The Manchester United Football Club is one of the most historic and decorated clubs in England. They have won the English Premier League a total of 13 times in the league’s 29-year existence.
Despite being one of the biggest club teams in the world, Man United has been experiencing tough times recently. The club just cannot find a way to return to their winning ways. They are off to another slow start in 2019 after making major overhauls to the roster and coaching staff. Based on the way things are going right now, the club looks poised to finish outside of the top six in the Premier League for the first time since 2014.
Manchester United started to undergo big changes at the end of last season. The club fired manager Jose Mourinho and gave the job to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Despite having success with his new club in limited action, the new manager decided to shake things up in the offseason. Man United shipped strikers Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to Italy. They also spent big money on Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to shore up the back line.
These unconventional changes looked like they were going to pay off when United secured an easy 4-0 win over Chelsea in the opening match of the 2019-20 season, but things have quickly gone downhill since that impressive win. The club has only managed to get two points in three games against Wolves, Crystal Palace and Southampton. While all three teams have solid squads, those are all winnable games for a team with a pedigree like Manchester United.
After three straight disappointing games, the club is now sitting in eighth place in the English Premier League. There is obviously plenty of time to turn things around, but this may be exactly where United finishes in the standings at the end of the year. The club simply does not have the offensive talent to put away the lesser teams in the Premier League. If the defense can continue to play at a high level, then the club is going to see a lot of matches end as low scoring draws. Giving away easy points against the lesser teams is exactly how you finish in the middle of the league.
The biggest problem for Man United can be traced back to the transfer window. They underestimated the negative impact of losing two top-notch forwards like Lokaku and Sanchez. Replacing two of the best scorers in the world was always going to be difficult, but it becomes much harder when you do not sign a single forward. Anthony Martial is a solid striker, but he is much more effectively when playing with another great forward.
Manchester football fans that were disappointed with a sixth place finish last year need to prepare for another long season. Unless Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the club’s management team make severe changes, Manchester United will be lucky to have a repeat finish of last season.