It’s telling that the runners in this so-called title race waited until big, bad Alex Ferguson had left the battle before taking a proper swipe at his crown.
Arsene Wenger wouldn't have dared risk his transfer kitty on Mesut Ozil had his long-time rival still loomed large over Old Trafford, while Liverpool have only begun to notch up their ambitions in his absence.
Even Jose Mourinho, the Special One himself, held off returning to Chelsea for a second-chance at building an empire until he wouldn't be disturbed by United’s prolific champion manager. Manchester City, after boasting about their plans to win a quadruple this season, haven't come close to the treble he secured in 1999, knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan Athletic, and out of Europe by Barcelona.
Not one of the current crop of managers currently chasing the top spot are fit to lift the trophy Ferguson won a record 13 times. Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini each have unlimited funds at their disposal, while United’s former boss somehow overcame their clubs’ resources with the Glazers denying him of similar support. Wenger remains complacency personified, secretly satisfied with another year that will likely end with European qualification and no silverware. Don’t waste your money on another collapse by the Gunners in a cup final.
That leaves Liverpool, who are currently benefiting from throwing their principles out of the window by continuing to profit from Luis Suarez—a player convicted of bringing the game into disrepute on more than one occasion.
By contrast, after Eric Cantona lashed out at a fan Ferguson immediately suspended his star player. He may have lost the chance to win the league with the Frenchman unavailable but at least he didn't compromise himself and his club. Liverpool may be desperate to clinch their first title in a generation, but to do so through a man found to have racially abused a fellow pro is gross to the extreme.
It’s time to face facts. There’s no glory in a Premier League title race without Fergie, and until Manchester United return to a stature befitting of his legacy, any victory will be as hollow as the jibes his detractors tried to pin on him during his career.