Former United winger Jules Maiorana gives his opinion on the club’s recent fortunes ahead of tomorrow’s game against Norwich.
Jules, who made eight appearances for the United first team between 1988 and 1994 believes that the club’s recent exit from the Champions League could be a blessing in disguise: “I think they’ll lose a lot of money out of it but for me personally I don’t think they had a chance of winning it and it could be better for them because it means that they can concentrate on the league.
“A few years ago when the standard of the Premier League was better than what it is now United wouldn’t have had a chance of winning it but now they’re out of the Champions League and the standard has decreased I think it could be a good thing in a way because it allows them to focus on that.”
Defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday compounded a week of misery for United fans, one that also saw the pressure on manager Louis Van Gaal increase significantly, Jules has his say: “Some United supporters are saying that we should back the team and back the manager and I agree with that. Then others say that Van Gaal has spent £250 million and for that they should be better than they are and I agree with that too.
“He spent a lot of money on Di Maria and Falcao, who both stayed for a season then were on their way and what you have to be careful of now is De Gea, who wanted to go in the summer has now got a bigger excuse to leave with the team not doing that well which would be a massive loss for United.
“It’s strange with Van Gaal, with his credentials and what he’s done in the past. When he got appointed United manager I thought he was the man for the job, someone with experience of being at massive clubs like Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
“Should they give him more time? The thing is nowadays clubs want instant success but luckily for Ferguson it wasn’t like that back in the eighties because if it had been I’m not sure he would have been at United that long.
“They’ve not conceded many goals but it seems to me at the moment like they haven’t got a leader, someone who can grab games by the scruff of the neck like they used to have with Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand.
“They don’t seem to have a goalscorer either, I can’t understand Wilson going out on loan, they’ve got rid of Javier Hernandez, Van Persie and Welbeck as well. They’re too dependent on Rooney and I think he’s past his best, without being disrespectful I never thought he was world-class anyway. Some players are too big to be dropped it seems.”
Jules also isn’t convinced by summer signing Bastian Schweinsteiger who arrived at Old Trafford with a massive reputation: “I thought he would be a good signing for what they paid for him but when I got told he was on £275,000 a week I couldn’t believe it.
“He was a great player who was world-class about four or five years ago and I think if he was still at that level he wouldn’t have left Bayern Munich because they wouldn’t have let him leave. He seems a bit sluggish at the moment and a player of his ability should be doing it week in week out.”
Louis Van Gaal has recently come out and said that the glory days that the club experienced under Sir Alex Ferguson are now over. A statement Jules agrees with: “Last year they only finished in the top four, the year before they didn’t qualify for the Champions League. This year they’ve been knocked out in the group stages but it happens.
“Clubs like Luton and Oxford, who were in the old First Division when I played are playing in League Two now. Sheffield Wednesday are another massive club, they’re doing alright now but a few years ago they were doing really badly.
“That’s a massive drop, United have dropped but they’re still fourth in the league, I know it’s not the greatest of football but they’re not leaking goals they’ve just got to start creating and scoring more. United have had it so rosy since 1992, they’ve had a great couple of decades but it can’t carry on forever.
“Times have changed and they’ve got to pick themselves up, it’s the beginning of a new era for the club.”