Final Position: 2nd
After yesterday trying to convince you all that Manchester City, Premier League Champions, had a poor season, I now turn my intention to putting forward the notion that Manchester United, who finished 2nd, had a very good season. Don’t say I’m not ambitious.
My simple matter rests on this; Manchester United never expected to win the Premier League this season. Yes it can be argued that they always expect to win the Premier League, but this was quite obviously a transitional year as they tried to introduce youngsters like De Gea, Smalling, Evans, Jones, Welbeck, Cleverley to be prepared for a long term title challenge. The fact that they managed one this year with a young squad, a rather large injury crisis, a goalkeeper who looks like, before he came here, he had never eaten a meal larger than a spoonful and Johnny Evans starting most of the matches is nothing short of remarkable.
Sure it’s a major disappointment that they managed to fritter away a 7 point lead with only 5 games left to go and they somehow managed to get trounced 1-6 at home to their big spending local rivals with a front line led by, ahem, Edin Dzeko, but the fact that their rather moderately budgeted (compared to City anyway) team managed to push City to the end is testimony to the quality of their up and coming squad.
It cannot be claimed that this year is a rip-roaring success however, they failed to make an impact in Europe and in domestic cup competitions, only having the Community Shield to show for their efforts which, let’s be frank, is akin to getting the Grey’s Anatomy box set when House, Scrubs and amoebic dysentery on offer.
There is more rebuilding work to be done, but considering it was a young team in a difficult set of circumstances, Sir Alex can be very encouraged by his squad’s performance.
Summer Transfer Targets:
Paul Scholes can’t keep chugging along for much longer, the return of Tom Cleverley, who was exceptional for the early part of this season before injury struck will be good news, but Man United need another quality midfielder and can downgrade Michael Carrick and Anderson to back ups which will give them vital squad depth. Wesley Sneijder, who had a poor season at Inter and may be looking for a move, has been a long term favourite. Eden Hazard has got good press but they will face competition from their local rivals for that signature, Mario Gotze is a young up and coming option, but maybe too young and too much of a risk for immediate success.
Next Year’s Target:
To challenge for the title and domestic silverware, I would say European Glory is now a distant dream unless they significantly improve their ability in the middle of the park.
Tomorrow: Arsenal: How long can this transition period last?
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