New season of premiere league is just two weeks away; Manchester United will be playing their first game against Leicester city at old Trafford. Last time united played Leicester on opening game, ‘they won the treble’, is that going to happen again! let’s analyze with United’s 2018/19 season preview.
Summer Transfer Window
This perhaps is the most disappointing transfer window of united in ages. United have failed to land any significant targets this summer. Brazilian midfielder Fred is the only major signing so far, while another signing Diogo Dalot is a 19-year-old backup FB. With just one major signing and two backup signing (dalot and grant) united are miles behind their rivals’ man city and Liverpool to challenge for title this season.
Jose mourinho wants two players desperately; a defender and a right winger. The board may be trying to sort out the transfers before the deadline but it seems they would find it difficult to make new deals, or end up with panic signing. So far transfer window has been very poor.
Dalot (full back)
Lee Grant (goal keeper)
Daley blind to Ajax
All Eyes Will be on Big Players
Last season United’s big players had ups and downs. David de Gea was superb as always and won United’s player of the year as well as League’s golden glove. While he didn’t shine at this world cup, his performance for united is always expected to be top class. Now the world cup winner and one of France’s best performer in the world cup Paul Pogba will play his third season as united player. This season he’s expected to deliver his best performance; by fans as well as manager. With mourinho planning to play three in midfield (with two DMs) Pogba can contribute a lot as an attacking and box to box midfielder.
Alexis Sanchez is almost like a new signing for united, his experience will be vital for United’s attack and he’s expected to deliver best as other big players. Romelu Lukaku who had great world cup is focal point of United’s attack under mourinho. The big Belgian is expected to show consistency in goal scoring and perform in big games. While other players like Matic and Valencia will also play important role in coming season.
Analyzing All Departments
Goalkeeping: With one of the best goalkeepers in the world (David de Gea) and one of best backup goalkeeper (Sergio Romero) United’s goalkeeping department is well secured.
The defensive department is a big problem for united, almost every season united sign a new center back however they lack defensive solidity, composer and consistency. De gea’s incredible saves in the goal has always put mask in United’s defensive vulnerability for last few seasons. We can’t even imagine how many goals United could’ve conceded if de gea didn’t make those incredible saves. If not injured the defensive duo of Baily and Smalling is likely to start as CBs for united. With Lindelof and Jones as back up United desperately need another center back for sure. United can’t have situation like when Carrick was forced to play as a CB.
About full backs the situation is worse. With two 30+ aged full backs and inconsistent backups united can’t compete with top rivals, that’s for sure. Young has lost the pace while Valencia can’t even cross the ball. This is where United’s transfer policy failed this season. If any one of the defenders gets injured, or during the busy Christmas period playing without backup defenders imagine the situation. Overall defensive department is not secured at all.
United added a new midfielder Fred this summer, that could be a boost for United’s midfield. It gives united plenty of options in the midfield. The formation could be flexible and players with inconsistency can be replaced. Playing pogba in the heart of midfield with two secured DMs united can make plenty out of the options. Players like Herrera and Fred will also get plenty of game time, however they need to show consistency in their game. Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata are good players going forward and good in link up play. With Sanchez and Lukaku may be playing as two of front three either Lingard or Mata have to play in front three.
The problem however lies in right wing, as there are no any proper RW in the team. With no good winger on one side and plenty or wingers on other, game plan will be very predictable. United have to sort out the RW problem which is there forever, since Beckham left.
United have been sometimes great sometimes poor in their attacking game under Mourinho. A lot of responsibility is on Lukaku’s shoulder to score goals, and the man delivered too last season. However, fans and manager expect him to do more and step up in big games.
Rashford and Martial are still raw talents, but it’s been long time since they’ve started playing for united, and also got plenty of time to develop. Now it’s time for them to deliver, and improve decision making in front of goal. Their pace and skills will always benefit the team but that should come often and actually come off.
Sanchez and Pogba will also play key part in attacking terms, the linkup between them was great last season and hope it will get even better. As no new attacking player is signed so far, and most of attacking players may join late due to world cup, united have to find a solution to deal with this situation.
This is the most confusing part to analyze because no one knows what’s inside Jose Mourinho’s head. This is his third season and may be last season if he fails to land a significant trophy. He must win premiere league or champions league to still remain as United boss as per fans view. Even though he managed to take us to second place from sixth within a year, it hasn’t been great journey.
United were knocked out from R16 in UCL and lost FA cup final. Mourinho now just can’t search for excuses rather search for solutions. That’s what fans want. The pre-season mood seems even worse, he isn’t happy with players and with board. His press conferences are all pessimistic and pointing towards yet another failure under him.
What to expect:
Going to the new season without much expectation would be better for united fans. The pre-season has been disappointing, manager is too pessimistic, players are not well prepared, and game plan is absolutely unclear. Don’t see how this team is going to play and under which system. It’s in mourinho’s hands whether to leave this mess or sort out the mess and bring positive vibe in the team and among fans. However, can’t wait to see united on the pitch again. Let’s hope for best.