Since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United have looked like a completely different team. They have gone from dull, lacklustre, football to exciting and ruthless attacking play. The front three of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are looking as potent as ever, and, with Fernandes and Paul Pogba behind them, United’s attack is better than ever since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Why Manchester United Are Not Ready for a Title Challenge
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has built a starting 11 fit for a title challenge, but there lies the problem. While the starting 11 looks ready to retake the throne, the squad is far from ready for a title surge. Across a 38 game Premier League season with heavily congested fixtures, at some point, United will need to make several changes that will undoubtedly force them into dropping crucial points.
Just recently, for example, United made several changes in a cup clash with Norwich City. The game, in 90 minutes, ended 1-1 before being won by United in extra time. All of a sudden, by swapping Marcus Rashford for Jesse Lingard, Mason Greenwood for Juan Mata, and Anthony Martial for Odion Ighalo, they were struggling against the bottom of the league.
Lack of Consistency
Liverpool, on the other hand, made six changes against Everton back in December and ran out 5-2 winners – that is the difference between champions and potential challengers.
It is clear that, unless they invest in squad depth ahead of next season, United will be unable to hit the incredible and consistent heights of which Liverpool and Manchester City have set as the benchmark. The title race in the 2018/19 season, in particular, was so competitive that even a draw could have changed the outcome.
Over the past two seasons, it has almost become an expectancy for a team to hit a points total in the high 90s or even hit the 100 points mark. When taking into consideration fixture congestion, and the sheer level of consistency that is needed to win the league, can Manchester United really mount a title charge next season? Probably not, but they are heading in the right direction.
Manchester United On the Right Path for Eventual Title
Give them a couple of seasons and Manchester United could well be back in contention. However, going from eight defeats and 11 draws in one season to near perfection the next is extremely unlikely unless squad depth is heavily invested in this summer; an investment that is unlikely amid COVID-19 concerns.
All in all, it is a positive time to be supporting Manchester United. For the first time in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, United look capable of recapturing their ruthless nature. For now, however, the focus should be on securing Champions League football and the squad depth necessary to mount an eventual title charge.