The cursed one has been banished to the netherworld.
However, the task facing he-who-shall-not-be-named’s successor is considerable.
The previous regime bred a culture of negativity that has engulfed Old Trafford — never has Man United’s home been less fitting of its ‘theatre of dreams’ moniker.
So, how can Michael Carrick/Zinedine Zidane/ARSENE WENGER/other breach a new dawn and restore optimism to England’s most decorated club?
A three-point plan that doesn’t involve spending billions…
1. Believe in Paul Pogba
There’s a player there, we’ve seen him in Juventus and France colours.
United have desperately lacked inventiveness and creativity in recent times.
Pogba has provided it on occasion but he has largely been forced to play in shackles since his £90million homecoming.
To get the best out of him you must unleash him, believe in him, but most importantly, remind him football is supposed to be fun.
Nothing about the last two-and-a-half years has been fun, not even lifting the trophies.
There is so much to be said for a positive mentality; both in the dugout and the stands.
Trading in the negative, defensive, uninspired approach of old for something that at least strives for entertainment could be a decisive turning point.
Pogba must be at the heart of it.
2. Coach the players
Sounds patronisingly simple, doesn’t it?
As a manager/head coach, one of your primary jobs should be to improve the players you have at your disposal using your powers of observation, while tapping into your deep resources of knowledgeable experience.
Which Man United players did the Ghost of Christmas Past actually improve? Jesse Lingard… that’s probably it.
Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young experienced renaissances, but they’re both past 30 and therefore have limited ceilings.
There’s so much talent to mine and forge at Carrington.
Not least Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial; two forwards who can still progress significantly.
At 25-years-old, not even Romelu Lukaku is the finished product — the Belgian could be an unplayable force of nature in the right environment.
Andreas Pereira, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and others, including untold players in the academy, have potential to burn.
Do your job, coach the players.
3. Take the throne
It’s incredible how quickly the fear factor evaporated from Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson built the club up to the point where its aura alone won them numerous games.
‘Fergie Time’ came about because there was a foreboding sense that Man United were winners; their success was inevitable and non-negotiable.
This spread far and wide and made the club near-invincible, even when they appeared vulnerable on paper.
Remember the 8-2 win against Arsenal? Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young all started that game.
Fergie’s United once beat the Gunners in the FA Cup with a midfield of Rafael, Darron Gibson, John O’Shea and Fabio.
He won away at Wolfsburg in the Champions League with Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick as the centre-backs.
Perhaps Fergie’s greatest attribute, of which there are many, was his ability to instil uncompromising belief in his players.
Playing for his United side meant something, and the players genuinely believed it made them superior, even if they were utility men used for rotation.
The Portuguese Misery Incarnate made his United side out to be inferior time and time again, as if they were underdogs rather than one of the biggest clubs in the world.
The self-fulfilling prophecy theory says a false definition can become true if it is repeated enough times.
United’s players heard their boss talk them down so often in post-match interviews and press conferences.
The new gaffer should play up United’s history and the sheer gravity of the club, use it to bring back the fear factor, the sense of superiority; take back the throne.
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