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Sazali Abdul Aziz
Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014

Sports

EPL: 'Man United won't fall like the Reds'

The New Paper | Sazali Abdul Aziz | Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014

Interview with former Man United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

Manchester United fans need not fear a Liverpool-style decline, following the club's abysmal season in the last campaign when they finished seventh in the English Premier League.

That assurance comes from former Red Devils goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, who is in Singapore at the invitation of Sony Mobile.

Schmeichel, a cornerstone of the United team that dominated the 1990s, insisted the club will not spiral into a sustained period without title success after failing to replace manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Liverpool, who were England's top team in the '70s and '80s, have not been crowned English champions after Kenny Dalglish stepped down as manager in 1991, and Schmeichel told The New Paper: "I don't think that's going to happen (to United).

"We're a different club, and it's a different time.

"When Liverpool went off the rails, it was when the whole of football changed. It was just the beginning of the Premier League, which changed everything almost overnight. The clubs that understood that took off.

"But Liverpool continued to run the club as they always did... and realised far too late that they needed to change as well.

"I'm not saying we'll go straight back to No. 1, but the way we are set-up commercially, for example, means we're in a much stronger position than Liverpool were back then."

The Dane, however, believes the current United team require urgent surgery if they are to recover from a dismal season under the now-departed David Moyes, failing to qualify for European football for the first time since 1990.

Even though he has welcomed the appointment of Dutchman Louis van Gaal as manager, Schmeichel says the club need to sign at least five top-quality players to rejuvenate the team.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand had told TNP in a recent interview that one "Galactico" would be enough to motivate the current crop of players and bring them back to their best.

"Rio said that? Has he lost his mind?" Schmeichel retorted.

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