What are things Manchester United should sort out over the Summer?
With another disastrous season at Old Trafford, we as fans have to ask ourselves what it is going to take to get out of the Sir Alex Ferguson funk. Since his departure back in 2013, Manchester United has felt the woes and pains of a fallen empire. Prior to our feeble state, Manchester United was constantly seen as a powerhouse within European football. To wear the ‘red devil’ badge was not just a sign of recognition, but also a sense of honor. During the Ferguson era, United hit their stride and were able to become kings of Europe and champions within their league. But after the confetti had fallen and the celebratory goodbyes of our boss became mere whispers, it seems like United on fire. The only problem is that the fans and critics were not able to see the severity of it until now.
With the situation escalating, it seems the powers above have marked Jose Mourinho as the next head coach for the Red Devils. If all of this is finally set in stone, it seems like the Chosen One will have more on his plate than he can handle. Let’s start with some of the big problems that have continuously risen year after year. Yes, Wayne Rooney is United’s club captain, high profiled name, and a true loyalist to the Red Devil’s crown. But like it or not, Wayne Rooney is a fading force who will only slow the team down if he continues to play. This past season, we saw a mere shadow of the Wayne Rooney we use to cheer and applaud for. His lack of form and high injury proneness should be red flags of whether or not he should continue as Manchester United’s captain. While this is all speculation, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been reported to show interest in the ever-growing United squad. If we wanted to get back to our ways, picking up a world star player like Zaltan will show that we are a force to be reckoning with than sounding like an old record player with Rooney.
In addition to the attack force, the entire defense of Manchester United needs to be revamped. Now, while United is primarily an attacking squad, the big flaws we saw this season was the lack of defending for a majority of their midfield and defensive players. Their inability to capture ground balls or handle one-on-ones is not at the level we are expecting from a club of this stature. In addition, we cannot expect David de Gea can do the impossible. While thankfully he was not able to transfer to the Spanish Giants last summer, the intent of moving is not far from his sights. The only way we can prevent one of the best goalies from leaving Old Trafford is to provide him with the expertise and support through some smart spending in the transfer market.
Now, beyond Wayne Rooney and the defenders, there are definitely more pressing squad members who have constantly underperformed below their expectation. One of them is Marouane Fellaini. Yes, he was a Moyes signing brought because of his days in Everton. But as a United player, Fellaini has been unable to prove himself each and every game. His constant mistakes and inconsistent playing style makes us questions whether or not he should stay on the squad. Now, he is not the only one. Yes, we love seeing Juan Mata excel. But his time at Chelsea compared to his time at United has been black-and-white. The Juan Mata we were expecting was a man who can take command of the midfield, while also producing several goals. The only way I can see these two players change is by going back to the drawing board and possibly finding someone in the summer transfer market who can do what is needed.
While this may seem like we are in dire times, Louis van Gaal was able to resurrect the depth of Manchester United’s youth division. As much as we can focus on the new names, the summer transfer window needs to be a big if we want to see Champions League again.