After their disappointing loss against West Ham, Manchester United were once again left in footballing limbo. The feel-good factor that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought to the club has all but dissipated and the honeymoon period that he first enjoyed in his spell as caretaker feels like a distant memory. After respected coaches such as Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho did little to alter the fortunes of our club, bringing in the Norweigian club legend was meant to signify a change in direction for us. Instead, confidence is now arguably at an all-time low and with no recognised goalscoring striker on the books, we look set to struggle along for another season. So, where do we go from here?
Another Managerial Change
Rumours are swirling that Solskjaer will be replaced by former Juventus boss Massimo Allegri if he is to be dismissed. And in all honesty, Allegri would be mad to turn the job down if it gets offered to him. The Italian is one of the finest managers in Europe and the Manchester United managerial job is arguably one of the hardest in world football at present. However, if you manage to restore the club to our former glory, you would be forever lauded as a genius who succeeded where many other competent coaches failed. United are joint-fifth favourites at 15/8 in the Premier League Betting to finish in the top 4. If this isn’t an indicator of how far the club have fallen over the last few years then what is?
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An Inadequate Squad
After United sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, many thought that the club had got a pretty good deal as long as we signed a replacement striker. However, we failed to do so and are now paying the price. Whatever your opinion on Lukaku, the stats don’t lie and the Belgian is a competent goalscorer – with the right service of course. We are now relying on Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and 17-year-old Mason Greenwood for their goals and that in itself should be a huge red flag to both the supporters and the board.
Elsewhere, David de Gea recently signed a new contract that he probably doesn’t deserve right now, the midfield still looks light of a tough-tackling leader and it’s still difficult to be sold on the Harry Maguire/Victor Lindelof partnership. The only one shining light of the transfer window so far is Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who looks like he could develop into a fantastic player. What is certain however is that the next couple of transfer windows for United are huge and we need the right man at the helm to oversee both the ingoings and outgoings. Over to you Mr Woodward. Or not, as it were.
Football seems to work in cycles. Liverpool had their dominant period in the 1980s, Leeds were the team to beat before that and we cleaned up in the early 2000s. Leeds are now languishing in the Championship, Liverpool have only very recently overcome their barren spell and it’s now the red team from Manchester whose stock has plummeted. So, is it time to accept that, for now at least, Manchester United’s time is over? It’s difficult to say. However, things almost certainly need to change at board level in order to make any sort of progress whatsoever…