The heartbreak was to continue and ensure the club finished another season trophyless at United. Having managed to reach the Europa League final again, where they had emerged victorious in 2017, hopes were high they would end their trophy drought. Yet, the tricky Spanish side Villarreal proved to be the thorn in their side in the final.
Despite being heavy favorites at most online betting sites, Manchester United could only muster a draw in both normal and extra time leading to the lottery of penalties. Even then it was hard to separate the two sides, with the shootout finishing 11-10 in favor of Villarreal. It must be said Manchester United fans were simply gobsmacked at their failure to win this game.
Who’s Come into the Side?
Despite much grumbling by fans in recent years, it appears Manchester United has had a successful transfer window which has given the fans grounds for optimism. While new players often take time to settle in, their quality and self-assuredness can instantly impress the players on the training ground.
The completion of the signing of Jadon Sancho pleased many as it had been a transfer saga that has trundled on from the previous summer. Admirers of Sancho, the club were confident enough of signing him that they held the nerve and kept patient until the price dropped. Having gained experience with Borussia Dortmund, it has been a difficult introduction to the Premier League for him, but time is on his side.
A more surprising signing, yet one which delighted Old Trafford, was the capture of Raphaël Varane from Real Madrid. Many were surprised he wished to leave Madrid, yet the opportunity for a new challenge after years at Real intrigued Varane. And what better challenge than trying to help Manchester United regain their place at the top of the English football summit?
The Man Himself
An absolute dream for Manchester United supporters. It’s fair to say that since his previous stint at the club fans had fantasized about the return of one of their favorites, the mighty Cristiano Ronaldo. The biggest story in club football this summer, overshadowing even Barcelona legend Lionel Messi’s tearful departure to PSG, Ronaldo ensured Old Trafford became the center of all football discussions.
An all-around club legend, everyone wants to see how this story pans out. His determination and desire to win can only rub off on some players who are yet to taste success. Fans are convinced he is the man that can make Manchester United dream again. Finding himself already amongst the goals in both domestic and European football for The Red Devils, there’s no doubt he strikes fear into opposing teams.
Centre of the Park
Manchester United fans have been worried about the midfield for years. It’s hard to believe that looking at previous winning title sides, the signing of a strong holding midfielder would be overlooked for so many years. It is rumored that Declan Rice of West Ham is a transfer target, yet unfortunately, that may not be until next summer or January at the very earliest.
It has become clear to many that Fred just does not have the quality and consistency in his game to be a midfielder of the future for this club. Scott McTominay has heart, but at the top level, this is just not enough anymore. Doubts remain over these two players, and this area could be the stumbling block for the club, indeed, sticking with these players could well hinder their chances of improvement.
Paul Pogba has been a mystery to most. One week outstanding, the next awful. It’s hard to believe he re-signed for the club in 2016 amid so much hype and promise and has really failed to impose himself whatsoever on the team. With his contract up at the end of the season, it remains to be seen if he will stay, or if indeed the club should want him to stay.
Fighting in Europe
Qualifying for the Champions League again, the club must ensure qualification from the group stages this year. Last year’s failure was disappointing to the club and fans, slightly tempered by their Europa League run.
With the return of fans to stadiums, it’s vital they have top-level entertainment. European nights are certainly special at Old Trafford. The revenue gained from progressing in the Champions League will also improve the team’s standing financially after a tough period suffered due to the coronavirus.
While the group stage has not started well, there is plenty of time for the team to recover. While burdened with the tag of favorites again, the team must not become complacent. While some feel winning the trophy should be within the club’s grasp, simply getting to the further stages would be an improvement after last year and would certainly be enjoyed by the fans.
Premier League Getting Tougher
Despite all Manchester United’s attempts to improve, they still appear to face major difficulties in overcoming the teams who have been so consistent in recent years. The last two years have seen Manchester United suffer the ignominy of seeing their greatest rivals Liverpool lift the Premier League for the first time and hometown rivals Man City lift their fifth crown.
It’s hard to look beyond either of these teams as being Manchester United’s main rivals, yet, Chelsea has been making huge strides since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel as manager last season. Replacing Frank Lampard, he instantly ensured cult status with the fans, by managing to win the Champions League, a feat they had only ever achieved once before in their history.
The fact that each of these teams appears to be solid throughout makes Manchester United’s job even harder. Big tests lie ahead and while fans are confident, they will have a better picture of their side’s chances after these fixtures take place. Positive results will show that the team is getting better and hope for a title charge can be retained.
While the domestic season has started well, it is clear the club has a tough task on its hands. Every point is vital these days and there is nearly a sigh of relief from the fans once the games are over. Manchester United, while always being involved in exciting games, never seem to make things easy for themselves!
New signings can only improve the side in time as they fit in ever so seamlessly, growing in stature by the week. The improvement in quality signings has really impressed the fans and raised their hopes. Signing Ronaldo was a masterstroke that ensures all eyes in the footballing world remain focused on Manchester and indeed has been a spectacular source of income for the club.
Despite all the apparent improvements in both the defence and attack, the strength in midfield is still a worry to many. Online betting sites such as LV BET appear to have taken note that the other top Premier League clubs seem well equipped to take advantage of United’s weaknesses and ensure they remain empty-handed for another season judging by the odds on offer. It’s a long road ahead and fans are being extremely patient with the club.