Have Manchester United lost their fighting spirit since Sir Alex Ferguson left?

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United’s last gasp winner against Watford evoked memories of the glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson among the fans, players and management.

You could see it on everyone’s faces – they were absolutely buzzing and it begs the question: how much have we been missing this feeling?

As Gary Neville pointed out on Monday Night Football, we’ve been missing it terribly since Sir Alex retired.

The stats speak for themselves really don’t they? In the three seasons since Sir Alex left (including this one so far) we’ve had a total of 20 goals in the last ten minutes of games. In Sir Alex’s last two seasons alone, there were 28.

That’s probably made the goal against Watford feel so special – it’s a feeling we grew to love under Sir Alex but have since forgotten about it. That was our first winner in stoppage time since the 2012/13 season.

Has that fighting spirit gone? We showed against Watford that it isn’t gone but is a sleeping giant, an asset waiting to be awoken and all it takes is a mentality switch. Whether that’s from the players or Louis van Gaal, it’s something we need to do more often.

That spirit was why teams were always scared of United and always knew that, no matter what, we couldn’t be written off in the last ten minutes of games. We need to make sure we channel the positive energy from that win over Watford and make a habit of scoring late goals again.

The players themselves would have been on cloud nine following Schweinsteiger’s goal which came so soon after Troy Deeney’s equaliser and they’ll want to get that feeling back every week.

If that’s a mentality switch for them individually or for van Gaal to give them more freedom to attack at will in the last stages of a game, so be it – whatever it takes, we need to strike fear into our opponents again towards the end of every single match.

Bring back Fergie time, you know it makes sense Louis.

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