To Old Trafford legend Sir Bobby Charlton the challenge is simple “It is crucial that United reassert their dominance in the Premier League, anything other than the championship trophy will be failure” he says as if his demand is the easiest thing in the world to achieve. And the 1966 World Cup winner is confident that United would have learned from the mistakes which may have been made last season.
The days of winning the title with little more than a dozen players as Liverpool did in the eighties are long gone. For many years clubs were forced to build large and deep squads in order to have any realistic chance of success but that is now about to change dramatically. As from the beginning of September, every Premier League club must nominate a squad of up to 25 players, of which no more than 17 can be over the age of 21 and not home grown. Will this rule worry Manchester United? The short answer is NO.
As the senior squad prepares for a new season with a whirlwind tour of North America, the youngsters for whom Sir Alex Ferguson has such high hopes for are working hard at Carrington under reserve team coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Whether by choice or sheer necessity, Ferguson has made it clear on many occasions that the future success of Manchester United lies in a sophisticated youth system which has become the envy of the Premier League.