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

Bwuk

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Don’t see us anywhere near that level.

The elite sides will just force our full backs wide and make them do something.

We might be able to counter and win a few but as a side unless we have a huge summer I think we have too many glaring weaknesses.
 

krautrøck

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Uniteds CL campaign will be in stable condition.
 

Web of Bissaka

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Are we though..

Last time we play CL, we reached Quarter-final, did fine in the 1st leg against Barca (with our squad crippled with injures so we play with weaker 11), sneaked a win against PSG (again a weaker 11) and did okay in one game against Juventus (full strength squad) group stage. And we've been making huge sounds/promising signs of what's to come next! with Bruno in domestic competitions. English teams have been doing well in recent seasons (a sign that the league is strong and competitive). We're the 3rd best team approaching next season.

In what way are we a Dark Horse?
 

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Agree with the OP.

Adding Sancho to an already powerful attack, a world-class central defender with pace, and a versatile center-mid will have us challenging for the big trophies in no time.
 

BenitoSTARR

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We don’t have the strength in depth at the moment.

We’d need a winger, creative player, top DM and world class CB before we’re even close.
 

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Are we though..

Last time we play CL, we reached Quarter-final, did fine in the 1st leg against Barca (with our squad crippled with injures so we play with weaker 11), sneaked a win against PSG (again a weaker 11) and did okay in one game against Juventus (full strength squad) group stage. And we've been making huge sounds/promising signs of what's to come next! with Bruno in domestic competitions. English teams have been doing well in recent seasons (a sign that the league is strong and competitive). We're the 3rd best team approaching next season.

In what way are we a Dark Horse?
We're barely a shadow of the side that played in those PSG and Barca games.
 

izec

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Don’t see us anywhere near that level.

The elite sides will just force our full backs wide and make them do something.

We might be able to counter and win a few but as a side unless we have a huge summer I think we have too many glaring weaknesses.
Doesnt look like it. We seem to be buying at max 3 players (Sancho, CB, Grealish/VdB). That would be a great improvement, but not enough to go far in the CL. Bringing in 3 players this summer is far from certain under Ed/Judge as well. We could end up with only 2, which would be quite disappointing.
 

amolbhatia50k

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If we get Sancho you never know how far we can go. Our front three /four and the attacking midfielders below them would be a pain to play against. And merely having a RW threat who would attract three defenders at all times would open up space for Martial and Rashford.

But it's best to focus first on continuing our momentum next season before we jump the gun on Cl expectations.
 

KennyBurner

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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.
Juve? Do you even watch them to be making such blinkered statements? You also say that this isnt football manager yet you have mentioned coutinho who cant get a game and Leroy sane who hasnt even played a game but has been injured for the year. Clueless.
 

rotherham_red

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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.
I had a similar vibe regarding our season in the CL during LvG's reign, and we all know how that ended up... I'm saying nothing this time :lol:
 

charlenefan

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Remember in 2006 when our young exciting team got absolutely schooled by Milan? That's where we are now with a lesser side
 

amolbhatia50k

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Are we though..

Last time we play CL, we reached Quarter-final, did fine in the 1st leg against Barca (with our squad crippled with injures so we play with weaker 11), sneaked a win against PSG (again a weaker 11) and did okay in one game against Juventus (full strength squad) group stage. And we've been making huge sounds/promising signs of what's to come next! with Bruno in domestic competitions. English teams have been doing well in recent seasons (a sign that the league is strong and competitive). We're the 3rd best team approaching next season.

In what way are we a Dark Horse?
Well if we are a horse we'd be a dark one given we've only made the CL 4 times in the last 7 seasons.
 

hungrywing

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If we get Sancho you never know how far we can go. Our front three /four and the attacking midfielders below them would be a pain to play against. And merely having a RW threat who would attract three defenders at all times would open up space for Martial and Rashford.

But it's best to focus first on continuing our momentum next season before we jump the gun on Cl expectations.
Exactly and I think that's what OP's getting at, too. That front line can get an away goal or two anywhere. In the home leg we can play on the counter.

If we play Juve/Bayern/Real ten times do we win six times or more? Probably not. Can we beat anyone over two legs? Definitely.
 

georgipep

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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.
It looks like you are mixing two things here. Having a good counter-attacking unit does not necessarily mean you are good at defending and protecting yourself from good counter-attacking units. If we set up to counter the opponent, by definition we would surrender the majority of ball possession and would expect the opponent to control the game (at least in terms of having most of the ball).
 

fps

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So dark that on a winter’s night somewhere in Eastern Europe you won’t even see us running.
 

Siorac

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We're barely a shadow of the side that played in those PSG and Barca games.
This was the team that played in Paris:

De Gea; Bailly (Dalot 35), Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Young, McTominay, Fred, A.Pereira (Chong 80); Rashford, Lukaku

I mean, come on. The issue with that post was calling the home game against Barcelona "doing fine" - we were outplayed and lost the game without a shot on target.
 

Strelok

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Well imo no unfortunately.

Our first XI is pretty good in the league but it's a whole different story in the CL knockouts. Teams going there with 100 ++ % their strength and those top teams are scary af when they go full force. Plus most of our guys haven't much experience in the CL yet.

Another important thing is squad depth, ours is not good enough even for just the PL. And we're talking about having a tough PL match on Saturday/Sunday then go to meet a top team by Tuesday/Wednesday. Unless we decide to drop the PL to focus on the CL we'll burn out our XI fast enough to drop both.
 
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Fussball13251

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Juve? Do you even watch them to be making such blinkered statements? You also say that this isnt football manager yet you have mentioned coutinho who cant get a game and Leroy sane who hasnt even played a game but has been injured for the year. Clueless.

Both are word class players. I think you are a clueless 15 year old or something who knows absolutely nothing about football.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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We can do it if we get the tactics right. Not sure about Pogba in the big games though, but maybe europe will suit him more?
 

EwanI Ted

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Not really convinced, but the one caveat is the vulnerability of the teams that have dominated the competition over recent times. Bayern are spot on at the moment, but Barca are all over the place and both Juve and Real Madrid are nowhere near as good as they have been compared to their high points of recent years. Of the second tier clubs that are usually around the CL final stages, like Atleti, Dortmund and PSG, there's no-one that looks set to step up. That only leaves the English teams, who are a known quantity to us. So, a good run is possible, but I dont think we're any better equipped than lots of other teams.
 

Eire Red United

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With our front 5 no one will want to play us as those lads will score for fun given half a chance. Our first XI if De Gea was on form is as good as anyone else at it’s best
 

LawCharltonBest

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This team needs leadership IMO.

The average age of the first choice front three, for example, is 21 years old. With a lack of winning the best trophies (Hopefully we win the Europa this month though!)

You saw the nerves in the team this season when we had a chance to capitalise on the teams above us dropping points (pre-lockdown especially)

This is another reason Fernandes was such a good signing, he's a natural leader. Need more like it.
 

davidmichael

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We’re a possible dark horse but it’d completely depend on who we got drawn against presuming we got through the group stage, the positive look at it is not many teams are going to improve their squad due to the pandemic.

Unless Barca find a quality group of youngsters to bring through or their loaned out players return then hit the ground running they’ll struggle as Messi can’t single handedely win a Champions League on his own anymore, Real will be better for another year together but have said they won’t be adding players too.

Liverpool might add squad players but no one to improve the first team whilst Chelsea will possibly add so many they need time to gel, Atletico seem to have stagnated whilst Juve haven’t looked anywhere near what they were over the past few years.

I think if Bayern were to sign Havertz on top of Sane then they’d be clear favourites as both of those players are improvements on their starting eleven and they looked dominant over the past few months so every team would want to avoid them.

I think if we were to add a quality centre back with pace, a quality pure defensive midfielder and a back up attacking midfielder to Sancho with the squad we’ve already got then we’d be in with a great chance but I think next season is a season too soon to go further then the quarters.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Right now I think top 5 to win it are Real Madrid, Bayern, PSG, Liverpool and City. I think we have a chance to fight with them for the title.
Feeling that Bayern look the strongest at the moment with Sane in as well. They are probably still favorites to win it this season in my opinion.
 

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This was the team that played in Paris:

De Gea; Bailly (Dalot 35), Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Young, McTominay, Fred, A.Pereira (Chong 80); Rashford, Lukaku

I mean, come on. The issue with that post was calling the home game against Barcelona "doing fine" - we were outplayed and lost the game without a shot on target.
If those Barca games were starting today, only Lindelof, Shaw, and Rashford would be included in the starting eleven with Fred and Mctominay on the bench, and, perhaps more importantly, they have all improved to varying degrees since then too.

AWB, Maguire, Pogba, Bruno, a rejuvenated Matic, an improved Martial, and Greenwood have helped transform the side that was embarrassed by Barca into a very competitive one. That we are the second-best team in the PL since the turn of the year is evidence of that.

Throw Sancho, Grealish, and a pacy CD into the mix and who knows what we can achieve.
 

lex talionis

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Dark horse is about right. We’re nowhere close to being a favorite, but you also wouldn’t bet everything you had on us not pulling off a Monaco or Porto type run. We need 2-3 additions to the starting XI and better depth on the bench. And better in-game management by Ole, whose substitution patterns are a bit odd at times.

But we probably do get dispatched by a massive club in the QF or SF. Happened plenty of times under SAF, even when we had superior firepower.
 

Goku23

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If/when Sancho arrives we will have the best attack in Europe but were a few signings off being the best team as a whole especially defence we need good subs and 1 quality fast CB that Badshile fellow shounds quite decent
 

Berbasbullet

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If we can improve our game management and possession football, maybe.

We need to get better at controlling the game and keeping the ball when ahead, we have never replaced Scholes’ ability to do that (par maybe Carrick).
 

sp_107

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With 4 quality signings (CF/RW/DM/CD) then we will be in a touching distance.

Barca/Madrid teams dont have the quality they had in the past so this is our time. If we come across PL teams in later stage i am sure we will have the edge.
 

sglowrider

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Like in the early years of Fergie, before our multiple silverware years, we had little spikes and pops at the title. Incremental -- from QF to semis and eventually winning a CL. I think the Juve semis was the tipping point. It showed that we could beat the European big boys, consistently.
It was like over a 3-4 yrs span. Then it was pretty consistent for the next 15yrs
 

Siorac

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If those Barca games were starting today, only Lindelof, Shaw, and Rashford would be included in the starting eleven with Fred and Mctominay on the bench, and, perhaps more importantly, they have all improved to varying degrees since then too.

AWB, Maguire, Pogba, Bruno, a rejuvenated Matic, an improved Martial, and Greenwood have helped transform the side that was embarrassed by Barca into a very competitive one. That we are the second-best team in the PL since the turn of the year is evidence of that.

Throw Sancho, Grealish, and a pacy CD into the mix and who knows what we can achieve.
OK... you said 'we're barely a shadow of that side' - I took that to mean that we were much stronger back then which didn't make much sense to me. But apparently you meant the other way around.
 

flappyjay

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I think if we did anything special it would be because of the luck of the draw rather than ability
 

SadlerMUFC

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Anything can happen in a knock out competition and I can guarantee that most won't want to play against us. I'm sure the doom and gloom patrol that resides here on TheCaf will say otherwise though...
 

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OK... you said 'we're barely a shadow of that side' - I took that to mean that we were much stronger back then which didn't make much sense to me. But apparently you meant the other way around.
Yeah, we've improved ten-fold since then, which speaks volumes for Ole's management of the club during that time.