We're a dark horse in next season's CL

Samid

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In recent weeks there has been quite a lot of talk of how important CL is in terms of finances and attracting better players. That's obviously true. But people are underestimating our chances to actually achieve something in the competition from a sporting perspective.

Our record against this season's top 6 makes for pretty reading. For most parts we've risen to the occasion in the bigger games. Obviously still work in progress but we've shown signs of being robust, soaking it up and going for the sucker punch. Playing on the counter is often frowned upon but having a high class counter attacking game in your locker has almost always been a recipe for success in Europe. If you don't have that counter attacking game you'll eventually come unstuck. Sooner or later you'll face an opponent who know how to counter, expose your defence and knock you out of the competition.

Our achilles heel in the CL in recent years has been our home form. We have won 1 our of last 6 home games in the competition. Fellaini scoring the only goal of the game in added time against... Young Boys. With the improvements of Rashford/Martial, emergence of Greenwood and introduction of Bruno and hopefully Sancho we're more or less in sync with the modern way of playing football rather than the dour zombieball and hoofing it to big lumps we had been accustomed to for far too many years. I think next season is when we bring back the magical European nights to Old Trafford and make the place a fortress again.

I see us reaching the semis next year and from that point onwards anything is possible.

Oh and we're winning a CL within the next 5 years. Mark my words.
 

P-Ro

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RedSky

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If we do get Sancho (still an if) then we'll have one of the most feared front 3's in Europe with a terrific option of Greenwood to bring off the bench to offer yer further firepower.

But we're a young team and we'll be inconsistent, that's ultimately the issue. But I do see us coming up with a Monaco style run in the CL next season.
 

2 man midfield

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i dunno i think we're a top striker and a top centre half away from pulling up trees in the latter stages of the CL.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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Yep I certainly think this is possible with the team we are building. Ole has proven he can pull off some big results against top managers and with many of Europe’s elite looking a little weaker to my eye, this is a great opportunity to pull off some shocks.
 

ArjenIsM3

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Need to get 3 or 4 players in to really be able to challenge.
 

CM10

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I still don't think we're resolute enough at the back or disciplined enough in midfield to come anywhere close. Anything beyond quarter finals would be an achievement.
 

United58

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Really hope this isn't bumped when we're knocked out early :lol: Would love a good CL run
 

Inigo Montoya

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Need to get 3 or 4 players in to really be able to challenge.
I still don't think we're resolute enough at the back or disciplined enough in midfield to come anywhere close. Anything beyond quarter finals would be an achievement.
Both are correct. However, get the right personnel and there's no reason why we can't get to the play off stage. Winning the thing is a stretch but luck can play a part.
Just happy to be taking part
 

Inigo Montoya

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i dunno i think we're a top striker and a top centre half away from pulling up trees in the latter stages of the CL.
That isn't an issue with us. I'd back our front 3/4 against anyone especially if Greenwood adds more strength to his physique
 

Morpheus 7

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United will be dangerous next year in the CL. First year since Fergie left I think we can win it. It's a much more open competition compared to domineering teams winning it like Real and Barca. People make City the favourites now, we have and beat them, why not.
 

Fussball13251

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Absolutely no chance. No CL win so soon. Have you seen how good Bayern, Juve, Real, etc are?

Bayern just signed Leroy Sané and they still have Coutinho. Powerhouse signings.

This is not Football Manager.
 
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ColvaleGoa

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There will be a lot of pressure on Ole to win a trophy if we dont win Europa this season.

Domestically we will still have to fight City and Liverpools domination. Think this is where Ole will concentrate.

Would love a good UCL run but will be very unlikely this season as we will have other priorities.
 

izec

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Even if we get Sancho, too many holes in the team. GK is average, two Cbs that can't play together, an ageing DM and no replacement, no good backup striker. Fullbacks questionable offensively. Lacking in squad depth as well.

If we have a good window now and bring in 3 players, same next summer, further improve the next season, then i would back us as dark horses for the 2022 season. But not this one.

An injury or two and this team would fall flat quickly.
 

2 man midfield

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That isn't an issue with us. I'd back our front 3/4 against anyone especially if Greenwood adds more strength to his physique
If Greenwood develops like he seems to be yeah, but at the minute I don’t see Martial being enough. He’s not elite tier, for me.
 

GazTheLegend

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Think we are miles off right now, painful as it is to say.

We need Greenwood, Rashford and Martial to get even better, and we need our midfield to start doing better under pressure, we lose the ball stupidly far, far too often and against the likes of Bayern, Barcelona etc we will get demolished if we play as casually as we have in the last few games. Pogba gets dispossessed insanely easily, Matic lets attacking midfielders through like a sieve, and our full backs offer absolutely nothing and the smarter European coach's just let our FB's have the ball (like Barcelona did with Ashley Young) to double up on dangerous players like Bruno and Rashford when we play them, so tactically there's not a lot we can do.

We need a few players yet.
 

Lynty

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I agree. I can't imagine anyone would want to meet us.

With a couple of additions we'll also be a force in the league. I don't think we'll be anywhere close to consistent enough to put up the 90+pts required to win though.
 

Havak

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We are incredibly difficult to beat now which is something. If you rarely lose and have the goal threat we do, you have a massive chance in knockout football.

It'll be telling how we do in the Europa League now (if we go full strength). We need to avoid performances like Chelsea, but we rotated a bit too much and changed a winning formula so we would need more concrete data IMO.
 

Inigo Montoya

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If Greenwood develops like he seems to be yeah, but at the minute I don’t see Martial being enough. He’s not elite tier, for me.
Maybe but I disagree.

I don't think you need 11 'elite tier' players to win the UCL. Right tactics and players fully committed to playing like a team. If you have real quality right through the spine then you can achieve a lot. I wouldn't have said that Henderson is elite tier but he's been crucial to Liverpool's success
 

SuperiorXI

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We're a couple of (likely) injuries away from being quite a tame side. Massive investment needed before we can compete for the top honours. Our injury record is terrible don't forget.
 

Inigo Montoya

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We are incredibly difficult to beat now which is something. If you rarely lose and have the goal threat we do, you have a massive chance in knockout football.

It'll be telling how we do in the Europa League now (if we go full strength). We need to avoid performances like Chelsea, but we rotated a bit too much and changed a winning formula so we would need more concrete data IMO.
We'll be well rested for the later stages of the EL. Some hard work on the pitch as soon as they come back from their break and we'll be ready to go.

Remember how much better we looked after the break in Portugal? We went on the run just after.
 

romufc

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We're a couple of (likely) injuries away from being quite a tame side. Massive investment needed before we can compete for the top honours. Our injury record is terrible don't forget.
Alot of clubs are in the same boat. Injuries to their best players will have the same effect to most teams.
 

cyberman

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If we get Sancho, yes.
I remember seeing a @padr81 post before the semi final saying he would rather face Chelsea in the final. We weren't that far apart in quality but we posed a huge tactical problem for them.
I can see us being a handful away from home.
The top end of European football isnt really at a high level right now, I wouldn't fear the likes of Juve, Barca or PSG if it came down to it.
 

MalcolmTucker

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No teams or players strike fear like Messi's Barcelona or Ronaldo's Madrid any more - at full strength I'd fancy us against anyone on the night.

We'll be underdogs against the elite teams but stranger things have happened.
 

Nickelodeon

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We’re missing a plan B. We can play some nice quick passing and possession based football or we can play some brilliant counter attacking game if we’re comfortably up. But what don’t have is a plan where we need to a) defend a lead in the last 20 mins or so or b) play against a team we consider to be favourites against us.

Yes, we’ve won some games of the latter type, particularly against City. But I fear that with Bruno and Pogba in our sides, we still are a long distance away from dominating the likes of City but yet we lose a bit of doggedness that comes with Fred and McT in our side when we were underdogs. If we get a balanced Plan B from a tactical perspective along with some bit of depth in squad and luck needed in cup competitions, we could be up there in quarters and semis at least.
 

Inigo Montoya

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We're a couple of (likely) injuries away from being quite a tame side. Massive investment needed before we can compete for the top honours. Our injury record is terrible don't forget.
How so? Pogba and Rashford aside who all returned. I can only think of Shaw.

I'd say Chelsea suffered more through injuries and Norwich had a 'terrible' injury record from day 1.
 

RedSky

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You'd think people would stop pushing the agenda against our defense when it's clear that we're significantly better defensively and improving with every game. But yet here we are and people still questioning our defense. :wenger:

Adding to my previous post, had a little more time to ponder this and the real issue we have is lack of depth. Our first 11 is capable of going toe to toe with any club imo, but as soon as we get hit with an injury or two there is a steep drop in quality. Most of the top teams have at least 1 quality option as a replacement for each position. We simply don't have that with the exception of maybe Fred/McTom.
 

AneRu

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It's too early and we haven't even sealed the Sancho signing which is only a first step. To really become a strong contender we need to massively upgrade our central triumvirate by improving on DM and CB and then add another midfielder and possibly a forward.

Our possible front three, that is if we get Sancho, would easily be one of the best around. In midfield Pogba and Bruno will always create and score goals but they need a top DM to make that midfield one of, if not, the best around.

For example if we sign Sancho, Rice and Upamecano there won't be much better first elevens around than that. Champions League depends on draws, the state of the squad during the knockout rounds and luck with refereeing. So if we were to pull off those signings and reach the knockouts with our first eleven intact wrt injuries, form, suspension and fatigue I'd back such a side against any team on any day.
 

Inigo Montoya

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Not the greatest teams who actually win the trophies. They generally have great squad depth.
I don't know mate. RM and Barca have had world class quality of late. Only last year's final was underwhelming in terms of quality
 

Mart1974

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I tell you who is a dark horse.... Black beauty.
 

IrishMcD

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Even if we get Sancho, too many holes in the team. GK is average, two Cbs that can't play together, an ageing DM and no replacement, no good backup striker. Fullbacks questionable offensively. Lacking in squad depth as well.

If we have a good window now and bring in 3 players, same next summer, further improve the next season, then i would back us as dark horses for the 2022 season. But not this one.

An injury or two and this team would fall flat quickly.
Agree with all of that, the drop off from our starting 11 to the rest is huge, and we are short quality in our starting 11 too.
Also think a huge issue we have is the serious drop off in individual performances when players are having a bad day. When De Gea, Matic, Pogba, Rashford, Maguire, Shaw or Wan Bissaka have a bad day, they usually have an absolute stinker. Consistency as a team, but more important at individual consistency still seems to be an Achilles heel for us. Maybe the lack of competition within the squad has lead to this
 

cyberman

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How so? Pogba and Rashford aside who all returned. I can only think of Shaw.

I'd say Chelsea suffered more through injuries and Norwich had a 'terrible' injury record from day 1.
Martial missed 2 months and took a while to get match fit when he returned.
Scott missed a large chunk of the season at Xmas as well.
 

RashyForPM

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Dark horses in football usually only have a QF ceiling, although you could be right as I think that’s where we’ll reach. A shit draw in the RO16 against Bayern and we’re done though, they’re fantastic.
 

Inigo Montoya

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Martial missed 2 months and took a while to get match fit when he returned.
Scott missed a large chunk of the season at Xmas as well.
It's no different to a lot of teams though. It's no worse than most.

But I hear what you're saying. We badly need greater depth