Last weekend saw Manchester United settle for a 1-1 draw against a ten-man Southampton team. It has been a long-discussed topic now about the deep issues United have, not just in the team but all through the club.
It’s safe to say United haven’t been stable since Sir Alex Ferguson departed as manager at the end of the 2012/13 season after securing their 20th Premier League title.
As a young Manchester City fan growing up in a time where Manchester United were top dogs of world football, it was easy to become jealous of United’s success.
But nowadays, it’s United’s time to struggle in keeping up with the top clubs in the league while staying ahead of the ever-strengthening mid-table teams.
Current manager and former United player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was brought in to replace Jose Mourinho midway through last season.
While Solskjaer enjoyed some very immediate success in his new role at United, they eventually got back to the unpredictable averageness of how they were under Mourinho.
“MAN UNITED ARE BACK!” exclaimed BT Sports pundit Rio Ferdinand after their unexpected win against Paris St. Germain in last season’s Champions League.
But how premature those words were.
The recent transfer window saw some exciting additions and some much-needed departures.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James all joined the club to revamp the starting XI.
As of right now, all three have begun life at United well. Especially with James already scoring three league goals in four games.
They’ve brought some big names in, but they’ve also got rid of some big names (and bigger price tags) too. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez have been exiled out of Manchester and over to Italy.
While many United fans would be jumping for joy to see these two out of the club, the bigger picture is, how many goals will United lose with the departure of Lukaku? And was Sanchez really that bad enough to not play in the cup competitions or come on as an impact sub in tight games?
United have admitted neither Lukaku nor Sanchez were good enough for the club. But in my eyes, neither are some of the attacking players that are still at the club.
Jesse Lingard isn’t good enough. Marcus Rashford isn’t good enough. Anthony Martial has the potential to be good enough, we just don’t see it often enough. And considering how long he’s been at the club, how much longer does he need to become a reliable attacking threat throughout the season?
I don’t think Solskjaer is to blame for United’s misgivings. He revitalised the players on his arrival who started playing like they wanted to be there. But Solskjaer couldn’t keep that momentum up forever.
United need a few more transfer windows like the one they have just had, bringing in fresh talent and getting rid of more dead weight players.
Maybe then we could see United back to where Sir Alex Ferguson worked so long to get them, the very top.
If you love tactical analysis, then you’ll love the digital magazines from totalfootballanalysis.com – a guaranteed 100+ pages of pure tactical analysis covering topics from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and many, many more. Buy your copy of the August issue for just ₤4.99 here.
Latest posts by James Thompson (see all)
- Why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not to blame for Manchester United issues. - September 5, 2019
- Why the title race won’t be close this year - August 29, 2019
- Why Tanguy Ndombele could be Spurs’ player of the year - August 22, 2019