2020/21 Premier League season was a crazy one for all the teams including Manchester United, with an unusual summer transfer window to begin with. Man City, this season’s champions, had won only half of their first ten matches. The team at the top of the table at halfway point, Liverpool, had to fight till the last match for a top-four spot.
Leicester City, despite staying in the top four for the longest time, missed out on the last match day. Chelsea on the other hand recovered dramatically to a top-four finish after the sacking of Lampard. Teams like Everton, Tottenham (up top at the start of the season), and West Ham have all had their say in the top four race.
Amidst all this chaos, surprisingly, United have stayed very consistent for most of their Premier League campaign. But, the season of anomalies is over, and the question about the next season’s title challenge arises, bringing with it a bit of uncertainty as to what exactly to expect from this Manchester United squad.
The thought of a second-place finish in the Premier League at the start of the season seemed like a far-fetched one for United. This was mainly because of the lack of confidence in the team and manager. Ole, till then, had patches of good performances and bad ones.
The situation today is still similar, especially after the Europa League final loss against Villarreal. Fans still have doubts and lack confidence in the manager. While he was not too bad this season, the uncertainty still looms large. Is Ole the right man for the job? While there is a desperate need for reinforcements, the question arises of whether he will he be able to deliver even if he is given what he needs?
The fact that they have gone trophy-less for four seasons (two and half years with Ole) is not encouraging. All this time, the only thing the manager and players kept saying was “Progress”. Will that be enough to satisfy the fans, and if so for how long?
The main problem is that of the manager, when we look around, we find Guardiola, Klopp, Tuchel, Ancelotti, Brendan Rodgers, and even to that point, Bielsa. Whatever the results may be, these are the names that inspire confidence. All their teams have a sort of identity, how they go about things, a style of play, and a certain plan.
That is a pain point with Ole, apart from the ‘progress’, there is nothing else to show. The only thing that is keeping him at the job is results, and it doesn’t take too long for that opinion to change. A string of losses and there goes everything.
The support from the fans towards Ole is like a swing trade, similar to his performance as a manager. Is he the man with whom you can imagine a future of trophies and challenging for the Champions League every season? Not sure. What makes a player choose Man Utd as their next destination over others? Nothing much.
Presenting: United's Goal of the Month 🤩
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 2, 2021
Now comes the preparedness for next season. While they have managed to cut themselves a bit of slack by being able to retain Cavani. It’s not going to last long as there are other departments crying out for certain reinforcements as well. An inexperienced attack, over-dependence on Greenwood proves that. There is almost nothing coming from the right-wing in terms of attack and thats just the tip of the iceberg at the moment.
United’s present midfield options are also insufficient, especially if you want to challenge for multiple trophies (that can be sorted a bit if they use Van De Beek). Moreover, the treatment of new signings like Van De Beek sets a bad example. While there are quality players still awed by the prospect of playing for Manchester United, their number is slowly going down with each passing day and United need to act now to alter that growing perception.
All in all, the Premier League is not going to be easy for Man United, especially with their neighbours City, who are in the market, at least to replace Aguero if not more. A fully fit Liverpool, a rejuvenated Chelsea, and a motivated Leicester. Also don’t forget teams like West Ham, Everton, and others looking to improve. This season will be a make-or-break for Ole and the club, particularly with patience running out fast among fans.