Should Pep Guardiola’s side continue their excellent form and win the title, it would make it five seasons since Old Trafford housed England’s biggest league honour.
Sir Alex Ferguson was the last manager to guide the Red Devils to top flight success, in the 2012-13 campaign, winning his 13th Premier League title in his last season before retirement.
A true great of the game, Ferguson was in charge of the Old Trafford club for exactly 1,500 matches and guided them from their ‘cup team’ status of the 1980s to English, European and World domination.
Since departing, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and, currently, Jose Mourinho have all attempted to replicate Ferguson’s feats – without much success, and no success at all in league football.
But these recent struggles to win the Premier League should actually come as no surprise, seeing as United are an historically average team who happen to have been coached by three superb managers.
Ernest Mangnall was hired as United’s third secretary (the term ‘manager’ was not used by the club until 1914) in 1903, and won the club their first major honours. A First Division title came in 1907-08, with a second three years later, with Mangnall also guiding United to FA Cup success in 1908.
In 1912, Mangnall left United to join cross-city rivals Manchester City, and the Red Devils had to wait another 50 years – and NINE permanent managers – before winning the First Division title again.
That success was under the guidance of the magisterial Sir Matt Busby, who, between 1945 and 1969, won five league championships, two FA Cups and the 1968 European Cup. The first league title since Mangnall’s reign was won in 1951-52 and the last came in 1966-67, before another incredible run of 26 years without championship success.
Seven permanent managers were hired at Old Trafford before Ferguson arrived in 1986, and seven years later United were once again crowned league champions of England.
Claiming the first ever Premier League, in the 1992-93 season, made Ferguson only the third manager to win a top flight league title with Manchester United – despite it being their eighth First Division success in total.
United have gone on to win another 12 Premier League titles since that debut success, but no other manager, aside from Mangnall, Busby and Ferguson, has ever guided the club to a top division league title.
Three geniuses at one club, rising Manchester United from average ‘cup team’ to dominating champions of England.
What makes this fact all the more incredible is that, for all United’s success, Manchester City have more league winning managers in their history than their city rivals who wear red.
While the Red Devils can only lay a claim to three managers guiding them to a First Division title, Manchester City have actually had four since their founding in 1894.
Wilf Wild guided the club to their debut First Division title in 1936-37, before Joe Mercer won the same competition in 1967-68 – his first major silverware of an incredibly successful spell.
Forty four years passed before another league title was claimed by the blue half of Manchester, with Roberto Mancini guiding City to Premier League success, and Manuel Pellegrini won another top flight championship two years later.
With Manchester City well on the way to securing the 2017-18 Premier League trophy, this is a record that looks like it will be extended before Manchester United get the chance to win another league championship.
Published at Wed, 08 Nov 2017 10:30:00 +0000