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

The Brown Bull

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I think he's very average and not United quality. That's my honest opinion; I think we need much better.
I agree. We all laughed at the Pool paying 70mill for VVD. Laugh is on us.
Maguire has a lot to prove in my book.
 

RashyForPM

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People have to realise that getting off our backsides doesn’t mean immediately challenging, as being on our backsides in the first place showed how far away we were from fighting City and the Scousers for the title.

From what I am seeing, we have already gotten off our backsides. We are building a young, exciting and fearless team with much more potential for success than any other United team post-Fergie. Next season will be another development year in which we hopefully finish 3rd. However, by 21-22 I fully expect to see a team spearheaded by Marcus, Martial and hopefully Sancho entering their respective primes supplemented with experienced players like Pogba (if he stays), Bruno and Maguire make a good go at or even win the title. Either way, I firmly believe the title will have the correct red ribbons of United by 22-23 at the latest.

Mind the gap, because our future is bright and it is just going to continually decrease over the next few seasons.
 

croadyman

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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.
Yeah would love this City ban to stand and some of those players you mentioned to jump off the ship but I just know they are going to get it completely overturned. We certainly should not be naive enough to think that 5th place will get champions league football because that would be a serious schoolboy error.
 

Passitlikescholes

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I genuinely don't think we're that far off.

Get rid of deadwood like lingard and pereira (mods they don't deserve their names capitlized)

Sign Sancho, a center back, a DM and probably one more high quality forward/winger.

Bring in a technical coach (like the SAF Queiroz relationship)

And the makings of a challenging side are there.

Compare that to Liverpool, they've got a consistent front 3, their defence is solid, however I'd think in terms of creativity our current midfielder (Pogba and Bruno) far outweigh anything they have.

The base is definitely there for us and Ole stays simply because he's making the right signings and seems to be a good man manager, he just needs the technical help with a high quality technical assistant.
 
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alexthelion

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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.
Agree totally with this. Yes, we've splurged millions on players, but how many of them were actually targeted rather than just being a big name? My one big hope is that we seem under Ole to have changed this. Long may it continue.

Why is there all this bleating about Liverpool winning the PL? It was bound to happen, I'm sure most, if not all of those ding so, are younger fans and don't remember the dark days of the 70s and 80s.

It's not the end of the world, really it isn't. Honest.
 

Bondi77

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Agreed 100%, I think United want young english talent in the squad so for the NT it's also good.

Rashford, Sancho, Greenwood, AWB, Maguire all in the same squad would mean they are always together the same spine, if its England NT duty or Man Utd they will always train together, always know how each other plays, when to pass the ball, when to release it.

The prospect of having AWB Sancho form a partnership for the english NT for 8 years and Rashford + Sancho means the whole right channel will be together at all times.

International duty AND at club level, which would build a very strong foundation, Sancho is the 100% must buy this summer.

And yes there needs to be more signings with that, this summer is a statement of intent, but every summer should be.
I like AWB but TAA is the hottest RB in the world right now and it is great for England with the options we have on both flanks, Sterling,Hudson Odoi,Sancho,TAA and our very own Marcus should light up the International scene for years to come.
 

Roane

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Agree about the young talent we have making the future look pleasing.

The one thing I do think we need is our cantona moment. An older wiser head for the youngsters to emulate.

If only zlatan was a few years younger
 

RyRy11

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If all our first team can keep fit for the majority of the season (looking at Pogba, Rashford and martial to a lesser extent) we should be nailed on 3rd/4th. Add a quality player on the Right and I think we have enough quality to genuinely challenge. In an ideal world we’d sign a DM, CB and LB too but that RW is absolutely crucial, I’d rather out score teams than sit back and hold on to a one goal advantage. Get someone like Sancho and I do feel like we should be challenging at the very minimum
 

UpWithRivers

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The question is how long can we be in this 'building' phase. I dont know if I can take the scousers winning 1 or 2 more while we are building. Does that mean going for a someone like Bellingham makes sense?
 

Smores

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A couple of seasons ago we should have been aiming for the title according to quite a few folk here. We've obviously had an implosion since then but given the money spent we should be back to that expectation. If we get a right winger and aren't competing they'll be no excuses.
 

Mr Smith

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Agree totally with this. Yes, we've splurged millions on players, but how many of them were actually targeted rather than just being a big name? My one big hope is that we seem under Ole to have changed this. Long may it continue.

Why is there all this bleating about Liverpool winning the PL? It was bound to happen, I'm sure most, if not all of those ding so, are younger fans and don't remember the dark days of the 70s and 80s.

It's not the end of the world, really it isn't. Honest.
It's not a real title anyway *

Not sure what all the fuss is about ;)
 

Josh 76

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If all our first team can keep fit for the majority of the season (looking at Pogba, Rashford and martial to a lesser extent) we should be nailed on 3rd/4th. Add a quality player on the Right and I think we have enough quality to genuinely challenge. In an ideal world we’d sign a DM, CB and LB too but that RW is absolutely crucial, I’d rather out score teams than sit back and hold on to a one goal advantage. Get someone like Sancho and I do feel like we should be challenging at the very minimum
Our record against City, Chelsea, Spurs has been great. Should have been more points off Liverpool. The only match which we were well beaten was at the Emirates.

If ole can manage to win against the teams below, we can defo close the gap.
But it will take another season. The only hope I have is Liverpool under Rogers came from nowhere and should have won the PL.

But it all depends on those wankers down the road. Injuries to a couple of the their key players is our only hope.
 

VorZakone

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Need a top LB and Sancho. Only then can United challenge immediately IMO.
 

midnightmare

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To win, you don't need a team that's got great players and depth in every position. Not even one of those. In each title-winner, including under Fergie, the team has spots where even the clear first-choice could easily be improved upon. That's one of the reasons teams keep making transfers / getting newer players in. The constants typically are:
1. Teams that know each other and have a clear idea of what each person's role and job is (This isn't "philosophy" or "pattern of play" but simply knowing what you need to do and knowing what the other players are likely to do). This comes with having played and trained together over a long period and generally under the same manager
2. Teams that have great runs with injuries to key players
3. "Jammy" decisions that go their way - with a nod to the "you make your own luck" school that I believe in

So no, we don't need to buy 12 more players to mount a challenge. All we really need (my opinion) is:
1. Keep the starters we have (Looking at Pogba in particular)
2. Add Sancho, a DM and (if possible) a CB; short-term deal for Ighalo would be a bonus
3. Luck with injuries to our key players

Watching the SHU game, I finally felt like I used to years ago. We were ambling along - and clearly not up to speed. Yet we cruised to a neat win. The team looked up for it and clearly believed completely. Also, we're increasingly seeing that "the players are making the right decisions" across the pitch. Much of this is because the guy playing the ball and the one receiving have not just both made the right choice, but were clearly anticipating what the other would do.

What if we don't sign or lose anyone? I would still not write off the season. Each of our players (most are still very early in the development cycle) should - just looking at their trajectories so far - improve. Mason should be better and starting most games. Matic has another year in him at this level and McTominay should be improving too. Get the rub of the green and we should look good.

And all this is assuming Marcus doesn't continue his run of staying ahead of CR7 at a similar experience level ;)
 

POF

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There are really good signs for United at the moment. It's really important that they finish the season well, finish 3rd or 4th and carry that momentum into the transfer window and next season.

2-3 top class signings and United should be capable of challenging next season. They are good enough against the top teams. Dropped points against weaker opposition has cost them this season but not since the January window. The signs are really promising.

It might seem like a big gap now but I guarantee that by the start of next season, United will be level on points with Liverpool . . .
 

MrEarl

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There is a lot of unfounded negativity posted here about Man Utd. A lot of it has to do with measuring the current team's performance over the entire course of the season. But that means judging today's team by the team performance many months ago. That's foolish.

Man Utd started the campaign with only one proven Premier League quality central midfielder. And he, Pogba, promptly got injured effectively out for the remainder of the originally scheduled season. As Rio commented then, "we have no central midfield." Gradually Fred and McT developed into quality central midfielders but the team still could only field two out of three central midfielders. There was no effective creative/attacker. In the absence of attacking fullbacks that meant Rashard and Martial had no support other than each other..tt was counterattack or nothing.

No wonder Man Utd couldn't break down teams that parked the bus. That gaping hole in the forefront of central midfield left them without the essential creativity to provide support to the strikers. When Bruno came in the team was transformed. There was balance between attack, central midfield, in defense.

The team had not stood still waiting for Bruno or his equivalent. Many of the team's starters made significant improvements in the quality of their play starting with the previously mentioned Fred and McT. But there was also Lindelof who went from failure to regular starter, AWB adding offense to his defensive prowess, Matic went from dead and buried to born-again, Martial moving from disinterested observer to top-flight striker, and Greenwood. So here we have Man Utd with the youngest team in the Premier League coupled with a coaching staff with a stellar record of improving their young players. No surprise that the team leads the Premier League with the greatest number of academy players getting first team experience.

This a team with a future. It is vastly superior to the team that started the season. We've gone from a team with no central midfield to one in its most recent game selecting 3 out of 5 proven Premier League central midfielders, one of whom is their recently returned top player, Pogba. I've read posts claiming Manchester United have settled for mediocrity. Where we had zero attacking/created central midfielders we now have two of the absolute best in the Premier league. So where is this team, which has not lost in it's last 13 games in which it has permitted only three goals, rank? FiveThirtyEight an internationally respected rating site puts them as the seventh strongest professional club in the world and third in the Premier League. Sounds about right to me. And the future is bright.
 

Foxbatt

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We have to think of Leicester, Chelsea and Wolves before we even look at City and Liverpool.
 

Red Keane

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When the Glazers are finally out of the picture at Manchester United and are replaced by new ownership that is willing to spend hundreds of millions (if not billions) in Transfer Spending going forward. Because when you look at our current squad; its clear that it can produce a Starting XI that can reach Top 4 and win the EL:

De Gea
Wan Bissaka - Bailly - Maguire - Shaw
Fernandes - McTominay - Pogba
Greenwood - Martial - Rashford
What it lacks however; is a Bench & Second XI that is not only good enough to play for Manchester United, but which is also good enough to provide competition to force the Starting XI to fight to keep their places in the team. To address this problem (and to build a squad that would be favourites to win both the Premier League & the Champions League); Manchester United need to sign Digne, Pereira, Koulibaly, Škriniar, Ndidi, Maddison, Fabian, Son, Frasier, Sancho & Kane, with the possiblity of needing to sign Oblak as well if De Gea is deemed not good enough for Manchester United, which would produce the following Squad:

De Gea (or Oblak)/Henderson
Wan Bissaka/Dalot (or Pereira) - Škriniar/Bailly - Koulibaly/Maguire - Digne/Shaw
Fernandes/Maddison - Ndidi/McTominay - Pogba/Fabian
Sancho/Frasier - Kane/Martial - Rashford/Son

Additional Players: Romero (GK); Williams (LB); Dalot (RB); Tuanzebe (CB); James (LW); Greenwood (ST);
The trouble for Manchester United is that those 11-12 players will end up costing hundreds of millions (if not over a billion) to obtain, which is the sort of transfer spending that the Glazers would never agree to. Despite the fact that obtaining those 11-12 players is the only way we can both catch up & upsurp both Liverpool & Manchester City.

So long story short, for Manchester United to properly compete with Liverpool, Manchester City and the major clubs of Mainland Europe (Bayern Munich, Juventus, PSG, Real Madrid & Barcelona); the Glazers need to go, new freespending owners need to come in & world class signings need to come left, right & centre.
 

Foxbatt

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We don't have a top class striker. Martial good as he is can't be relied upon to score the goals to a title challenging team.
Rashford is not a top class striker. Not even close as he is not reliable.
So we need another top class goal scorer, another world class quick CB and a defensive midfield player.
 

Deery

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We don't have a top class striker. Martial good as he is can't be relied upon to score the goals to a title challenging team.
Rashford is not a top class striker. Not even close as he is not reliable.
So we need another top class goal scorer, another world class quick CB and a defensive midfield player.
Both those guys are still very young, let’s wait and see what a full strength 11 can do....

Calm down pal..
 

RazorOz

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You can't really say we are too big a club to watch our rivals win the biggest trophies we crave for when Liverpool pretty much spent most of the last 30 years doing that. We're not entitled to anything from name alone.
 

Chairman Woodie

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I don't think the absence of a top class striker is the problem. I see no reason why Rashford, Martial and Greenwood can't do the goalscoring. Not to mention additional goals from the midfield.

There are a few fringe players I would be only too happy to see leave. Some added quality in the squad would be good. But I think United could compete for trophies, even if not the PL. United have a quality first team, when they turn up!

The problem is the lack of consistency. United have dropped points in 18 out of 31 PL games this season. Ten draws and eight defeats is simply not good enough.
 

sglowrider

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I don't think the absence of a top class striker is the problem. I see no reason why Rashford, Martial and Greenwood can't do the goalscoring. Not to mention additional goals from the midfield.

There are a few fringe players I would be only too happy to see leave. Some added quality in the squad would be good. But I think United could compete for trophies, even if not the PL. United have a quality first team, when they turn up!

The problem is the lack of consistency. United have dropped points in 18 out of 31 PL games this season. Ten draws and eight defeats is simply not good enough.
The lack of consistency is due to the lack of squad depth. Between Sheffield United and Norwich, three days later and five starters difference, the quality drops significantly. Under peak Fergie, we used to be able to change 5 players with little discernable drop off in quality and performance.
 

theklr

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2 years I’d think. We need 1-2 transfer windows to get everything in line, then a season to gel them all together
 

Red Royal

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We absolutely have to keep Pogba (and keep him happy if we can). If we do then with a few tweaks RW, DM, LB, CH in that order we will be right up challenging.

Lose Pogba and we could be really set back. Teams will get wise to Bruno and he cant be are only creative player for the season.

Hence need to get top 4 and/or win Europa so desperately!
 

Tel074

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It genuinely makes me angry that we have needed to rely on other teams like City, Chelsea and fecking Leicester to win the league so Liverpool don't have to. Everyone at United should be embarrassed by the last 7 years and how our biggest rivals who have been a joke for the large part of 30 years have overtaken us so much.

It's swings and roundabouts fella . Liverpool where an embarrassment for 30 years then and City for how many decades ? No club in any big league constantly challenges and wins titles year in year out.
We where spoiled with Ferguson and hopefully we will get to winning titles again sooner rather than later and for me the next title will be the sweetest one yet