Having missed out on the title in such dramatic circumstances last year, Manchester United will be more determined than ever to win the Barclays Premier League. Summer additions of Nick Powell, Shinji Kagawa and Robin Van Persie mean that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will be there or there abouts again.
The arrival of Van Persie is a gamble from Sir Alex. Despite topping the goal scoring charts last year, the Dutchman has a poor injury record, and a £24million price tag for a player who’ll turn 30 next year is a lot. United go into the season with five strikers who can realistically claim a stake for a regular starting spot, meaning goals shouldn’t be a problem.
The return of Paul Scholes last season was as brilliant as it was desperate. The real lack of a creative midfielder was evident against Everton in their opener as they failed to cut open Everton as often as they’d like. Kagawa looked sharp and was a rare positive in the defeat at Goodison; however whether he’ll play centre midfield is unknown.
Despite deploying Michael Carrick there, United don’t need another centre half, as not every week you’ll have four players missing in one position. Ironically the one centre back who wasn’t injured was Nemanja Vidic who missed the majority of last season with knee ligament damage. The Serbian’s return is huge, and if he can avoid injury this year then United won’t be too far away from the title. It’s safe to say if United had Vidic last season then they would’ve conceded fewer goals, and probably wouldn’t have let a two goal lead slip vs. Everton.
Key player- David De Gea. The first six months for De Gea in a United jersey wasn’t ideal, with his inability to deal with crosses and the rough and ready nature of the Premier League, targeted by Premier League clubs. His shot stopping ability is up there with the very best, and without him Everton probably would’ve scored more than the one they did, and surprisingly dealt well with the set pieces that he came for. De Gea appears to have a turned a corner and his confidence is back, and looks set to have a good year.
Prediction- 2nd A good Summer transfer window means United will certainly challenge for the title; however I feel they’ll just be edged out by their ‘noisy neighbours’ once again.
View from a fan - Perry Blanchette
What would be an ideal season?
Winning the title back whilst improving heavily in Europe.
What would be a nightmare season?
Finishing third, something that hasn't happened often under Sir Alex, and a second successive season trophyless.
Do you have the right manager at the club?
Yes, Sir Alex is a legend at the club and when he goes he'll take some replacing.
Which Premier League player would you sign given the chance?
Joe Hart, he's a quality goal keeper with a number of great years ahead of him and he has more reliability then De Gea. Would also like Vincent Kompany.
Is it time United started to shift Rio Ferdinand out of the side?
No, Rio is still a quality defender with lots of experience. He still has two more years in him at the top level.
Would you rather win the Champions League or win back the Premier League?
Premier League title. I don't want City to win it again.