The opposition dugout was surprised when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stayed in his seat as Manchester United fell behind during one of his 20 defeats at Old Trafford, and amused when one of his staff entered the technical area instead to yell ‘Wakey wakey.’
Though the unscientific message was directed at the United players who were failing, it reflected how fans felt about the team as a whole.
When Cristiano Ronaldo contrasts how the club was when he left them as Champions League finalists in 2009 to how they are now, trophy-less in four years and nine points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea after only 11 games, he would probably agree.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had 20-year-old work-in-progress Mason Greenwood alongside him against City, despite being used to working with Carlos Tevez and a prime Wayne Rooney up front.
Ronaldo will have noticed differences in the 12 years he has been away, and not just during matches.
United are no longer brand leaders on or off the pitch, with no Fergie to set the tone, a coaching staff with less quality and experience, and a stadium and training ground in desperate need of investment.
Source: Daily Mail