Manchester United’s trophy drought will extend to five years if they fail to win silverware this season, and their options are increasingly limited after their FA Cup elimination
Manchester United are at risk of suffering the same fate as the Liverpool side which found itself treading water at the turn of the century, according to Tony Cascarino.
The former Chelsea striker claims the Red Devils are a huge way off vying for the Premier League and must instead settle for runs in the cup competitions.
Cascarino’s downbeat verdict on Ralf Rangnick’s side comes after they were eliminated from the FA Cup by Championship club Middlesbrough.
United also crashed out of the Carabao Cup in September and they face a fierce battle to finish in the top four.
Their only hope of silverware this season appears to rest on an unlikely triumph in the Champions League, and the club’s trophy drought will extend to five years if they fail to win silverware.
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Liverpool infamously endured a 30-year wait to clinch a league title before their success two seasons ago, while United have not been crowned English champions since Sir Alex Ferguson’s last hurrah in the 2012/13 campaign.
Cascarino suspects the Red Devils’ wait for domestic glory will persist just as it did for their bitter rivals, warning fans to lower their immediate expectations.
“There are so many things you have to get right and challenges for a football club to have success, and Manchester United feel like they’ve been sleepwalking for a long time,” the former Republic of Ireland international told talkSPORT.
“It’s not just on the playing side, it’s all different aspects of the football club you’ve got to get spot on. “Liverpool went through a similar period in the ’90s and going into the 2000s, they were years without regularly winning things.
“They were always battling. They won the Champions League with Rafa Benitez and they won other other trophies with other managers, Gerard Houllier won a few.
“But they were not the Liverpool they are now – always challenging to win the league. Okay, they’re a tad short from where Man City are right now, but they are competing to win it.”
Cascarino believes the root of United’s issues relates to their failure to appoint the right manager in the post-Ferguson era.
He added: “Sometimes it can take an eternity to get the right man in. Man United had a long time before Fergie, a time of stress and pain and changing the managers and a conveyor belt of players coming in and going out.
“Under Fergie, success for the football club was challenging to win titles, and they did – the Premier League and the Champions League – the top honour.
“But now it feels like success for Man United is just qualifying for the Champions League.”