to improve the squad and make the world-class players they have, or the players that they’re going to sign, that they feel welcome and that there’s a good path to where they’re going to go to.”