Recent events have led to many speculating the season and long-term future of Manchester United in a post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Manchester United fans have cited worry about many things which they needn't be worried about. If anything, recognition that the squad is in transition is an exciting prospect.
Here are five factors which Manchester United fans should feel relaxed about.
1. Young players and possible transfers.
United's squad isn't too concerning regarding age and depth. In defence, United could field a relatively experienced 'keeper and back four with an average age of 22 years and six months, if they wished, in David de Gea, Rafael, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Fabio, with 23-year-old Smalling on the bench. These defenders are versatile and can cover for injuries in other defensive, and indeed midfield, positions if needed.
The United mid park is coming up with the goods, too. Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell and Adnan Januzaj are 20, 19 and 18 years of age respectively and with Januzaj exciting United fans from appearances in the first team, Lingard and Powell are scoring for their loan clubs. Lingard hit a first half hat trick and went on to score four for Birmingham with Powell scoring in Europe for Wigan recently. Add to that that Marouane Fellaini is 25 and Shinji Kagawa, Tom Cleverly and Anderson are under 25 and the ageing team myths are starting to dispel. We haven't even seen 20 year old Wilfred Zaha play 90 minutes at United yet.
With Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney holding down positions upfront, United fans won't be too worried about replacing them, although playing two up front is becoming a thing of the past with Rooney in the No.10 role. Javier Hernandez and Angelo Henriquez are both capable strikers who with their personal attributes could compliment each other well in the future.
2. Moyes effect.
The new management needs time to implement their ethos and to get used to life at Old Trafford. Voices calling for David Moyes to be sacked after six Premier League games are most likely coming opposition support, yet I don't doubt a few very spoiled young United fans who don't remember the baron days (even during Fergie's reign) are among those premature voices.
Moyes will have money to spend and with the aforementioned crop of youngsters and use, or non-use, of recent acquisitions, Moyes should be looking to bring in one marquee signing rather than multiple smaller ones. This is good news for United as this will give great young talent the opportunity whilst hoping for a big name signing simultaneously. Whether Moyes can lure a big name to Old Trafford is yet to be seen, one transfer window isn't enough time to give a new manager who must get to know his existing players before dismissing them.
Moyes is due to settle into a rhythm now, too. He's experimented with the selections and handed most players (bar Kagawa and Zaha, perhaps) a real chance to prove their worth. He has a mix of youngsters who could be world class and ones who are work horses willing to play against the opposition to upset fancier teams. This is why additions to the squad should be fewer, more expensive options.
Moyes is dedicated and is loyal. He will bring success, silence doubters and continue success at United. He will have financial power to rival other top teams without the need to feel the pressure for instant results like managers of other big clubs do and United will gain a great deal from this. How many big name managers from the world stage have we seen exit Chelsea and Manchester City in the past decade; United don't want to travel that route.
3. Stadium changes, atmosphere.
We have all been to or watched European away games and admired the atmosphere at certain stadiums. The fans are seen as the 12th man and can be again at Old Trafford with the arrival of a singing section due to be trialled versus Real Sociedad on the 23rd October. If the singing section was made a permanent feature, 'true reds' would have more of a chance to vocally support their team and begin the revival of the atmosphere at Old Trafford, all of which can only be good for results at home.
4. Opposition form and Arsenal.
Headlines of the 'Special One' returning to the Premier League are long forgotten. Talk of Mourinho is diminishing and Pellegrini isn't setting the Premier League on fire; far from it. Whilst Chelsea and City spent, United's exploits were seen as a failure, yet United have had a tougher fixture list at the start of the season and are still only four and three points off both teams respectively. If you had have read the opening fixture list this season for the three clubs under Fergie management and been given the news you'd only be that many points off the other two main contenders at this point you wouldn't be too worried, nor should you be. Experimentation with the team has obviously unsettled rhythm and open play goals, yet the defensive display against Shakhtar Donetsk midweek was positive and Sunderland on the weekend should provide ample opportunity for Robin van Persie et al to get scoring.
Arsenal fans have taken years of dust in the trophy cabinet and even before their club signed one big player they were still feeling extremely positive about the future. The financial issues are near to ending with the stadium bills being paid off and Arsenal look to be in a positive light. Yet they still haven't won anything in eight years.
United are entering a stage of debt repayment which should see them debt free in a few years and although this doesn't necessarily mean that profits will go towards ticket price freezes or player purchases, United will have a bank balance (which they have earned) that will mean a sustainable future, regardless of the fan consensus of the Glazer family. Increased sponsorship deals show that global companies are confident of investing in Manchester United and fans should understand that these executives know what they're doing, unlike, apparently, some who are closer to home.
5. Club debt.
Speaking of the Glazers. Their debt is indeed lowering and United are looking to be back on the right side of the books soon. Talk of the Glazers selling or not at that point is for the future. Yet United are on the right tracks and have deals that will still be in place that mean after this debt is paid, they will still be earning copious revenue streams. Who knows what the fifty plus million spent each year on paying the interest for these debts alone will be used on when the debts are paid off.
You'd think that Liverpool were the Premier League champions, Arsenal have conquered Europe and United had just scraped into Europa League qualification with the voiced frustration of a small section of United fans; whose voices are being headlined by media outlets having their moment and opposition fans gloating on social media.Yet with the momentous amount of personnel and routine change at Old Trafford, on a scale that hasn't been seen for many decades, leading to a shaky six games whilst heavily rotating a starting eleven is all United followers need to really worry about.
All in all; United have a long term plan which is secure in both a financial and managerial sense. They have fantastic youth players, most of whom have European and Premier League experience and have Premier League titles to their name. They have a fresh set of ideas, including making sure that the fans can once again aide United in turning Old Trafford into a fortress. In one sentence; everything from top to bottom has changed or is changing for Manchester United yet everything will still be the same as it has been in the recent past.
That's good news in anyone's book.
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