Gary Neville comments on Liverpool put pressure on Glazers’ next Manchester United call – Richard Fay

It might be borderline blasphemy, but Manchester United can’t ignore the similarities they share with fierce rivals Liverpool as they look to end their league title drought.

United still have plenty of time to ensure their wait for another Premier League triumph doesn’t reach the same desperate lengths of three decades, though after so many false dawns in recent years, they cannot afford any complacency.

Whether they like it or not, United and Liverpool have plenty in common. They are two working-class clubs, steeped in illustrious history and with unprecedented success, who form an integral part of English football culture. Yet, time waits for nobody.

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Just as Liverpool paid the price for taking their eyes off the ball in the 90s, United failed to gauge quite the enormity of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson when he retired in 2013.

Since then, United have been lost at sea and find themselves in search of a new captain to guide them over choppy waters after the latest mutiny backfired. In contrast, Liverpool seem to be doing everything right, and as long as they remain successful, they will continue to be the benchmark against which United are compared.

“I think Liverpool are about to do something really special. I can see them winning three or even four trophies,” Gary Neville told Sky Sports this week, only further amplifying the gulf between the two clubs.

Neville rightly fears that things could get worse before they get better. The prospect of Liverpool rivaling United with a Treble or even a Quadruple this season would rip the chasm between the clubs even further apart, setting the tone for the two sides ahead of a pivotal summer.

United’s short-term future will be dictated by who they make their next permanent manager at the end of the campaign, but there is a sense that no matter who they appoint, they will already be fighting to be the best of the rest, incapable of being able to immediately challenge Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp.

Instead, patience will be key. United’s return to the top needs to be carefully planned out and the expectation shouldn’t be of a title challenge next season, but rather, ensuring they are best placed to dethrone their two fierce rivals once they get ready for their own managerial changes.

Neville added: “Liverpool fans don’t see it now because of where they are, but once Klopp leaves and the money they’re spending means they finish 4th or 5th, which is where they should be, Liverpool fans won’t be happy with their owners.”

It brings us full circle once again. United and Liverpool have an awful lot in common, particularly with the hostility shown to their owners. A key difference for the Merseysiders is that they are successful and run by a coach who demands authority. United haven’t had that since 2013.

Hiring the right manager will be crucial for United this summer but so will the structural changes to allow that candidate to go about business exactly as they see fit, with total control over the football side of matters.

They could learn a lesson from Liverpool.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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