The brand new Premier League season is sort of upon us and we at Tribal Soccer will likely be previewing the highest six – what they should enhance upon, who their new signings are, and what may be anticipated within the months forward. Right here we have a look at Manchester United.
What stopped them from profitable the title final season?
For Manchester United, 2019-20 was basically two seasons in a single season. Within the first half, they had been struggling simply to maintain themselves within the Premier League’s prime six. After eight video games, they fell as little as 14th. Then, within the second half of the marketing campaign, they had been definitively a top-four facet. They went unbeaten within the league from February onward, choosing up 32 factors from a doable 42. If that they had maintained that type of type for the entire season they’d have completed on round 86 factors, which might have been sufficient to seal second place forward of rivals Manchester Metropolis.
The important thing to the turnaround was Bruno Fernandes. After years of hypothesis, the Portuguese arrived at Previous Trafford in January and proceeded to stamp his mark on the staff. Beforehand, United had struggled to create in opposition to cussed defences; with Fernandes, that drawback was alleviated considerably. In 14 league outings he had 15 aim involvements, scoring eight and establishing seven. Lastly, the inventive burden was lifted from Paul Pogba’s shoulders.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s first full time period on the helm ended efficiently, with a few semi-finals within the FA Cup and Europa League and a third-place league end. It was a big enchancment on what got here earlier than, with Fernandes including further penetration to a staff beforehand constructed on fast transitions. The continued improvement of Mason Greenwood helped add an attacking edge too. He discovered the online 10 instances, which means each member of United’s entrance three – the others being Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial – hit double figures in league motion.
United’s risk within the closing third and tempo on the break helped them to some massive wins. They thrashed Chelsea 4-Zero on the opening day and beat them 2-Zero at Stamford Bridge, did a double over Manchester Metropolis, and so they additionally beat Tottenham at dwelling. Solely Liverpool took extra factors off of the standard ‘prime six’ groups than Solskjaer’s facet. However the truth United did so nicely in opposition to the massive opponents and nonetheless solely completed third additionally highlights a remaining drawback – breaking down a low block.
In direction of the tip of final season, this situation remained. Two dwelling attracts in opposition to defensive opposition, West Ham and Southampton, briefly threatened United’s possibilities of a top-four end. To make that subsequent step and grow to be real title contenders, they should get higher at profitable the video games they’re presupposed to win.
Fernandes and Martial within the Europa League semi-final loss to Sevilla
Who’re the brand new guys?
The one new signing Manchester United have made to this point is Donny van de Beek, who joined from Ajax for a reported payment of round £35 million. A 23-year-old with 11 caps for the Netherlands, he’s set to deliver competitors for locations in attacking midfield.
It is unclear as but how Van de Beek will slot in, contemplating how essential Fernandes and Pogba are to United’s 4-2-3-1 system. Nonetheless, it is not utterly unrealistic to think about him beginning in one of many wider positions and coming inside. Whereas Fernandes and Pogba are extra about their passing and dribbling, Van de Beek’s recreation is predicated on distinctive consciousness and motion.
He has a knack for locating pockets and combines nicely, whereas additionally getting himself into scoring positions with runs from deep. During the last three years within the Dutch prime flight, he was immediately concerned in 49 targets in 91 league outings – scoring 28 and aiding 21. Standing at 6ft he additionally brings good physicality to the midfield, and works onerous defensively.
Dean Henderson is one other new face, though he is not a brand new signing. The 23-year-old goalkeeper has spent the final two years on mortgage at Sheffield United, serving to them to promotion and Premier League survival. He will get down rapidly to cease pictures and instructions his field nicely, and his presence within the squad could power David de Gea to step his recreation up after a poor 12 months.
Van De Beek taking part in for Ajax
What to anticipate this season
Not like Chelsea, Manchester United aren’t throwing some huge cash round on this switch window. As a substitute, their method appears extra thought-about – in signing Van de Beek they introduced in one other participant together with his future forward of him and elevated their depth in a key place.
There are nonetheless areas to enhance, particularly the left-back place, however with a squad crammed with expertise of their mid-20s, it is doable that United can set up themselves because the ‘better of the remaining’, behind Liverpool and Manchester Metropolis. Something past that, like a serious piece of silverware or a correct title problem, can be a pleasant bonus.