Football Season Guide

Manchester United


Shinji Kagawa (mid), Borussia Dortmund), Nick Powell (mid), Crewe)


Fabio da Silva (def), QPR - loan), Ji-Sung Park (mid), QPR), Michael Owen (att), Tomasz Kuszczak (gk), Brighton), Ben Amos (gk), Hull - loan), Matty James (mid), Leicester), Richie de Laet (def), Leicester), Paul Pogba (mid), Juventus)

Manchester United suffered the cruel fate of being champions for a couple of minutes before seeing the trophy snatched literally under their noses at the end of last season when their local rivals City scored twice in added time to claim the title that they ultimately deserved. It was to Alex Ferguson's credit that his team ran their rivals so close until the end and it will be once again exercise of maximising resources through know-how and experience in order to keep the Red Devils in the hunt for the title once again. The highlight of summer was off the pitch as the owner continue to find new ways to hang the club dry. They launched an IPO with the initial proclamation that the funds raised will make United more competitive in the transfer market and use the proceeds to lower the debts but then in the last moment changed it and it became clear that they will be personally be the biggest benefactors. The fact that Ferguson leapt in their defence once again and claimed that the fans critisizing them are not real ones only made a difficult situation more poisonous. Despite the promise of serious strengthening during the summer, Shinji Kagawa is the only senior signing so far. Ferguson admitted that Robin van Persie is a target too but it is a difficult transfer to complete and the most problematic area, central midfield, has been neglected again. Nevertheless, the squad still possess real quality and if they avoid the raft of injuries from last season, along with the return of Nemanja Vidic from a serious injury, there is little reason for them not to be among the top candidates for the title again. United disgraced themselves in Europe last season but the manager would expect the young players to show more maturity at that stage this season and progress into the latter stages in the Champions League. However, it takes a serious leap of imagination to see the current team challenging for the trophy itself. Therefore, the lack of really special, game-changing talent, except for Wayne Rooney, makes the team unlikely to make the big defining step on either front and another trophy-less may lie in store again for Ferguson and his men.


Re-claiming the title is as usual the main ain but the squad still looks inferior to that of Chelsea and Manchester City and a lot of players will need to have great seasons to bridge the difference