Date: 25th November 2008 at 6:26pm
Written by:

The 1999/2000 season was certainly a memorable one. United won the league with embarassing ease, beating Arsenal by a staggering 18 points. Yet the FA and the government pressurised us to take part in that stupid World Club Championship and forced us to withdraw from the FA Cup – then disappeared when the criticism started flying.

However, for many of us, the most painful event was losing in the Champions League quarter-final. We were in brilliant form at the time and came up against an ordinary, stuttering Real Madrid team which we held to a 0-0 draw at the Bernabeu. However, some extreme tactical naivety saw us committing suicide at Old Trafford and going out with a 2-3 defeat.

This naivety is in the past, says Fergie so we are better equipped to defend our title.

‘The year after 1999 we were very na├»ve,’ he told manutd.com.

‘Teams sussed us out tactically; teams like Ajax and Anderlecht played counter-attack on their own grounds which caught us by surprise. We should have changed, but we didn`t and we suffered. We didn`t do well that year.

‘This season I think I have a better squad so we can make changes tactically and we have improved that side of our game. Our players have grown up in European football. They`ve become familiar in the way the games can change in Europe.’


My question would be this though: can we expect such a delightful attacking display from this side like the one we saw against Fiorentina when we overwhelmed the then-mighty Italians 3-1 despite going behind early on? Or are we too careful these days? Or is it possible that the pressure has lifted with finally getting that elusive second Champions League trophy?