Ranking Manchester United seasons since Fergie left from worst to best
Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy at Manchester United will live long in the football history books and it will take someone truly remarkable to overtake him as the Premier League’s greatest manager.
United haven’t had so much joy since his retirement, though, with three sackings in just the six seasons since his departure.
We’ve had a look back at each of those campaigns since the Scot departed and ranked them from worst to best.
6. 2013-14 (7th)
It was never going to be an easy task to take over from Fergie at Old Trafford, but this was a bit of a disaster.
David Moyes was the man trusted with the job and, apart from winning the Community Shield, early signs weren’t too promising, with United making their worst start to a campaign since 1989.
Amid the results was a farcical summer window where they failed to land almost every target they had. Aside from Marouane Fellaini, of course.
Moyes’ nightmare didn’t even last a full season as United passed the task onto Ryan Giggs, who took charge until the end of a long, hard season which brought the club’s lowest finish since 1990.
5. 2018-19 (6th)
Well, how on Earth do you sum this one up?
Mourinho suffered from his infamous third season syndrome and was binned before Christmas had come around, but not soon enough for many fans.
Club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjær transformed the team as caretaker manager, going 12 games unbeaten in the Premier League. Not forgetting the remarkable turnaround at the Parc des Princes.
It looked like Ole was steering United back onto a good path, but things took a turn for the worse towards the end of the campaign which concluded with a home defeat to relegated Cardiff.
4. 2014-15 (4th)
Louis van Gaal was the man tasked with restoring some pride to Old Trafford after Moyes’ departure, so losing 4-0 to MK Dons probably wasn’t part of the plan.
Van Gaal certainly didn’t struggle where Moyes did, in that he managed to convince big names such as Ángel Di María and Radamel Falcao to make the move to Manchester. But let’s just say those signings were better on paper.
Victories over Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham in the spring were among the highlights of what felt like another season of transition.
Ultimately, though, the Red Devils were back in the top four and Champions League football would return if they could win their play-off game at the start of the next campaign, which they did.
3. 2015-16 (5th)
The year that Leicester City won the Premier League. That’s not really relevant, but we just still can’t believe it happened. Anyway…
Manchester United enjoyed some long-awaited domestic success in their second season under the guidance of Louis van Gaal, getting their hands on the FA Cup for the first time since 2004.
United moved into the Europa League after disappointingly not making it through their Champions League group, only to go on to lose to fierce rivals Liverpool in the round of 16.
League action didn’t bring them much luck either as goal difference meant Manchester City pipped them to fourth place.
2. 2017-18 (2nd)
Mourinho led his side to a brilliant Premier League campaign, finishing second to only City who, of course, made history by reaching the 100-point mark.
Summer signing Romelu Lukaku made the desired impact after his big money move, finishing as the club’s top scorer.
The campaign certainly had its low points, though, with the Champions League round of 16 defeat at home to Sevilla leaving a sour taste.
Nevertheless, it was something to build on for next season. Or so it seemed.
1. 2016-17 (6th)
Europa League winners. EFL Cup winners. Community Shield winners. The year of Mourinho and Ibra.
Yes, finishing second is far more impressive than sixth. But in the context of where the club was before Mourinho took charge, this really felt like a huge season. Manchester United were on their way back.
The self-appointed ‘Special One’ replaced Louis van Gaal in the hotseat at Old Trafford and made an immediate impact in adding three trophies to the long list of club honours.
Other positives included the capture of Zlatan Ibrahimović who netted 28 goals, the progress of Marcus Rashford in just his second professional season and the return of Paul Pogba.
By Tom Rawcliffe