Realistic Expectations For Manchester United’s Upcoming Campaign

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After 20 years of unparalleled success, the 2013/14 season came as a reminder to Manchester United supporters that even empires can crumble. Right from the outset, things didn’t look as good for United. Whether it was the appointment of a cautious manager, not known for his attractive style of football or the shenanigans that went on during the summer transfer window, it wasn’t a great start to the season.

An insipid start, coupled with a squad that was routinely described as not being good enough for Manchester United, meant that the club slipped from being top dog in the country to being a club who didn’t even qualify for Europe. The fall from grace was so quick that many ABU’s started licking their hands with glee at the collapse of an empire, the fall of the once-great club called Manchester United.

A new season and a new manager bring a renewed sense of optimism at the start of the new campaign. Before even stepping into Old Trafford and resuming his role, Louis Van Gaal has done more for the club than David Moyes ever did. He has brought in a world-class left back and a dynamic central midfielder and has done away with two main areas of concern for United.

Even without any new signings, which by itself looks unlikely, Manchester United are in a stronger position than they were 12 months ago. Sure, they need an experienced centre half. Yes, they probably need another central midfielder and a winger. But the simple fact is that in Van Gaal, they have a master tactician who was able to guide an unfancied and inexperienced Holland side to third place in the recently concluded World Cup.

Although they don’t have the best squad in the land, they have a manager who will be able to get the best out of them. While they might not have what it takes to win the League, they certainly seem to have enough to finish in the top four. And that is something that is a bare minimum for Van Gaal’s Manchester United this time around.

Failure to finish in the top four for another season will not only hurt United financially, but also hurt their brand and their ability to attract star players. So, a top four finish is a must. Without any European distractions and with a couple of signings waiting in the wings, it should prove to be an easy enough job for an experienced manager who knows how to win things.

Aside from a top four finish, a decent cup run is definitely a must. Although United don’t have the squad right now, to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, in the League, they certainly have the players to go on a good cup run. Whether it is the FA Cup or the Capital One Cup, Manchester United should strive to finish the season with some piece of silverware which would not only fill the club’s burgeoning trophy cabinet but will also boost the player’s confidence and make them hungry for more.

If rumors of Arturo Vidal and Angel Di Maria are true, the Red Devils might just have an outside shot at the League. Irrespective of where they finish in the League, who they sign now and whether they win any trophies or not, one thing that Van Gaal must strive to do is show the supporters the bigger picture. Show everyone that the 2014/15 season is but a small part of the master plan he has devised in trying to restore Manchester United to where they rightfully belong.

If Van Gaal is able to do that, play good football and finish in the top four, then it sure to be a successful first season in the charge for the Dutchman who will be looking to win the League in his fourth different country.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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