Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham has said that it was "inevitable" that the club would suffer a slump in form after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson oversaw an unprecedented period of dominance at Old Trafford, picking up 38 trophies in his 26-year spell at the club, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles.
Both David Moyes and current boss Louis van Gaal have struggled to replicate even a fraction of that success, with United having failed to pick up a trophy since Ferguson's departure in 2013, but Beckham believes that such a dip was always likely.
"As a Man United fan, I always hoped we wouldn't go through a slump, but it was inevitable. When the manager (Ferguson) left that was always going to be a massive thing, but you also lost players like Keaney (Roy Keane), like Scholesy (Paul Scholes) - and Giggsy (Ryan Giggs) has stopped playing," Beckham told talkSPORT.
"You have lost such great characters through the team, and (former chief executive) David Gill stepped away from Manchester United. They are all integral parts of the club. We have had so much success over the last 20 years that if we don't win something for one season or two seasons people talk about it being a crisis.
"Man United is Man United. It doesn't matter if you love them or hate them, they are one of the biggest, if not the biggest, club in the world and you have to keep that reputation. The only way you can keep that reputation is by winning trophies."
Beckham also gave his support to Van Gaal, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation for a number of months now.