Gary Neville: Retaining success at Manchester United ‘impossible’

SoccerBy Sunday World
Neville celebrating United's 2008/09 title win
Neville celebrating United's 2008/09 title win

The former Red Devils defender has stated that it was always going to be extremely difficult for the club to continue its unprecedented level of success following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Neville enjoyed huge success on the domestic front during his career. The right-back was part of Ferguson's all-conquering Manchester United side that dominated English football throughout the majority of the last 25 years.

The Scotsman won 49 trophies during his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford and it has come as little surprise to Neville that the club have suffered a slump since his departure three years ago.

"Manchester United has been going 120 years. It is impossible to retain success year after year after year," the former defender, who played 602 times during a 19-year spell at the club, told GQ magazine.

"When Sir Alex Ferguson was manager, everyone said that when he leaves there will be a period of transition. Now people don't want to accept it; they aren't enjoying it. There is a dip, but it is normal."

Ferguson used to take a hands-on approach at United, but Neville thinks that is no longer possible.

The Valencia boss added: "The traditional manager-player relationship is dead.

"It is going to become head coach/sporting director/CEO depending on the structure. The idea of the manager running the club is finished."

The current managerial situation at Neville's old club is heavily under the spotlight as reports today suggest that Louis van Gaal is set to be axed this summer, with Jose Mourinho being lined up to take over at the club once the season ends.