So far, United’s season (like most seasons) has been the habitual marriage of purple patches and abysmal from. Expectations were as follows, continue pushing on the momentum that barged Ole’s men over the champions league qualification line. Therefore expectations were plentiful, a continuation of the “lockdown form”, a run in the champions league, but most importantly, signings in numbers to build for a legitimate competing premier league side. The ambitions of the club were put well into contention BEFORE the season even started with the same seemingly uninspiring window (digressing from transfer conversation until that assessment). However this summer window was a crucial component on how we build and based on the reaction of Matt Judge and Ed Woodward, expectations were negative.
What’s often beautiful and egregious about the premier league is fan expectation is reactionary and fickle particularly in our fan base. This is completely fair in this instance, with opening day loss to Palace and Brighton away win BY THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH. I think the changing of the guard and mentality was the humiliating 6-1 defeat to Spurs at home (That I’ve personally erased from memory) In my opinion this was the catalyst of the “we can’t let it get worse than this” and imprinted a new mentality at United. We would then go on to lose only one more game against Arsenal (At home again where all of our 3 losses have come from at home) before going on a remarkable 13 game unbeaten run at the top of the table.
What’s pleasing to see is the shift of mentality. Last year we would’ve dropped points versus Wolves, West Ham, Villa and Burnley and we only prided our top 6 record, but a flawless top 6 record doesn’t make you a competing team, so to see United grind results against the low block mid table teams shows a new resilience in the team. What was also emphasized last year was the gap between us and Liverpool so to leave a game at Anfield frustrated not to have collected all three points sums up improvement in the squad.
How have signings performed
Ones to watch in the second half of the season
Ones to watch in the second half the season are the minutes and transition Diallo makes on English turf. Greenwood will inevitably improve. I hope to see Pellistri promoted to the first team and Mengi get minutes. Maybe we’ll see an upturn in Martials form like the second half of last season.
Rating the manager
Where I think we’ll finish
From the end of January to March will show where we’re at for me. Games against Southampton at home are games we must pick up maximum points with Chelsea and Arsenal away in that period. It will show if we’re legitimate or if it was another purple patch. I expect us to finish third with a higher points total as the squad has overall improved.