Given where Manchester United were under Jose Mourinho, it is pretty remarkable that they are now just two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal in the Premier League table.
It has been some turnaround for the Red Devils since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over, though one of the club’s ex-players is refusing to get carried away.
“Are we moving forward, are we standing still?” Andy Cole asked rhetorically when speaking to BBC Sport about Manchester United needing to get their next managerial appointment right.
“And when we are talking about Manchester United finishing in the top four and it’s time to celebrate, I am scratching my head,” the former Red Devil added.
“That’s not something to celebrate. It’s Man United. For me, you celebrate winning the league, getting to the European Cup final or winning the FA Cup, or whatever.”
Looking at what Manchester United have won down the years, including the teams that featured Cole, the 47-year-old’s take on things is understandable.
No one at Old Trafford wants to see the club become like Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in recent seasons who treated Champions League qualification like it was the Champions League trophy itself.
That being said, Cole and co have to lower their expectations for this season or just write it off completely.
It has been a campaign of transition, leaving Mourinho’s pragmatism behind for Solskjaer’s more Manchester United approach.
And even amid that, the opportunity to do something special in the Champions League, however unlikely, is still there.
If the club find themselves in a similar predicament next season, then Cole is right to ask questions. But considering the context of things, there is no need to hit the panic button just yet.
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