Manchester United’s decorated past no guarantee for glittering future, claims coach Rene Meulensteen

By Alex Bysouth

Reputation counts for nothing and a glittering history does not guarantee Manchester United will add to their bulging trophy cabinet, insists first-team coach Rene Meulensteen.

The Old Trafford outfit are the most successful side in English football, and look set to add to their decorated past this campaign with a 20th league title.

But Meulensteen, whose coaching career has spanned from Qatar to Carrington, is desperate to install a winning – and not complacent – mentality in the Red Devils squad.

“The biggest lesson you can learn is that success in the past is not a guarantee for the future,” he told Inside United. “If you take your eye off the ball and lose a trophy it hurts.

“You need to value the fact that every trophy, no matter what it is, is important, as is the feeling that goes with winning that trophy.

“That’s something that stays with you forever – that’s what we are all working towards achieving.”

Meulensteen watched United throw away the title to rivals City last season, but believes Sir Alex Ferguson’s hunger for trophies has been key to their revival this campaign.

“We will never forget what happened last season – there is nothing more disappointing for everyone involved when you work so hard to stand there empty-handed at the end of the season,” he explained.

“I don’t want to feel like that ever again, we are so fortunate to work for a club of this size and for a manager that has achieved so much.

“He is still as hungry as he was before he won his first trophy, and that transmits itself to us and the players.”

However, the Dutch coach believes the foundation of a successful side lies in talented, game-changing players and not in exhausting a variety of tactical systems.

“Too many people are looking for an answer that is right in front of them,” he added. “Everyone’s executed all the systems out there, but that’s not what makes the difference.

“The one factor that stands out through the years, going from Di Stefano, Puskas, Cruyff, Beckenbauer and Maradona through to Ronaldo and Messi and those types of players, is the fact that these are the ones who have that level of skill to make the difference.

“You then want to combine that with one and two-touch football similar to the way Barcelona play and their philosophy of high pressing and getting the ball forward quickly.

“So, to develop the players of the future you need to help them master the skills of the players mentioned and combine them with one and two-touch football. It’s then about using those skills at the right time in the right place.”

Picture courtesy of Jonesy702, via Wiki Commons, with thanks.

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