What are your expectations for the new season? [2024/25 edition]

SomeRandomPerson

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So, with the lads back in training today, and with Erik ten Hag staying, joined by Ruud van Nistelrooy, what are your expectations for the new season? What would count as a success? If we have another poor start in the league, should Ten Hag's job be under pressure given the contract extension? What are your hopes, dreams and aspirations for the new season?

I think that unless we see change in system for next season, we are in for another difficult season in the league even if (hopefully) our injury woes are behind us. Despite much chaos and mockery, I think Chelsea have assembled a very good squad and were obviously on a good run toward the end of last season. Plus, they apparently underperformed their underlying xG numbers significantly last season so I'd think we will see some sort of reversion to the mean this season. So, even though they've sacked Pochettino (who I rate), and they've appointed Maresca (who I know nothing about), I'd expect them to have a strong season. Newcastle, like us, were really hampered by injuries last season. But Eddie Howe has done a good job implementing a playing style there, and Isak looked on the verge of a breakout towards the end of the season. So, if the players stay fit, and Isak continues on his upward trajectory, I'd expect them to have a much improved season (and both Chelsea and Newcastle finished above us last season, remember). Also worth pointing out, Chelsea and Newcastle were the 5th and 4th best teams in the league based on xPts last season if you care about that sort of thing. So the underlying number do point to them being on the right path.

Spurs under Postecoglou I am convinced were nowhere near as good as the amount of praise they got last season - yes, Postecoglou has imposed his style on the team very quickly and they finished fifth last season, but I think they are far too open defensively to have too high a ceiling. They started the season on fire last time which I think is what most of the praise was based on - early impressions and all that. But I think there is a lot of work to do for them to finish top 4. Villa I am also unsure about. Obviously Unai Emery is unquestionably one of the world's elite coaches and has the CV in European club competition to prove it (even if most of his success is in the Europa League). But they've not had European football for ages now so I'd expect them to show at least some growing pains when it comes to juggling multiple competitions. They have ambitious owners, a good squad and an elite manager so will be interesting to see where they go next season. At any rate, I'd expect both Villa and Spurs to be tough challengers for our most realistic aim for next season (finish top 4).

And then finally, we get to the big 3 in the league - City, Arsenal and Liverpool. Obviously City have the best squad and the best manager. Favourites to win the league again, in my opinion. Arsenal also seem to have stepped up big time - last season showed that their league challenge the year before was no fluke. They have the meanest defence in the league and I expect them to be City's main challenge for the league again. Liverpool I expect to have a major drop off, not because I don't rate Arne Slot (I know nothing about him), but because replacing Klopp is an impossible task. Klopp is not just, in my opinion, one of the most impressive and influential tacticians in last 15 years (along with Pep), his emotional connection with the club and fans, as well as his personal charisma and motivational skills meant that he was able to push a bunch of good players to the point of playing as equals against Guardiola's City. Obviously Liverpool have also recruited brilliantly in the Klopp years, and the side that won the Champions League in 2019 and the league in 2020 were obviously full of brilliant players, but they got 97 and 99 points in the league in those seasons - more cumulatively than City over those seasons, and only 2 points fewer than the 100 (in 2018) and 98 (in 2019) points totals which is best City ever managed over 2 seasons - and that is entirely down to Klopp's insane cult of personality pushing these players to the limit in an almost Fergusonian way. Even if Arne Slot is what he is advertised to be i.e., a very promising up and coming coach, that is just going to be very difficult to replace. Especially as Liverpool have let their squad quality slip a bit since the title win. Klopp can get these lot to play City off the pitch at Anfield last season and win the league cup, a normal good coach is probably not going to be enough. So, with City and Arsenal taking up the top 2 spots, I expect Liverpool to be dragged down to the rest of our levels and duke it out for the remaining 2 spots.

So that leaves us, Chelsea, Newcastle, Villa, Spurs and Liverpool fighting for 2 spots and I'm not confident at all in our ability to come out on top in that race. Even with De Ligt, Zirkzee and Ugarte. Especially given how many chances we conceded last season, and how much we've struggled both in playing out from the back and in just getting the ball into the final third (let alone reliably creating chances) over both seasons under Ten Hag. I'm not sure we will be able to make up the required ground as quickly as we need to.

On the other hand, what positive qualities Ten Hag does demonstrably have are his tactical acumen in one-off games as well as his demanding nature which have seen us win cup tournaments in each of his 2 seasons after failing to win a trophy since 2017 before him. I would hope for more of the same next season with a deep run (and hopefully winning) at least one of the domestic cups. More than anything, I think we should really be targeting the Europa League for next season - a great chance to win a European trophy, would take it to 3 trophies in 3 years and has the added bonus of giving us a route into the Champions League for 2025/26. There are 5 teams each from Germany and Italy in the Champions League, neither Sevilla nor Villareal have qualified (although Real Sociedad have qualified, so one of our bogie teams will be there), and given that Champions League teams will no longer be dropping down, it also removes a bunch of other strong teams from contention. Our path to the trophy should be achievable. Honestly, we should have won the Europa League at least once under Ole - we bottled it against Villareal in the final in 2021, and against Sevilla both in 2020 (as well as in Ten Hag's first season). So, if I were Berrada/Ashworth/Wilcox/Ten Hag, I would set winning the Europa League as a goal for next season. If we struggle in the league again, we might again find ourselves in a position of needing to winning a cup to rescue the season, and I am pinning my hopes on the Europa League.

Thoughts? Expectations?
 

Morpheus 7

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Too early, need to see progression of transfer window in and outs. How we learn from last pre season, availability and momentum going in to campaign. Far too early to predict anything, except it would be impossible for us to be as shite at Old Trafford this season.
 

altodevil

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Top3 or Top4 with a cup final

EtH deserved a pass for last season, but no point in lowering standards back down to Top4 only.
 

a_devil_inside

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Higher league position. - At least top 5 but should be aiming higher still.
Much better goal difference.
Stop conceding as many shots on target.
Hojlund more goals.
Some kind of style to our play.
Rashford to try, might be asking bit much of this one though.
Decent cup runs, especially Europa.
Win some games against top 4/5 teams.
Win more home games.
 

Rojofiam

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There would be more point in predicting these things after the transfer window closes, but we will likely have the 3rd or 4th best squad in the league when that happens.

So based on that, top 4 should be the objective next season, but there should be more emphasis placed on the performances themselves, and the underlying statistics in the league.

I want us to start dominating our games, have more possession, play on the front foot, and not concede 20 shots every game. I'd rather have us miss out on top 4 by 1 point but play well and control most of our games, rather than fluking our way to 4th or even higher, with abysmal performances.

I also really want to win the Europa League this season. Teams from the CL don't drop into the KO stages of the EL anymore, and we are (well, us and Spurs) overwhelming favorites to win it next season. There isn't a single team we won't be comfortable favorites against.
 

Telsim

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Way too early for this. There's more than a month until the new season, and two months until the transfer window ends. Need to see who comes and who leaves, not just United but rival teams as well.

That being said, it's Ten Hag's third year. Anything under 80 points in the league should be considered a failure.
 

Lastwolf

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A league and cup double, 21 is coming.


heh, to be real, top 4, a decent run in the cups and some sort of belief things are on the turn.
>2pts per game and not losing 8 games by Christmas would be good.
 

RomfordRed75

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Top 4 and looking like we have a plan and are playing some decent football.
Looking at the teams in the Europa league and knowing none will drop down from the CL, we should be winning it.
 

Infra-red

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Hoping for top 4 and a trophy. Also hoping that the team plays as a cohesive unit, which eluded us for most of last season.

Whether or not that is achievable, largely depends this summer's recruitment and Rashford finding the kind of form he showed in 2022/23.
 

Chumpsbechumps

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I don’t see any difference if we finish 5th , close to 4th and get a CL spot. Even winning Europa and finishing 6th isn’t a problem if it looks like we are building towards something good.

United haven’t won a cup every year under any manager, so I don’t expect one. But Our manager totally out foxed Pep if FA cu and we didn’t just Nick a win, we owned them for most of the final so be good to see him do it again. Europa is surely an achievable target but the nature of cups make it difficult to expect one.

I’d say best time to set expectations is when most of our business is done. Lots of issues need to be addressed and additions needed.
 

mintyred

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With things going as they're going a top 6 finish in the league, maybe a domestic cup, and a round of Semi final finish in the EL. Ineos have only improved the speed we get players, other than that we're still signing the Dutch squad. We're now getting Dutch coaches too. Now we're going to focus on getting more overrated Dutch league/Dutch players as well as English ones.
 
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Hammondo

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Our current squad is not top 4. I expect we will attempt 4th places but land at 5-6.
 

Red Royal

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Less injuries, a fitter squad, EtH to be more flexible in his tactics and a top 4 challenge. Anything more will be a bonus.
 

Andy_Cole

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It’s his 3rd season. When he started I always said he should be challenging for the league by now. Minimum top 3 for me.
 

Yakuza_devils

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Obviously qualify for CL by Top 4/5 or winning EL.

Play good football. Try to close the gap with City.
 

GregM40

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Comfortable top 4 finish, close the gap on top 2. Cup runs are a bonus but need to show we’re not just a cup team.
 

Tibs

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Honestly, not much...need a solid transfer window to get excited for a top 3 finish.
 

Wilt

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Too early to say, though bringing in RVN is a very good start.
 

e.cantona

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Much improved squad and playing style, less injuries, top four, decent run in Europa and cups
 

Nevilles.Wear.Prada

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Go out there and batter bottom half teams, play neat/tidy against mid tables and try not to shit the bed aginst city, liverpool and arsenal. Finish top 4 and positive goal differences.
 

Smores

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Top 4 comfortably, our issues were 90% injuries and fitness apparently so with those solved and yet more investment top 4 should be no problem.

Next year it should be a title run so we need to be making strides towards that.
 

FootballHQ

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Way too early for this. There's more than a month until the new season, and two months until the transfer window ends. Need to see who comes and who leaves, not just United but rival teams as well.

That being said, it's Ten Hag's third year. Anything under 80 points in the league should be considered a failure.
70 points likely gets you top 4 this season so think internally that would be the target. To challenge for a league you need to be close to 90 points so not sure what the 80 points target is, 3rd?

Finished there in 22/23 on 75 points.
 

Von Mistelroum

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I'm trying to be less pessimistic than usual, so despite my disapproval of the decision to keep the manager, and Rashford, I'll look at next season as a fresh start.

I would hope that we can get a decent cup run or two and at least reach another final.

I would also hope to get top 5 or 6 at least which is a step forward. I think we'll be far too light on the ground and burdened with players we would prefer to move on, to hope for top 4.

I expect we'll get 3 maybe 4 new signings and hopefully they will help a lot, but we'll still be relying on players like Rashford, Antony, and probably Maguire and Casemiro at least next season but hopefully we can move most of these on next summer and really kick the rebuild into gear!

Zirkzee I'll be really excited to see playing for us, and De Ligt too if I'm honest, though mostly because I wanted us to get him when Juventus did. If we sign these two then that will be at the very least interesting to see how they fit in and if they can come good as both have huge potential.

Ugarte I don't know that much about but he does look pretty good and is also full of potential from what I understand, so at the very least, we should have plenty to discuss and be excited for with a young team full of potential!

Oh and Ruud is back!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Globule

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I'm not overly optimistic about the season, but I do expect us to be in a better position at the end of the season than right now. Either Ten Hag justifies the decision to stick by him, in which case we'll have had a stronger season and can look forward with more hope, or we'll have got rid and the new management team will be looking to bring in a new manager that fits their vision.

But as of right now we're in an odd stage where we're hoping things improve under a better management team, but putting our faith in the same manager and most of the same players responsible for last season.
 

golden_blunder

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Finish top 4.
Score more goals than last year
Concede less chances than last year
Play to the strengths of the players you have
Introduce more hair to key positions, less bald
 

Telsim

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70 points likely gets you top 4 this season so think internally that would be the target. To challenge for a league you need to be close to 90 points so not sure what the 80 points target is, 3rd?

Finished there in 22/23 on 75 points.
One should expect better than what would be two years ago by that point. This manager has been given much and more, assuming this transfer window goes well. The goal should no longer be just to scrape Top 4. 80 points would mean a good campaign and getting closer to a title challenge, probably 3rd place. Obviously, some nuance to this, depending on the circumstances. If it's ~75 but creating more and conceding less, that is not bad either. And there's some luck involved as well.

Of course, this is what should be the standard by now. My realistic expectations depend on transfers and rivals, so too early to say.
 

Atheist

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You just know expectations will be rewritten if we have many injuries (which is quite likely considering the number of games we’ll have and also the number of injury prone players we have). One good thing is that excuse will likely not work second time with this management though.

It’s too early to tell but anything short of Champions League qualification would be a complete disaster, regardless of any extenuating circumstances that may happen.
 

CM

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We need to improve dramatically across the board. I want a fluent style of play which produces far more goals without the defensive vulnerabilities of last season. Ideally a comfortable top 4 finish and a couple of cup runs. I don't expect much of this to happen under the current manager, however.
 

TheRedDevil'sAdvocate

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I just want to watch something on the pitch that actually makes sense. Not some mash-up tactics trying to meet the manager's wants and the players' needs at some ever elusive point. A sense of moving forward even if the results aren't quite there yet. Just that.
 

Adebisi's Hat

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who do you feckin think ?
I expect us to be more defensively stable this season and although we may still not score enough goals to really push the top 2 i think top 4 is the bare minimum requirement along with a more stable gameplan . A Europa League final win would also be a nice end to the season.