Whisper it quietly but after just a couple of matches played it is already looking very likely that Manchester United are going to be a serious force again this 2017/2018 season. Say what you like about the Glazer family, they’ve backed Mourinho heavily during the transfer window and there’s still cash in the kitty to strengthen more before September 1st.
In the meantime, Chelsea and especially Arsenal have yet to convince, but with Liverpool looking steady and Everton clearly somewhat improved, this could well be the season where the trophy returns to the North West. But for now, we’ll focus on trying to establish exactly what has changed for United and how the bookies are already slowly cutting the odds on their being expected to be in the mix come May.
Mourinho Has Settled
Last season was always going to be concerned with securing Champions League participation, an achievement only just earned thanks in the end to the Europa League victory. United had many flaws last season with a team that seemed incapable of playing the high intensity, dynamic and swashbuckling attacking football that is demanded up at Old Trafford. The Portuguese has never had a reputation for taking too many risks, and it was looking that maybe on the pitch it wasn’t going to be quite the match made in heaven most had expected.
However a steady global pre-season tour and overall great start to the season if we forget about the lackluster Super Cub kickabout against Real Madrid, and it’s clear that this team is shaping up to be much improved this year. Off the pitch, the cash continues to roll in as the United marketing machine makes them truly one of the few clubs who can bankroll a team of superstars – and also more than happy to spend in key areas. The clubs sponsors now run into hundreds with product replacements relating to a dazzling range of products. Cars, insurance, soft drinks and even Manchester United online casino blackjack and roulette can be enjoyed by the clubs hundreds of millions of supporters worldwide.
The clubs sponsors now run into hundreds with product replacements relating to a dazzling range of products. Cars, insurance, soft drinks and even Manchester United online casino blackjack and roulette can be enjoyed by the clubs hundreds of millions of supporters worldwide.
There’s still a question mark over whether the mighty Zlatan will sign a new extension on his deal. Even now that he’s well into his mid-thirties, the Swede’s recovery from a nasty injury that would have left players much younger still firmly on the physio bench is remarkable – and all indications are that he’s happy to stay. The big question is that even though he scored a tremendous 17 goals in 28 appearances during his maiden United season, many of which were crucial match winners, does his lack of pace force the team to play slower and less incisive football?
Lukaku – signed for a fee that could eventually stretch up to £90m – has hit the ground running and looks right at home leading the line. Zlatan isn’t the kind of character to play second fiddle, so it’ll be interesting to see how this affects the ultimate decision over his future. With goalscoring now seemingly sorted, those more astute fans are already pointing towards the surprise signing of Matic from Chelsea as being a masterstroke though. The midfielder is just as good playing as a deep lying playmaker as he is at snubbing our opposition threats to his defense, and seems to have really helped make the team more direct again.
With goalscoring now seemingly sorted, those more astute fans are already pointing towards the surprise signing of Matic from Chelsea as being a masterstroke though. The midfielder is just as good playing as a deep lying playmaker as he is at snubbing our opposition threats to his defense, and seems to have really helped make the team more direct again. The impressive improvement in the likes of Mikhitrian and Martial since the big Serb’s arrival owes much to his range of counterattack passing, exploiting their pace and trickery to get the ball in for Lukaku.
It’s far too early to say just yet whether Man Utd will have quite enough depth to take the title this year, as they could arguably still use one or two truly elite players across the defense. Much will depend on how the new arrivals continue to help the underperforming members of last years squad, as they will be required to play their parts in what promises to be a long domestic, European and international season. There’s also the glaring fact that it’s near unthinkable to assume that Chelsea and Arsenal aren’t going to improve, plus the signs that the league itself is more competitive than ever. We’ll suggest that this year will come down to a very small points difference.