On the back of the their worst season in premier league history, where all kinds of the wrong records were broken, Manchester United fans seem surprisingly jubilant.
And so they should be, the introduction of a potential World Cup winning manager is a fantastic addition to the red devils, but is by no means enough, United’s problems stem much, much deeper.
Their seventh place finish has left them in all sorts of trouble, that, I’m sure, they will eventually recover from, but not immediately.
Some fans may argue that both Chelsea and Liverpool managed to recover from a similarly rocky period, but, as can be recalled, Chelsea won the champions league in that same remarkable season which saw them finish 6th in the league, and saw an implausible final day which still makes united fans cover their ears at the sound of Martin Tyler’s voice.
Chelsea’s ‘against all odds’ triumph in the Champions league allowed them to remain in the competition, secure the signatures of stars Eden Hazard, Oscar, and, in fact, every subsequent signing, and continue to compete effectively at the top level.
History not good
A similarly shaky period for Liverpool was not instantly recovered, multiple signings and an array of different managers were brought in before they finally settled on a certain Northern Irishman who has turned his new look Liverpool side into serious title contenders next season.
Man United, unfortunately, don’t have the appeal of European football next season to attract any of the biggest stars, and their club image and reputation isn’t enough. The signings of young talents Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera are players for the future, and are yet to prove themselves at the highest level. Despite their obvious talent and potential, they are not the players that will drive the 13 time champions to a 14th premier league title next season.
Squad is short
Even with these signings, their squad is absolutely not up to the challenge of competing for the title, that is unless new boss Van Gaal can get the very best out of every one of his players for the full 90 minutes, as Sir Alex Ferguson always managed to do, but even this may not be enough based on the lack of quality shown throughout the squad last season.
To rub salt in the wound, United have had some quitters this summer, with their Talisman and Captain Nemanja Vidic leaving for Inter Milan, leaving a gaping hole in their back line, which is yet to be filled.
The red devils need a complete squad overhaul, which has started with the sale of Alexander Buttner to Dynamo Moscow, but Antonio Valencia’s new three-year-contract is a step in the wrong direction.
Some serious Louis van Gaal man motivation is a must if united are to compete next season, but maybe he shouldn’t go as far as he has done in the past.
Stars must shine
They’re also going to need their star players, the Van Persie’s and the Rooney’s of the team, to shine and reward the work of their teammates with some goals, which I have no doubt they will do, if presented the opportunity.
Despite these evident issues in terms of reinvestment, development, motivation and defensive frailties, some fans seem convinced they will see red banners on the trophy next May, when some, more practical fans will merely be praying for a return to European competition in the near future.
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