Alex Robinson takes a look at what our aims should be for the next few seasons
If we take a step back and assess United’s season this year, we cannot say it has been a terribly good one. A disappointing start meant that the Red Devils had to fight their way up the table, and finishing fourth (although an improvement on last season) is not entirely impressive. However, with this said, Champions League football has been guaranteed and the fans will be expecting big things next year, especially if we have the busy transfer window we’re all being told will happen.
So, thinking about next season, United’s main aim must be to challenge for the Premier League title, anything less would feel like a defeat and rumours of another failed manager would start to spread. Although the 2014/2015 season may not have gone as many had hoped, it was a tease for the future, with old players and new signings alike providing us with a glimpse of what they are capable of. With this in mind, we have to ask ourselves: what can we hope for when the boys head into Europe? First and foremost we cannot get ahead of ourselves and shouldn’t expect much from the first season back in the Campions League. Of course expectations will be high, but that’s a given.
Ferguson was a master of adapting his team’s style to become successful in the big European games, but other Premier League teams have struggled (Manchester City for example), despite success in the league and with more than capable managers at the reins. Louis van Gaal has won the prestigious trophy in the past with his spell at Ajax, but that was back in the 1994/1995 season. Furthermore, he has been incapable of winning it again with big teams such as Bayern Munich and Barcelona. One of David Moyes’s main criticisms when he joined the club was that he had very minimal experience in such a field, and the fact that van Gaal does have the knowledge is promising, even if it was a long time ago when he last used it.
Unfortunately though the worries don’t stop there. When he joined the club, van Gaal signed a three year contract, one year of which has now flown by. For a team to win the Champions League there has to be stability, which at the moment United are lacking a little. This difficult transition period has lasted longer than anyone had anticipated and the current team doesn’t seem like one that would be capable of great victories in Europe, just yet. So would it be safe to say van Gaal’s aim for the next two years would be to win the league? I’d say so. For the fans that spells a long wait for the return of a European trophy in the cabinet, but for title number 21, well we’ll just have to wait and see.
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