Sir Alex Ferguson has spent 25 years as the manager of Manchester United and he has won the Premier League 12 times, FA Cup 5 times, League Cup 4 times, the Champions League twice, 10 Community/Charity Shields and one each of the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA World Club Cup and UEFA Super Cup. In his time, he has build and rebuilt at least 4 teams that have contributed in a large part to the trophies he has won and the legacy he has built at Old Trafford. The biggest and the highlight of all his achievements would undoubtedly be the Treble of 1999. Hours away from our big FA Cup tie against our neighbours and current Premier League leaders, Manchester City, let’s look back to understand how special the Treble triumph was. What better way to do that then by assessing the trophies that we missed out on, on a couple of occasions as one of Sir Alex’s great teams went close to winning the Treble before and after 1999.
Four 6-0 defeats in just 20 Premier League matches! So what’s going on? Could there have been such a yawning gap created between the top and bottom of the league? Manchester United could have easily made it five 6-0 scorelines had they taken even half the hatful of chances that went begging in the 3-0 defeat of Newcastle in their opening game. Yet the newly promoted Magpies came back themselves to inflict a six goal hammering of Aston Villa a few days later.
It only seems like yesterday but it has been all of 15 years since former Liverpool star and BBC football pundit Alan Hansen coined his memorable phrase “You’ll never win anything with kids” following Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the 1995-96 campaign. Those “kids” of course went on to win the double by the end of that season forcing the unfortunate Hansen to forever be stuck with those words.