Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar has called for his old club to respond to the demands of the Old Trafford crowd by returning to “the type of football they want to play” in the 2018-19 season.
The 47-year-old said his former side need to invest in new signings if they are to catch up with deadly rivals Manchester City and suggested that manager Jose Mourinho needs to change his approach to emulate the successes of the past.
Mourinho’s critics at Old Trafford bemoaned his side’s style of play in 2017-18, which was in stark contrast to the dynamic, attacking football employed and encouraged by Alex Ferguson, under whom Van der Sar won four Premier League titles, the Champions League, the League Cup, the Community Shield and the Club World Cup.
Van der Sar told reporters: “Of course in my area there’s a certain type of football that you like to play but that depends on the manager.
“I think the crowd wants also a type of footballer; let’s hope with the signings he’s making and the type of football they want to play at United, they can have some success.”
Second-placed United finished 19 points behind City in the 2017-18 Premier League and Van der Sar suggested the challenges facing United had changed since his retirement in 2011.
“Maybe it’s more difficult, now more money is coming into the game,” said the Dutchman. “Others are also catching up a lot. Maybe richer owners are investing larger amounts of money into the squad.
“Hopefully United can catch up. [They] finished second, lost the FA Cup final. This year they need another two, three signings to stay a little bit more on that level with City than this year.”