David Beckham says there is “too much history” for Manchester United to fade out of title contention in the way that Liverpool have done.
Ten years after Beckham left Old Trafford, United enhanced their standing as the most successful team in England when they lifted their 20th title, moving them two ahead of foes Liverpool in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge.
United have struggled ever since, with David Moyes leading the club to seventh place before Louis van Gaal steadied the ship and took the Red Devils back into the Champions League.
Liverpool threatened to move level with United the season after Ferguson left, but Steven Gerrard’s untimely slip went a long way to ensuring the title went to Manchester City in 2014.
The once-dominant Merseyside club have now gone 25 years without lifting the biggest trophy in the domestic arena, but Beckham is optimistic United will not suffer a similar fate.
“I can’t see that happening to Manchester United,” Beckham said when asked if the club could go through such a barren patch as Liverpool have done.
“I never think that we will not be in contention for winning trophies because there is too much history, there is too much embedded into this club to let it just slip away like that.”
As Beckham knows, even Ferguson went through occasional dry patches with United.
The 40-year-old, speaking at a press conference to publicise a UNICEF charity match at Old Trafford, did not win any silverware in three of his 11 years as a professional at the club.
“We have been spoiled over the last 20 years,” said Beckham, who played 394 times for United after graduating from the club’s famed academy.
“We have been so successful and then the manager and (former chief executive) David Gill leave, then there is a number of players that retired like Scholesy and Giggsy. No matter what club it is, no matter how much money you have behind you, there is going to be a dip in trophies, but unfortunately when you are Manchester United, you can’t really have that and there are tough moments.”
United were top of the table before the weekend when they lost 3-0 at Arsenal.
Several ex-players, including former captain Gary Neville, have criticised certain aspects of Van Gaal’s management, but Beckham is optimistic about his former club’s future under the Dutchman.
“The weekend was a tough loss but I think other than that we seem to be kind of slowly gradually getting back to some excitement as well,” he said.
“I would love to play in this side, personally.”
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