How Can Manchester United Close The Gap On City Next Season?

Posted: June 8, 2019 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
Tags: , ,

What a season it turned out to be for both Manchester-based soccer clubs in 2018/19. We all know the story with City – keeping Liverpool at bay with a staggering run of wins under Pep Guardiola to claim the league title.

But where does this leave Manchester United? Once, they were the team that everyone feared in English football, but this has slipped over the years since Sir Alex Ferguson left. 2018/19 was a frustrating season for them – certainly for the first part of it under José Mourinho. The latter part of the season did pick up somewhat once new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær took his seat in the dugout. A sixth-place league finish is not what United fans expect though, and they are certainly not happy about the gulf between them and City.

This can be seen in the odds given by online bookmakers for United to challenge for the title next year. Currently, they are being quoted at 20/1 to win the league by most PA sportsbooks., which shows where they are now. This is especially true when City are being given odds of just 8/13! For football fans who feel that United could do it though, this is a tempting bet to take on.

How can United bridge the gap next season and make them worth betting on?

Clear out the dead wood

Perhaps the most obvious thing that United could do is simply get rid of the underperforming players in their squad. Players such as Alexis Sánchez, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian have got a lot of stick this time around for their average performances. Many feel that these kinds of players on sky-high wages need moving on to help improve the picture at Old Trafford.

Be smarter in the transfer window

Of course, the flip side of clearing out the dead wood is then buying better players in their place. This is something that the top brass in charge of transfers at Old Trafford have got lots of criticism for lately. To say that United’s player acquisition has been suspect at times over the last few years is an understatement. They must work smarter and harder in the transfer window to sign hungry, young and energetic talent to improve their chances.

Give Solskjær time

What United must not do is panic within the first few weeks of the new season and sack Solskjær. Like Guardiola at City, he must be given time to implement his playing style and build up the squad he wants. Any knee-jerk reactions from the board would do no good and only make the time needed to close the gap longer.

2019/20 will be an interesting season

There is little doubt that next season will be fascinating once more. City are expected by many to win the title again and with comparative ease. If United can improve over the summer though and Solskjær can galvanize his troops to new efforts, then it may not be so simple.

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