skip to content

Neville: United success goes on and on

14 Aug 2009 08:59:59

Neville: United success goes on and on

GARY Neville doesn't need convincing that there's life after Cristiano Ronaldo. The United captain has seen stars come and go at Old Trafford - while the trophies keep on rolling in. And even if the World Footballer of the Year has departed for Real Madrid in an £80m deal, Neville is confident it will have little impact on United's pursuit of a record 19th league title and more. The England international has played alongside modern-day legends at United like Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Peter Schmeichel, Roy Keane, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy. And he was watched as Sir Alex Ferguson has re-invented his team in the wake of their eventual departures. Each time the United manager has confounded the critics, creating title-winning sides even more dominant than their predecessors. Whether he can do so in the absence of Ronaldo, who was arguably the single biggest influence on United's hat-trick of Premier League crowns and back-to-back Champions League finals, is the biggest question mark hanging over Old Trafford this season. For Neville, though, it is not even an issue. And for United supporters looking for comfort, he says they need only look to way Keane's void was filled following the Irishman's departure in 2005 to prove that life goes on. Play our free Premier League predictor game here and let's find out who is the best on the M.E.N sports pages. "We've seen great players leave the club before and coped," he said. "I played with Roy Keane for more than 10 years and I never thought we'd replace him. "We never will, just like we won't replace Ronaldo like for like, but we can adapt. "Roy left, Peter Schmeichel left, Eric Cantona left, but the club remained successful. "Look at how Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher have performed in the last two years and you have to say we've survived Keane's exit. "We'll do the same with Ronaldo. Losing somebody who scores that many goals is always going to be a blow, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. "Nani and Ji-Sung Park will try to make that position their own, while the goals issue isn't a problem. "Michael Owen has joined us and you might find Wayne Rooney flourishing. Dimitar Berbatov can bang them in as well." The loss of Ronaldo is seen as the biggest blow to United's hopes of surpassing Liverpool's record of 18 titles. Last year's success saw them draw level with their Anfield rivals, but Rafa Benitez' side will be among their chief challengers this season. Neville insists the challenge of overtaking Liverpool is no more a motivating factor this season than any other. "We always want to win the league," he said. "Reaching 19 isn't something we're talking about, although it will be brilliant if we do it. "It's going to be incredibly difficult though. Nobody has ever won four in a row, which is a massive incentive. But we can't think too much about records." What do you think? Have our say


Manchester_EveningNews

Sponsored links

advertisement

Related Manchester United News

advertisement

advertisment