A household name currently looking to rise from the ashes of a club weakening David Moyes reign in which the club went trophy-less and went from top-four team to premier league also rans. Manchester United have come a long way since then but there is still work to be done and that would be made abundantly clear this season
Louis Van Gaal has brought a sense of pride back to the team alongside a transfer upheaval which has seen player move in and out of Old Trafford in numbers in the last two seasons but the Dutchman is still trying to find a balance to his team.
Last season’s transfer outlay was a disaster for Manchester United as a lot of money was spent but the return was minimal as Daley Blind was one of the few summer acquisitions who was able to perform above average. Angel Di Maria struggled to live up to his 59.3 million euro price tag and Radamel Falcao was only second to Mario Balotelli the table of world’s biggest transfer flops last season. Both south Americans have departed the club alongside Nani and Van Persie who have moved on to Turkey and Rafael who now plays for Lyon. In their places, Bastian Schweinsteiger, a 31 year old sluggish midfielder struggling for fitness, Memphis Depay, a quality player who is far from the finished article, Morgan Schneilderlin, an established enforcer in midfield and Matteo Darmian, a poor man’s Gary Neville were brought in. For all the summer spending, Van Gaal failed to bring in a center back and this could come back to haunt him. For all the zeal and industry of Jones, Smalling, Blind and Rojo, they simply do not have the quality to deal with the likes of Aguero and Sanchez talk more the likes of Ronaldo and Messi who they could face in the UEFA Champions League. Despite bringing in two new central midfielders, Manchester United’s midfield excels in quantity and not quality as almost all their attacking midfielders and wingers (with the exception of Ashley Young) are defensive liabilities despite their attacking capabilities. Wayne Rooney is set to lead the attack this season but the Englishman’s recent form is one that we’ve come to expect from the likes of Giroud and Adebayor and only with Chicharito and James Wilson as back up, one has to wonder where Manchester United would get their goals from this season. There is also the issue of having only one recognizable first team goalkeeper in the error prone Sergio Romero with De Gea either on his way to Madrid or not in the right frame of mind to play, Valdes on his way out after a falling out with Van Gaal and Lindegaard set to leave after growing frustrated on the bench.
Manchester United are still regarded as a big team in England and when the opposition play against them they would play them as such but the truth is Manchester United is a big institution with a below average squad and this could turn into a very bad season for them.
A large number of players
Good goalkeepers (if they stay)
Creative wingers (Mata, Depay)
A poor defense
No out and out striker
A pragmatic manager
Barclays Premier League: 4th
UEFA Champions League: Round of 16
FA Cup: Quarter final