Manchester United Need To Make Some Big Changes To Compete Next Season

Posted: April 5, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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This may seem like a strange statement to make when you take into consideration the fact that the club are very likely to finish second this season and to an almost invincible Manchester City. The fact is though, that this United team flatters to deceive, they are kidding a few people into thinking they really are the second best team in the country.

On number of points achieved there is no argument but, for everything else, it depends on which definition of “best” is being used at the time!

Are they the second best team to watch? NO. Are they the second best team in terms of goals scored? NO. Do they have the second best possession statistics? NO. In fact, on the last stat, they are 6th and only 0.1% better than Southampton! (source: Transfermarkt).

So at best, the word “best” is subjective. The points tally suggests that Manchester United have been the second best team in the Premier League this season and, at winning points, they have. But at most other aspects of the game they haven’t.

This is why some major surgery needs to be carried out in summer.

David De Gea is now firmly established as being the world’s best goalkeeper. This has been proven over the years as, time and again, he has been voted United’s player of the year. He has consistently made a very average bunch of headless chickens look like a decent defence and they are all quite happy to take credit for the clean sheets that he, and Mourinho’s skill at organisation, have been responsible for!

Surely it is now time to put a quality defence in front of him. Valencia and Young, as everybody knows, are ageing wingers and not capable of defending to a high level. In fact, at their age, they are not capable of doing very much at a top club any longer and, on that basis, should be on the bench or out of the door. We know what would have happened to them at The Etihad, just ask Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta and they were genuine defenders!

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Phil Jones – Just cannot stay fit and, for this reason alone, has to go!

The injury-prone Phil Jones and the donkey Chris Smalling have never convinced since the day they signed for the club and should be sold. This would leave Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo competing for the central positions so a top class signing would be needed to plug the gap.

Marouane Fellaini appears to want to leave and he won’t get many arguments from United fans. He had managed to win over a large percentage of them who were unimpressed at his signing but he has now lost any credit he had by refusing to sign a new deal. It is also quite annoying seeing Mourinho pick a player who doesn’t want to be there! Get rid!

Jesse Lingard has improved but he is still no more than an impact substitute. His best performances have come when he has been brought on in the second half to try and grab a goal and, in a lot of cases, he has got one.

Michael Carrick will be taking up a coaching position next season so the midfield needs bolstering and at least one new signing is required but more likely two.

In attack there is some doubt over the future of Anthony Martial. People are now beginning to realise that he is moody and tends to blame any slips or errors on others rather than himself. In fact, in these traits he is very like his manager and we would guess that José Mourinho probably wouldn’t like to manage José Mourinho, if he was honest about it.

However, whether he needs replacing urgently is another debatable point. With Alexis Sánchez, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford expected to score the majority of the goals, it is more important to make sure the right creative players are behind them supplying the ammunition.

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Alexis Sánchez – Expected to be scoring more regularly next season

So the overhaul should see around five players either sold or told they will not be starting games next season. Remember, this is just the first team squad we are discussing, there will also be departures from the lower teams within the club.

Next season needs to see a concerted challenge for the title. The excuse that City are “miles ahead of everybody else” won’t work again. They should all know what to expect from Guardiola, he was doing it years ago at Barcelona, so it isn’t a new phenomenon.

Manchester City are a team of eleven players with a very good manager. The rest of the top six are teams of eleven players and, by next season, they should all have very good managers providing Stubborn Old Man leaves Arsenal and Chelsea get their recruitment right.

This should make for one of the most interesting title races ever seen. On the other hand, if United, Arsenal and Chelsea don’t correct some failings in very important positions then the title race will be between City and Liverpool with Tottenham in third place.

You have been warned!

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