15th May 2011 is a red-letter day in the history of Manchester United football club.
Sir Alex Ferguson steered the club to their 19th league title, surpassing Liverpool’s haul of 18.
The Merseyside giants were without a league title since 1990 and Manchester United’s dominance over English football had no end in sight. How has the world changed in the last nine years?
Ferguson helped Manchester United to win another league title at the end of the 2012-13 season and announced his retirement. It spelt a seismic change in English football.
The Red Devils have not been without a league title since then and the worst fears of Manchester United fans are set to come true soon.
The sacking of Rodgers and Liverpool’s ability to convince Jurgen Klopp to abandon his plans for a sabbatical and take charge of the club in 2015 will go down as one of the era-defining moments of English football.
As a journalist, I tuned into Jurgen Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager with intrigue as the German is a captivating character.
The Manchester United fan in me left that presser with dread and fear of what was to come. It was clear that if there was any manager who could take Liverpool out of their title drought, he was the man and a legendary Scot also agreed.
I experienced many false dawns since Ferguson’s retirement but I could sense that Jurgen Klopp would take Liverpool forward.
I enjoyed Liverpool losing the Europa League final in his first season but reaching it was already a massive improvement. I loved their implosion in the Champions League final in 2018.
I have to agree I enjoy watching Liverpool lose but those days have been few and far between in the last couple of years.
Jurgen Klopp’s team were back in the Champions League final a year later and made easy work of Tottenham to win their sixth European Cup.
Jurgen Klopp guiding Liverpool to their holy grail
I loved the fact that despite being brilliant last season, Liverpool failed to overhaul Manchester City in the title race.
It was clear that the top two were class apart from the rest of the Premier League and my team were levels away from those two.
However, I didn’t see Liverpool blow Pep Guardiola’s side away in the manner they have done in the 2020-21 campaign.
My hope was that Guardiola and Manchester City will keep Liverpool away from the title until we were back on our feet.
But Jurgen Klopp’s side have been on a different planet this season, and that too by not adding to his first-team squad in the last summer transfer window.
The Reds are 20 points clear of Manchester City and are two wins away from winning their first league title in three decades and their 19th top-flight crown.
The COVID-19 pandemic briefly threatened to derail their plans but I have to admit with greeted teeth, they deserve to be champions.
And as a Manchester United fan, it has been tough to see Liverpool’s resurgence and see them reach their holy grail under Jurgen Klopp.
The worst part of it is, we are nowhere close to challenging them and won’t be for another couple of years.
But the greatest compliment I can pay to them is I hope we appointed Jurgen Klopp when Ferguson retired.
History would have been different and Liverpool would still be in the doldrums (preferably with their ‘messiah’ Steven Gerrard as manager).
However, I loved watching them more last season than this time around.
The Reds have been more functional this year and VAR has earned them some points as well.
But champion side need to have those attributes and maybe the 2018-19 campaign Liverpool lacked the ruthlessness needed to win the league despite their eye-catching brilliance.
I am holding on to the hope that the pandemic does enough damage to Liverpool’s balance sheets to allow teams such as Manchester United to close the gap a bit more over the next year. But there is no doubt that we are some way away.
Jurgen Klopp has already admitted that his side is unlikely to dominate like Ferguson’s Manchester United despite all their brilliance and the fact is that modern football works in cycles.
Liverpool will see a downturn in the near future and Manchester United will be back in the reckoning sooner or later. But what a team the German has built and what a shame he will never be the Manchester United manager.
But here is something Liverpool fans could watch.