Sir Alex Ferguson was proven right about Liverpool when he named his biggest Manchester United concern seven years ago. The Red Devils dominated the early parts of the Premier League era and into the 21st century under the Scotsman. But everything has changed since he retired and Manchester City asserted their power under new owners on the other side of Manchester.
Liverpool fans need no reminding of the dominance Ferguson managed during his long stint at Old Trafford. Ferguson’s reign corresponded with a disappointing run for Liverpool and he, of course, contributed to it in many ways. But as we sit here today, Liverpool have won the Premier League and the Champions League in the ensuing years.
Jurgen Klopp has played a momentous part in the change, and Ferguson recognised back in 2016 what the German was doing. Speaking about his big concern back then, he said of Klopp and Liverpool: “He has done a really good job and revived Liverpool’s enthusiasm. It can happen that big clubs lose it. For two decades, Liverpool changed managers without building their own identity.
“You can now well and truly sense that you have to count them in this year. You can see Klopp’s dedication on the sideline, I’m convinced his work in training is similar. He’s a strong personality. That’s absolutely vital at a big club. I’m worried about him because the one thing United don’t want is Liverpool to get above us.”
That Klopp worry came true and so did the comments that ‘big clubs lose it’ as this is exactly what has happened to United since Ferguson retired. The big question is now, can United get back to the days of not only dominating Liverpool, but the entire Premier League? Those days look still very far away given the continued success of Manchester City and the rise of Arsenal. Liverpool, meanwhile, will be hoping this season they can continue to bring Ferguson’s worry about Klopp back to life again.