May 2, 2020, 3:56 p.m.

By: Ravi Shrestha

The time is tough for sports lovers as we have been constrained to watch old archives and take the joy of the normal ecstasy. In a normal scenario, this ought to be time for ending the table securing the best of top 4 and getting eligible for Champions League next term for United. With the slimmest of hope, we can see the premier league to have its most unusual scenario in the league’s history with the season to end behind closed doors. Still, optimism reigning in our deep thoughts, we are a team improving year-on-year striving to recollect our past endeavors and reclaim the honor of the champion in Premier League, Europe, and World football.

This time in normality would have been the period to talk about the next term and improving the team boosted by transfers. The management of United must have been surely concentrating on improving a few areas in our current squad. With the best of players being linked to United as usual for the purchasing power united boasts, only a few other teams can rock. Be it, the recent take-over of New Castle United, the strength of squad Liverpool and blue half of Manchester boasts (with transfer addition/improvisation) or the corona-hit economy, it will be interesting how the next season unfolds.

United under Ole has shown mixed signs of the capability to reclaim its honor. United has performed a praiseworthy performance against the top 6 teams but has failed to recapture the form against the teams in the lower half of the table. The strength has been playing strong defense and break teams on the counter with the pace of Rashford, Martial, and James. But the team failed to replicate it against bottom-half teams as they play with the same tactic of United. With possession, United lacks creativity and tempo to match (until the late purchase of Bruno) without pace Mata and Matic, injury-prone Pogba, and out of form Lingard and Andreas. The positives visible in an improved form of Fred and growth of McTominay to govern the box to box governance pleases the United fans. It was late until United secured Bruno who added the Midas-touch to maintain a very good form until the league got suspended. 

The emergence of Greenwood from the academy is a positive and exciting prospect as he has shown the potential to be a world-class player. The loan signing, Ighalo added the missing puzzle in our team as his holding of ball upfront is praiseworthy. But the doubt looms if there are 20+ goal striker in the team which can covert the half chances to goals. With Igahlo loan-term to end, United might require to add an attacking player upfront. Is it a time to add Sancho to our team? Ole and Woodward must have been doing their homework in it.

The other positive is the addition of reliable defense with Maguire and Wan-Bissaka and the rise of Williams. Still, the concern is United lacks the pace in defense as both Lindelof and Maguire and not that quick when opposition hit counter. The team must add another defender with pace or play Tuanzebe in the starting Eleven (which might be too early). Wan-Bissaka is unarguably the best defensive right-back who has plenty of room to improve offensively. Jones is poor and is in decline. May be, bring back Smalling and partner him with Lindelof or Maguire?

It is yet to conclude how United will perform with a full-strength team of Rashy, Martial in the top with Bruno and Pogba supplying. We hope the silver-lining will bring optimism of title-challenging squad and wining it within the next 2-3 years.

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