United are different. History matters. Ferguson was the right man for United in the 1980s not only because of his management genius, but also because of the genealogical trail leading back to Sir Matt Busby.
It is the same at my old club, Liverpool, where the managers are idolised as much as players – expected to be reverential to Bill Shankly’s revolution in the 1960s as much as creating their own legacy.
When Ferguson left, nothing needed to radically change. Players would come and go, of course, but there was a template that no-one expected to alter. United were still English champions.
Van Gaal and Mourinho had plenty of respect but there was never love. The trophies they won will be looked upon has having been secured in an era of toleration, the hope being the entertainment would return over time.
It never did. I wrote in these pages 18 months ago I felt Pep Guardiola would win the title with United’s squad. What we have seen since the shackles came off under Solskjaer supports my argument.
Solskjaer has brought the United way back, re-establishing front-foot football, while packing the team with pace for counter-attacking and not being afraid to blood youngsters like he did Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood in Paris. Such moments have a galvanising effect, reassuring supporters the person in charge understands their club.