Louis van Gaal has insisted that Manchester United and Liverpool’s dominance was in “another time” as they prepare to face each other in the Europa League.
Man United and Liverpool have eight European Cup titles between them but Thursday’s last-16 clash will take place in the Europa League.
Van Gaal insisted that United are “happy” to play in the competition and suggested the two teams have entered a new era.
“Manchester United and Liverpool, we are happy to play in the Europa League,” van Gaal said.
“But Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are still playing in the Champions League. So six clubs are in Europe (also including Tottenham in the Europa League) and you have to be proud of that.
“But in football it is normal. It is not normal that one team dominates for 20 years in a row as the champion.
When it was pointed out that United did dominate English football for the best part of two decades under Sir Alex Ferguson, van Gaal added: “It was another time, you live in the past. You have to live in the present I think.”
The departure of Ferguson in 2013 has seen United struggle in the Premier League and in Europe.
This season has also been one to forget as the side look to be in serious danger of missing out on the top four. Van Gaal has taken his fair share of flak, and rightly so, but the hope is that the young players he has brought into the side – Luke Shaw, Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial to name a few – can flourish in the coming years and get United back to where they belong.