This season will determine which side of the divide Jose Mourinho falls; foe or Friend, legend or Traitor. Manchester United come into the season as favourites once again this campaign after finishing second last season to a swashbuckling Manchester City side.
Jose and his men have everything to prove this season , in some quarters, a must to win the league, one that hasn’t graced England’s most successful team Post- Fergie.
If preseason is anything to come by, then the expectations won’t be free- Flowing as united struggled to create chances, score goals and win games. Jose Mourinho has described the team’s preseason as “very bad” because of the disruption caused by the World Cup and the absence of Its stars for the tour of the United States.
If you ask when united fans were last excited by any summer transfer dealings, you would be hard-pressed to elicit a response heralding any of the new recruits since as long ago as 3/4 years back
Some would even argue that, rather than rush out to buy a season ticket on the back of the club record purchase of Paul Pogba.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired,there have been the failed pursuits of Toni Kroos, Mehdi Benatia, Cesc Fabregas, Gareth Bale, Arturo Vidal amongst a whole host of others.
So United’s success this season might be in winning the race for Arsenal super star Alexis Sanchez which is more significant than merely adding a proven footballer to their squad considering he didn’t even have a preseason tour with United last season.
After five years of Manchester City dominating the transfer market as a result of the wealth of owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, hiring bald super-manager, Pep Guardiola and winning trophies, United must find a way to strike back and, desperate to make a statement of intent, by winning the league this season.
United still look short of a dynamic winger and a Left back , let’s not forget the scramble to get a Centre back of worth to help Victor Lindelof /Eric Bailly, recent recruits with Jose Mourinho still moaning about the team’s frailty compared to other great teams.
The return of Andreas Perreira is also key, but there remains an issue in terms of the mood in the group with Paul Pogba and ungoing squabble with Anthony Martial.
Yet having lost the title to City last season, United now must have a determined look about them again.
The sparkle will be the re-emergence of Alexis Sanchez, (pictured left) who had no preseason last term. The iconic ex-gunner has has bagged almost 80 goals in the premier league is a Manager’s dream, Mourinho’s ebullience as he is just the type of player he likes. Skill, tenacity, hard work, goals are all his forte.
Andreas Perreira Who spent last season on loan at Valencia. They might be pivotal to United as the season unfolds. He left the club in search for first team football and had an average season in Spain but the experience might count for so much especially after watching him in preseason with so much confidence and boasting of learning from one of the best in his new role – Micheal Carrick.
Victor Lindelof, Ice-Man , is potentially another to watch out for. A cold, brutal yet surgical defender and a player of class . After a shaky first season could yet hold his own in this as united try to find a balance defensively, a part of the team that has never been a problem to start with.
Players to watch
Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Andreas Perreira , Victor Lindelof
Predicted position: I am positive that Man United will again win at least 2 trophies this season along with being 1st or 2nd in the league.
Dr. Aderemi Adedokun (Twitter: @dr_adedokun) writes in from Ireland. He is a medical doctor and an Events MC in his spare time.