7 games into the season with a game in hand were sitting 14th in the Premier League table with 10 points out of a possible 21! Going into the international break I just want to quickly talk about Manchester United’s season so far.
This Manchester United team on their day and beat anyone, we’ve seen that multiple times under Ole Gunnar the latest example being RB Leipzig and PSG but what we lack is consistency and if I’m being honest I don’t think this Manchester United team is capable of such consistency this season.
Man United’s Performances
As I briefly mentioned before Man United’s best footballing performances haven’t come in the Premier League they have been in the Champions League and I think it’s quite telling why this pattern is forming.
Most Champions League teams like to have possession and are usually confident in breaking teams down which right now is perfect for Ole Gunnar and his Manchester United team because he likes to play counter-attacking football. A lot of our best footballing moments have come from counter-attacking situations.
We’ve had some good results so far but as for good performances in the Premier League I can’t really think of one where we’ve dominated, our best performances this season has probably been the 4-1 victory against Newcastle United, and to be honest I wouldn’t have said it was an Amazing performance but it was good.
I don’t need to tell you about the bad performances and results we’ve had this season but I will name a few;
- 3-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace
- 6-1 defeat at home to Spurs
- 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal
There are more occasions a could name but these are the ones that have disappointed me the most. Not only were they bad results but watching us play in these games was so frustrating. Every loss Ole Gunnar has there’s going to be harsh opinions floating around but these three games had fans heavily questioning the manager and his players and rightly so.
What’s Man United’s Starting 11?
I put this as a question because I don’t know what Man United’s starting 11 is and I don’t even think the manager knows what his starting 11 is going to be week in and week out which is a big problem.
Ole Gunnar has been in charge for two years now and has made a couple of signings and still to this day with everyone fit to play you couldn’t be a hundred percent sure what Solskjaer team would be before the start of a match.
I get that players aren’t performing and results aren’t going our way among things like the consistency and fluidity of our play but there comes a point where you have to have a set 11 and stick to it, regardless if we (the fans) think it’s the wrong starting 11 or not the results will simply tell us the answer to that.
I personally think a starting 11 with James, Mata, Fred & Mctominay at the same time can only get us so far. Even if, it was just 2 of these players in the starting 11 every week the same thing applies.
Teams Around Us
Luckily the teams that are usually breaking away at the top of the table have not quite hit their best form yet and the teams that are around us have got off to a bad start as well.
We have a game in hand and winning that would put us on more points than Arsenal & Man City, which just goes to show how poorly other teams are doing as well…
There’s some other teams that have got off to a good start and could be set for a surprise Premier League finish but as for a top 4 challenge I don’t see them breaking into that
Champion League Qualification
There already 5 teams I think will definitely be in and fighting for Champions League qualification and as you know there’s only 4 spots and I’m not even including Man United in the five! So it just shows how tough getting a top 4 position will be for Manchester United this season.
While other teams might be competition this season (Everton, Southampton, Aston Villa etc) these teams usually lose gas towards the end of the season (hopefully) but if they don’t there could be another 3 or 4 teams fighting for Champions League qualification.
When things aren’t going so well in terms of points on the table it’s best to try to stay in touching distance of the top 4 teams when they start to break away you’re in big trouble. We’re currently 6 points off the fourth position with a game in hand…
Regardless of the convincing wins and the high points of the start of this season, the highs don’t outweigh the lows. Our performances have not been good enough and we only really look threatening when playing counter-attacking football. When it is us with most of the possession having t break teams down we always seem to struggle. Also, our home form is worrying, two out of the three worse performances have been heavy defeats at home.
With the amount of inconsistency comes a change in the starting line up, Ole Gunnar is always chopping and changing and you can’t really blame him when the top players don’t perform. The problem is, some of the teams he’s putting out, he will never be able to constantly pick that team because the 11 is just not good enough and, at the moment Ole Gunnar has not got the trait where he can make his players exceed past their expectations.
Teams who are usually around us (top 4 – 6) have not got off to the greatest of starts either, this season is very much up for grabs including the league title, so while we’re not the only big team having struggles, it would’ve been a great chance to capitalise on other teams slow start.
Looking at our squad and going by what I’ve seen so far I’d say a Champions League qualification is going to be harder to achieve than it was last season. However, I still fully expect to finish in the top 4 no if’s, buts, or maybe’s.
What do you think of Manchester United’s season so far and from what you’ve seen where do you expect to finish?