A former Red Devils goalkeeper is eager to avoid pointing the finger of blame at Old Trafford, but admits changes in 2013 proved to be costly
Manchester United’s troubled transition from Sir Alex Ferguson to David Moyes in the summer of 2013, which has left a lasting impression, was akin to “trying to charge an iPhone with a Nokia charger”, says Anders Lindegaard.
The Red Devils had known for a while that iconic coach Ferguson would be heading into retirement as they chased down what was to be a 13th Premier League title.
Fellow Scot Moyes was the man charged with the task of succeeding Ferguson, but he would last only a matter of months before seeing a long-term contract ripped up .
Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have gone on to endure similar struggles at Old Trafford, with neither able to awaken a sleeping giant and return it to its feet.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has since inherited the reins, but he is facing similar tests to his predecessors as a lengthy period of rebuilding continues at the Theatre of Dreams .
Former United goalkeeper Lindegaard told the Evening Standard of the challenges the Red Devils faced when a successful squad was passed on to Moyes: “I didn’t feel it was ageing. It felt more like we just couldn’t adjust to a new way of life.
“It seemed like trying to charge an iPhone with a Nokia charger. It just slowly went flat.
“Who was ever going to lift the club after the boss [Ferguson]?
“Moyes and everyone with big influence on United have all been easy targets. And I refuse to be another one pointing at individuals.
“Every time the team has had a single bad result I’ve heard suggestions for new managers, getting rid of half the team and signing new players. I imagine it isn’t easy to work under those circumstances.
“I’ll point at myself and everyone else involved with United. Both on a professional and an emotional level. We were all to blame.
“None of us could accept changes to our beloved United. All of us thought everything should just stay the same and we’d carry on succeeding. It was an illusion.”
He added: “It seems to me like the club needed change and modernisation. And I can imagine it’s been hard for the club to realise that.
“United is tradition and history. Tradition and history is hard to change. Especially when it’s as long and successful as United.
“A modern football club needs a philosophy that’s defined by the club – not the manager. In terms of football you need to have a clear idea what a United player and a United team is. That responsibility should be on the club – not the manager.
“Otherwise you end up buying a new team every time you change the manager.
“Maybe the club did have a clear strategy and philosophy on football. But looking at it from the outside it hasn’t been clear.”
Solskjaer may be the man to get United back on track, with Lindegaard – who spent five years on the books at Old Trafford between 2010 and 2015 – hoping that proves to be the case.
The 35-year-old Denmark international added: “I think he is. I deeply hope so. United’s history is so rich and successful. And I think the club and the fans need someone who speaks to the history.
“Someone who understands it and complies with it. I don’t doubt Ole has come in to carry on the United heritage and stay true to the United DNA. And he can do that because he knows it and is a part of it himself.
“But there’s a crucial ingredient I’m afraid will be difficult to accept. And that’s time.
“Realistically it will take years to rebuild United for greatness. Look at how long it took Liverpool.
“For Ole to be successful in the long term I think everyone will have to embrace themselves with patience and accept the current state.
“There’s a massive job ahead of him and no matter how you twist and turn it I think his success depends on how well the club helps him. Especially on recruitment.”