Long Road Ahead for Manchester United

Interim manager Giggs

Photo: Jon Super, AP

With Ryan Giggs’ statement that his club will be a challenger next year, it is certainly time to rain on the “parade.” Although a lot can be said for the focus and firepower you can have in the league without the ails of European competition (see: Liverpool this season), the mere fact that $150-200 million will be spent this summer for the Red Devils and the genuine possibility that those numbers could lead to 6 or more new players will only spell severe difficulty in the upcoming campaign (see: Tottenham this season).

While most of the Manchester United faithful felt that their recent fixture against Norwich was a perfect remedy to their wounds, the squad used and the desire of everyone associated with the club to return to the top (and not just the top four) means that wholesale changes are coming. From locked-in contracts and performances this season, only Rooney and De Gea feel like locks for next season’s squad. Even if Rooney was in the worst form of his life, his massive contract demands that he be on the pitch whenever he is healthy enough. While Mata looked good towards the end of the game, there are really ZERO other players that feel like they will be automatic selections when the new fixtures roll around.

United fan for Giggs

Just purchasing top players, especially in bulk, is not the instant success potion that it once was. Real Madrid are only now feeling the benefit of their CR7-purchase splurges and they still might finish the season without their league trophy OR the CL trophy. Barcelona quietly spend big money every window, and they look weaker than they have in years. As we mentioned before, Tottenham’s “Bale sale” money was quickly reinvested, and all that Spurs will have to show for it will be Europa League qualification. While City can at least boast some domestic success within the past half-decade, their Champions League aspirations still seem several years away.

To claim that United, especially without miracle-worker Sir Alex at the helm, could return to the summit of the EPL just one season after falling so drastically feels misinformed. Liverpool will struggle to juggle their busy fixture schedule this upcoming season, but all of the other clubs will return for the 14/15 season visibly stronger. To think that Chelsea and City will not spend money this off-season would be foolish. Arsenal, whether with Wenger or without, will also spend to fix some of their weaker spots on the pitch. Everton have accomplished so much this season with relatively little…if Martinez is able to keep most of his core and strengthen a bit, they will still challenge. Tottenham will be a bit better next season, but that still means that United will have to put in a great season to merely hope for 4th place.

Crazier jumps have happened, as Liverpool have proven this season. But, factoring in the current United turmoil with such a large influx of new personalities does not bode well for the upcoming season. However, to think that United’s time away from the top 1 or 2 spots in the Premier League for very long would be a mistake for any of the other teams in the league. This next season should be dedicated to rebuilding, but a team and business like United will definitely be back on top before we even make it to the next European Championships. More than that, every Red Devil fan and employee will want to erase this season as quickly as possible…I know I would…


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About the author: Andrew McCole


If I may be so bold to condense my immense personality into two words, it would be: soccer nerd. I love everything about the beautiful game and I tend to reflect that in my writing. I suffer through Liverpool fandom and hope that they will win another title before my wife spreads my ashes at Anfield (considering I'm in my twenties, it seems somewhat likely). Although I also dabble in tennis, teaching, and coaching, most of my free-time is spent writing articles for The Center Circle! Feel free to stalk me on Google+


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  • Stig4


    They need to sell a lot of players. Buy 4 players that’s it. That’s not much, by big club standards. Januzaj will be a starter next season, my guess is that he together with another signing a la Reus wil take over the legendary nr 7 of de great nr 11. They’l tear up the wings. Rooney on top with Mata in the hole. They’re linking up great so far and this will only get better. 
    Behind Mata will be a crucial role for Fellaini, crucial season too. He’ll be far better if fully fit AND with a coach who’ll let him play EVERY game. He is that guy who needs a lot of support from the coach. If he gets it (look at him when he plays for Belgium) he’s OUT-STAND-ING every game. He needs somebody next to him like Witsel from Zenit.
    The back 4 are the most crucial part: Jones is the only one who wille be starting, together with Rafael if fully fit. Smalling and Evans are decent back-ups. They need Hummels/Vertonghen/Vermaelen, 1 of these 3 guys who’ll take the lead at the back. Left back will be Shaw and he will light up the place again. 

    They already sold Vidic, Giggsy should stop and stay at the helm of be assistant, Ferdinand had to go, Evra has to go, Young definatly has to go, Bebe, Macheda, Buttner, Chicharito, RVP: all out.

    Maybe out if they get a bid: Valencia, Carrick, Cleverly.

    Coming back from loan: Powell, Henriquez, Vermijl. (and some other young fellas)

  • Platinum

    Stig4 You can’t go thorugh selling a LOT of players and expecting success, there has to be some continuity, they need to get rid of as few players as possible.

    Anderson is gone, sell Nani, Vidic is gone, I’d keep most of the rest. Those guys won Fergie trophy after trophy, they’re not terrible players.

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