So when are we going to get off our backsides and challenge this City/Liverpool dominance of winning trophies?

Tribec

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I really don't think this should be about big investments. That's what everybody seems to focus on (we're not buying enough! we're not buying the right players!), but that's never going to be enough. Liverpool have a few great players, but overall, their squad isn't awesome in every position; and some of those that look awesome now, would probably 'just' look good in other teams. (Just like many of Klopp's Dortmund superstars couldn't make it in other teams.) Rather, Klopp and Pep have found a reliable way to pretty much beat every single non-top team every single time. That's not down to players, that's down to tactics. Of course, you also need players that are at least pretty good, but United has a lot of those already. Undoing packed defenses and towing away buses won't suddenly happen if you just buy Sancho, or whatever potential superstar is out there. To really make that next step and get some 20-30 points more next season, Ole (and same for Lampard at Chelsea) will need to make a tactical leap.
To add to this, when we last won the league we had a squad that was aging and slowly creeping over the hill, Fergie was leaving and yet we all saw a title winning team and expected Moyes to continue the trend. In reality what we saw and have continued to see is that as good as managers Moyes/LVG/Jose are or have been none of them had that magic to make those that many considered to be ordinary once Fergie had left into title winners. The likes of Cleverly and co were soon ousted and the fan base decided they were never good enough for us, yet under Fergie many had won leagues and become internationals. To win the league you need a team, you can have the greatest squad in the world, but if they are not a team they won't win anything and under the previous 3 managers we seemed to lose the team mentality and are only just starting to rediscover it.
 

Bwuk

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I don’t think the squad is a million miles away, certainly not the starting 11.

I don’t think player for player Liverpool or City are much better than us, but they have a system and style and a proven manager.

Look at that City side last night. Out of those that started for them I’d probably only have Ederson, KdB and Mahrez ahead of our lot.
 

Mr Smith

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I really don't think this should be about big investments. That's what everybody seems to focus on (we're not buying enough! we're not buying the right players!), but that's never going to be enough. Liverpool have a few great players, but overall, their squad isn't awesome in every position; and some of those that look awesome now, would probably 'just' look good in other teams. (Just like many of Klopp's Dortmund superstars couldn't make it in other teams.) Rather, Klopp and Pep have found a reliable way to pretty much beat every single non-top team every single time. That's not down to players, that's down to tactics. Of course, you also need players that are at least pretty good, but United has a lot of those already. Undoing packed defenses and towing away buses won't suddenly happen if you just buy Sancho, or whatever potential superstar is out there. To really make that next step and get some 20-30 points more next season, Ole (and same for Lampard at Chelsea) will need to make a tactical leap.

The problem is that it's really a huge leap; except if Liverpool and City slow down a lot next year, every title challenger will pretty much need a 100% win record against the bottom 15 teams, and good to great results against the rest. I don't know if Ole has it in him to get there. I don't mean that negatively; I just really don't know. But if he doesn't, I don't think you can blame him. How many managers out there have ever accomplished this sort of relentlessness that we're seeing now from Liverpool and City? Still, if United want to challenge, I think that should be the focus, rather than just buying a couple of Sancho's (in different positions) and putting them all on the pitch together. (Although as Pep himself admitted, you certainly can't do it without good players!)
A newbie talking sense! Lets keep this one.

I think you're right in principal; Klopp and Pep are the best tactical managers in the world, and are the main reasons behind their side's respective dominance. If I hear another idiot telling me that tactics don't mean that much in modern football I'm going to pull my hair out.

Investment is important though. The signings of Van Dijk, Allison and Fabinho turned Liverpool from a very good team into a world class one. Same for Pep with the investment he made in his second season. The trick is targeted signings; being really careful in terms of picking the players you want, and doing your due diligence to be certain they have the character, the ability, and style to fit in with what you have, and add what you don't have. The mistake (or one of the mistakes) we've made in previous seasons in the transfer window is feeling like we have to spend on a player, any player, to fill the gaps. If you're 5 players down your shortlist, maybe its better to just not spend, and wait for a better opportunity. But when you do have an opportunity to get your first choice, you go for it, and you pay what it takes, because if you have a coherent transfer strategy, you know you'll be confident you'll be getting quality in the long-term, rather than wasting slightly less money on a player who will give you a poorer return, who you might have to replace again in 2 years.
 

redmanx

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Waking up today felt so weird seeing Liverpool won the title. Ole, I wish you can stop the scouse winning their 20th title next season. I firmly believe we're one or two signings away to become a top side, coupled with our players growing into maturity... we can challenge next season. At the very least.

Some will say we need a better manager, I however, believe in this process. Next year it is.
Why do people think its a certainty Liverpool will win the PL again next season? They played some wonderful football this season but theyre not the United who won the treble, theyre not the Invincibles of Arsenal and I doubt theyre at the level of City a couple of seasons ago or Chelsea under Mourinho. Im not taking anything away from them, they deserved their triumph, but they have to win PL consistently to match Uniteds achievements, and nobody has done that so far, not Arsenal, not City, not Chelsea. Can Liverpool? Lets wait and see, but I cant see them getting anywhere near the 13 PL Titles we currently have and Im certain we will be adding more to our total!
 

JPRouve

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Then you look at us and see how much we have spent over the last number of years and have won feck all in the grand scheme of things.
During a comparable period of time they won 1 league title and we won 1 Europa League. They started from a better position since their new project begun with arguably the best player in the world.
 

Pennywise

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When we get owners who want to win the top prizes and when Klopp and Pep have moved on
 

White Fury

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I dont think it will happen under our current owners/board/structure unfortunately. Hope Im wrong, but its kinda obvious they dont have the desire and ambition to make Man Utd best in the world. Top 4 finish is satisfying for them - getting the CL and TV money.

We are not ruthless enough - Keeping average and aging players instead of getting rid and replacing. It was like that even under SAF. Playing Jones and Rafael in midfield, not giving Pogba a chance in the team also bringing Scholes back from retirement instead of buying like Wesley Snejder for example. Also playing 37 yrs old Giggs instead of buying proper LW. Now we have dross like Jones (next year is his 10th at the club btw) , Smalling (this is his 10th year), Rojo, Mata, Lingard, Pereira which no other club would keep.We kept for far too long others like Young, Valencia who were past their best etc.
Is this out of sentimentality or its cheaper for the owners instead of replacing ? Getting the managers seventh or eighth choice transfers ( LVGs words) is a problem too.

Look at Real Madrid and their spending. When they bought Ronaldo the next year Raul left. He was a club legend but old and not good enough anymore, alot of fans were not happy with how the club treated him but soon forgot it when Ronaldo started banging goals for fun. They are ruthless - if your not good enough your out. No feelings just business. Simple. We should be a bit like that.

Then again that comes with boards / managerial ambition.
 

United Hobbit

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I want to see more consistency and less dropping points against teams we should be beating

I think the players need to show more consistency for example

-De Gea is causing huge question Mark's over himself currently. He either makes a world class save or throws the ball in the net at the moment. I wonder if possibly there is an eyesight problem but surely they would have tested this. I really liked the ball he played out from the back in the Sheffield United game and would like to see more of that from him he tends to spend too much time on the ball and lose our attacking momentum. I'd like to see him a bit quicker but can he change his style at his age?

-Pogba- he has been fantastic since the restart but I want to see him do that more consistently. I think that is why he annoys people so much because he can be so good but needs to do it on a regular basis. I'd like him to stay plus we need to utilise him where we play on his strengths, Bruno cant play every game so we need others/ a set up that utilises him best when Bruno isnt there

-Martial- again similar to Pogba he can be very good but if he is having an off day he is massively having one. It looked like he was really up for it and enjoying himself against Sheffield United, I'd like to see more of that from him. He has the similar natural facial expression to me which I dont think helps but I'd just like to see more from him at times.

-I think Salah is a little like Rashy where he makes bad misses at times but if Rashy is having one of those games we need the others to step up. I think that is why Liverpool have done well if one of the front 3 is having a bad game the others step up, we have too many players having a bad game at one time

-It looks like we have been working on AWB getting forward and getting assists I'd like to see more of him doing that. I'd be interested to see where Liverpool would be if you took away most of TAA's and to some extent Robertson's assists

-Signing Sancho would be a great statement of intent and I'd like to think possibly help us get better signings in the future

- Again going back to the consistency issue- we need to get better at beating the teams that sit back. Without this we cant get the consistency and drop too many points. We cant keep dropping points if we wish to make a title challenge. Too often we are seeing 1 step forward and 2 back.

-Get a director of football in so at least if we do end up parting ways with Ole we dont have to completely change everything and delay ourselves further, the new manager can just add to Ole's foundations
 

Compton22

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The main thing we need to focus on is consistency. It's been very heartening to see how well Solskjaer handles matches against the big teams. He's shown that he is very good at setting up tactically to win those games.

Where we have struggled is winning games we should be winning against teams middle or bottom of the league. If we are seriously going to challenge again, we need to find ways to win these games as well as against the teams around us. I feel Liverpool went through a similar stage in the early years of Klopp's tenure.

Signing Sancho and maybe 2 others will help significantly in this respect to give our squad some much needed quality in depth and to improve our starting 11.

What Klopp has built in his time at Liverpool has been nothing short of brilliant but bare in mind it took him a few years to even get to the point of challenging. There are good signs so far under Ole's first full season as manager, but we must have patience. Liverpool have improved significantly in the last few years and are now getting their rewards for it, we must be patient and keep working at it if we are to do the same.
 

UnitedFan93

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When the likes of Burnley and Crystal Palace come to Old Trafford and come away with 3 points, Liverpool and City are the least of our worries. Before we even think of a potential challenge, we need to be battering bottom half teams especially at Old Trafford. Until we can get back to the time where we blow teams away we have no right to think about the title. The reality is you now need 100 points minimum to win the league; we're a million miles off the consistency needed to reach those numbers.
 

Tom Van Persie

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Hopefully next season. I don't think we're that far off anymore tbh if we have a good summer and bring in Jadon Sancho, another midfielder and a centre back we should have enough to challenge.
 

iHicksy

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Bloody hell. Some guy they're talking to on BBC News just said "Jordan Henderson must be getting back ache from lifting so many trophies". You fecking what?
 

11101

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We are closer than we think. We need:

- top class right forward/Greenwood to have his breakout season.
- DM. Matic cant handle teams who pressure us anymore and it's difficult to play Pogba and Bruno together otherwise.
- GK. We will never challenge with DDG throwing the ball in his own net. He needs to sort it out or we need to replace him.
 

crossy1686

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On paper and in application, when we're not making individual errors, we're the 3rd best team in the league. I don't think ourselves or Chelsea are that far away from a challenge but it all depends how City and Liverpool strengthen this summer. Hopefully, they both stagnate or lose their managers.
 

Adisa

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Liverpool did not sign a single player last summer.
More than signings is getting the players to improve within a functioning system and way of playing so new signings can adjust without problems.
 
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We are closer than we think. We need:

- top class right forward/Greenwood to have his breakout season.
- DM. Matic cant handle teams who pressure us anymore and it's difficult to play Pogba and Bruno together otherwise.
- GK. We will never challenge with DDG throwing the ball in his own net. He needs to sort it out or we need to replace him.
I think we needd another LB, Shaw is too sometime ish we also need another striker.
 

aditya826

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When we get rid of Shaw, Maguire, AWB and Rashford and improve on each one of them while also replacing Ole with a serial winner like Simeone or Allegri. we might come closer to challenging on all fronts.
 

Neo_Mufc

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Next year is our year! La

Unfortunately I can't see us compete for the PL or CL with the defence that we have. They all need to improve.
 

DomesticTadpole

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Next year is our year! La

Unfortunately I can't see us compete for the PL or CL with the defence that we have. They all need to improve.
We have actually conceded less goals than City, but yes it could be better. Our even bigger problem is we do not score enough goals. We always give other teams a chance of getting back into the game, instead of putting the game to bed. There are signs that this is changing.
 

Greck

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This tweet does my head in. Following that it took them five years and hundreds of millions spent to win the CL and they only won 2 league titles in 10 years.
Teams also can't buy like that anymore. Not even Madrid. In years past hey have now been camped on people's lawn trying to get Pogba, Mbappe, Kane and took a hell of a long time to get Hazard.
 

JPRouve

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Teams also can't buy like that anymore. Not even Madrid. In years past hey have now been camped on people's lawn trying to get Pogba, Mbappe, Kane and took a hell of a long time to get Hazard.
That's a good point, there are more mega rich clubs today. In 2020 a handful of other clubs would genuinely compete for the likes of Benzema, Ronaldo, Kaka and Xabi Alonso. And two of these teams would be Ronaldo's and Xabi Alonso's teams but even then Madrid didn't actually do much until 2014. If anything Madrid got their act together when they decided to think about the team and how to develop it internally through coaching and man-management, that's how Ancelotti and later Zidane brought success, by that time Kaka and Xabi Alonso weren't big contributors and neither were at the club beyond 2014.
 

RedNed77

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They spent what would probably be the equivalent of around £500m on 8 players and less than half of them turned out to be any good. Barca also continued to dominate for 3 years. I’m trying to imagine the meltdown on here if we did the same and ended up getting beaten 5-0 at Liverpool.
 

Neo_Mufc

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We have actually conceded less goals than City, but yes it could be better. Our even bigger problem is we do not score enough goals. We always give other teams a chance of getting back into the game, instead of putting the game to bed. There are signs that this is changing.
Imo Shaw had his best season under Mourinho, I do see him having the odd game where he stands out but when I think about playing as a full back he doesn't have that explosive impetus to be able to consistently bring returns out on that left hand side.

Maguire is very good but I feel like we will only see the best out of him with a stronger partner next to him.

Lindelof I don't really have much of an opinion about him.

AWB, he has what Shaw does not in that he is willing to attack a lot more but his final product lets him down a lot.

The best teams have quality full backs that not only attack but provide a good amount of assists. These players also don't need to defend as much as their teams control so much of the possession (not that they are poor defensively)

I agree with the lack of goals as well. The stat about United only scoring 5+ goals since Fergie left is pretty dismal and being able to put ourselves in the position of being 2 or 3 up in the first half rarely happens. If we could fix that too, it would allow our full backs more luxury to play up the pitch.

Can we as a bare minimum turn OT back into a fortress?
 

croadyman

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We simply have to buy a CDM to be Matic's understudy, Sancho on the RW, quick CB to cover Maguire and top striker too.

That is not including someone to push Shaw at LB and cover for Bruno/Pogba at AM.

Finally Ole has to get utterly ruthless with the likes of Lingard,Jones,Rojo,Mata and co. This is not the time for sentiment after watching that lot win the premier league and he knows it deep down. Whether he will do anything about it well that remains to be seen of course
 
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DomesticTadpole

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Imo Shaw had his best season under Mourinho, I do see him having the odd game where he stands out but when I think about playing as a full back he doesn't have that explosive impetus to be able to consistently bring returns out on that left hand side.

Maguire is very good but I feel like we will only see the best out of him with a stronger partner next to him.

Lindelof I don't really have much of an opinion about him.

AWB, he has what Shaw does not in that he is willing to attack a lot more but his final product lets him down a lot.

The best teams have quality full backs that not only attack but provide a good amount of assists. These players also don't need to defend as much as their teams control so much of the possession (not that they are poor defensively)

I agree with the lack of goals as well. The stat about United only scoring 5+ goals since Fergie left is pretty dismal and being able to put ourselves in the position of being 2 or 3 up in the first half rarely happens. If we could fix that too, it would allow our full backs more luxury to play up the pitch.

Can we as a bare minimum turn OT back into a fortress?
Think the thing with Maguire and Lindelof is that neither have pace and as @croadyman says Harry needs someone next to him who has pace and can cover for him. Most of our great partnerships have been one ball player with pace and one out and out defender, the get stuck in sort.
 

DuruttiColumn

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Can’t decide if we are 2 players away from challenging, or 9.
It wasn’t long ago that Newcastle and Watford were playing us off the park.

2 years minimum, anyway.
 

SteveW

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Pretty soon imo. We're turning into a very good team. The management and coaching looks spot on. The attitude of the squad is excellent. Just need 3-4 more good signings to make us more consistent and injury resistant. I trust Ole to get those signings right.

Martial, Rashford, Greenwood, Pogba and Fernandes. What's not to love? Add Sancho and it gets a bit ridiculous. We are in for a great few years.
 

Massive Spanner

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I'd be shocked if we ever challenge Pep and Klopp for a title with Ole in charge. He's doing a good job with the rebuild right now but he's not on their level and our squad is still some ways off Pool's and City's, to boot. Best case scenario is that he continues to plod us in the right direction for a few years and we eventually get a manager who can challenge the best. Guardiola will probably be gone soon enough but Klopp probably won't go til it falls apart for Pool like it did at Dortmund, and with their squad - that'll likely be a while yet.

We'll win another title eventually but I really can't see it happening for at least 4 or 5 years. it sucks but it shows the work needed to be put in to make up for the awful way the club was run for the last decade.
 

wolvored

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We have made big steps this season and Oles buys have mainly been on the money for coming into the team and improving it, especially Bruno. Now we need to concentrate on whats needed. Look at the goals for column. We are 30 goals light at least of City and liverpool. Consistancy. We need to put the 'smaller' teams to bed. We need to find out how to break the teams that sit deep down. We have started the ball rolling now we need to kick on and top 3 should be a minimum target next season, definitely ready for a proper challenge the season after. All this will only be possible of course, if the board keep fully backing Ole in the transfer market.
 

Fletchageddon

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This is a hilarious/depressingly knee jerk thread.

Lads we are on our way. The progress this year is there for all to see. Look at the run we have been on. The team is coming together and if we buy wisely and promote well this summer we will challenge next year.

Do not hold Real F-ing Madrid up as an example of how to run a team. The reason they have to keep spending enormous fees and buying a new team every 3 years is because they don't have a proper recruitment strategy.

Also stop doing Ole down. He's bought well and his ideas are starting to come to fruition. Stop W*nking over you neighbours wife.
 

croadyman

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Woody and those yankee leeches are the reason we missed out on Klopp in 2015 and will never forgive him for that ever. I don't care even if we sign Mbappe one day he has done too much damage for me.

Makes me sick that he painted us as some kind of joke organisation when we were seriously in the doldrums and needed a proper manager.Unfortunately our current setup is like that lot when they had Hicks & Gillett
 

Mainoldo

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  • Are we willing to spend big (on the best players in the world)? No

  • Are we willing to be ruthless in management? No

  • Are we willing to get a DoF or Technical Director? No

Therefore we ain’t doing diddly squat except for throw a few shadow boxes
 

Freak

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We need to improve in certain areas of the pitch - RW, CB as the priorities but I certainly don't believe we are too far away. A couple of signings, tying Pogba down and we can challenge (maybe not win it yet but certainly challenge)
 

Neo_Mufc

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At best we finish 3rd next season. That might be progress but the biggest indicator of improvement would be to get that points gap down.
 

Raw

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Our away form desperately needs sorting out too. We're the 3rd best home team in the league (32 points, behind City on 35 and a game in hand and Liverpool on 48).

Away from home however, we're 9th. 17 points, -3 goal difference. Joint with Arsenal (but we have a game in hand). Palace, Sheffield Utd, Southampton, Wolves, Leicester, Chelsea, City and Liverpool are all ahead of us in away games. Just woeful.
 

PoTMS

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We are like Liverpool 10-15 years ago except next year is not our year. Next, next year is our year. We are always in a perpetual cycle of transition.
 

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We're on the right track. We're beginning to gain some consistency in our team, the same group of players playing together and enjoying it, rather than just copy and pasting stop gap signings into the side for 12 months, seling them and then buying someone else. There's a spine in the team now, and we're beginning to see the rewards of that in the past couple of months. 13 unbeaten, 33 scored, 3 conceded. We look solid at the back, creative in midfield and clinical up front.

These players will develop even more going forward, Rashford will improve, Greenwood will improve, Sancho will hopefully add a much needed threat from the right wing, and when he does, Wan Bissaka will get even better. It feels a lot like 2005 again, the glimpses are there - we're just waiting for our current Rooney's and Ronaldo's to get up to speed. It might not yield the dividends of 2008, but we're much better placed to do anything at the top of the league than we have been for a long time.