There are a few Reds with a very busy summer ahead. Ten Manchester United players will head to the European Championships in France, with varying roles and aspirations for the month of international fun ahead. While Memphis Depay, Daley Blind, and Michael Carrick get the summer off, their teammates jet off to France in search of glory. Rant dives into what we can expect…
… and breathe! It ended with Manchester United missing out on fourth place in the Premier League for the second time in three seasons, an FA Cup win, Louis van Gaal’s inevitable dismissal, and José Mourinho’s much-discussed arrival. There was drama at the last to follow an otherwise immensely forgettable season. Van Gaal’s second campaign in charge should have brought real progress. It didn’t, and anything less was always going to be viewed as failure after another summer of significant spending. After all, when Rant wrote that “few at Old Trafford should celebrate becoming England’s fourth best side” this time last year, it reflected an obvious reality – failure is just not United.
Old Trafford will bounce to the chant of “José Mourinho” for the next three seasons, with the Portuguese finally taking control of the club he has always wanted to manage. Mourinho might not host his first press conference until July, but the 53-year-old’s work is underway within a week of his managerial announcement. And there is plenty of work to do.
Each year Rant predicts the season ahead. Manchester United’s performance, the winners, the losers and the individual stars of the campaign. There have been mixed results over the years – check out everything from 2009 onwards here. The predictions are made without the mathematical models now so in vogues and are thus – what’s the word – are little more than (ill)-educated guesses! Correct predictions in green, incorrect in red.
Once the curtain came down on David Moyes’ reign as Manchester United manager, it was clear that the Reds required a major overhaul to bring stability back to the club. Following the inevitable reshaping of the squad and the backroom staff under Louis Van Gaal, it seems that the club is in need of major surgery once again. The Dutchman has failed to end the malaise surrounding United’s fortunes. The higher-ups have some key decisions to make this summer.
Gone, but not forgotten. Louis van Gaal’s legacy at Manchester United is going to be a topic of debate for some time. With the Dutchman’s dismissal announced, his achievments are now open for discussion. Van Gaal is far from popular, and while even an FA Cup win couldn’t save him, maybe in the years to come fans may come to appreciate the young core the Dutchman has left for incoming manager José Mourinho to build upon.
So there it is. Manchester United’s long search for a major trophy after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement finally came to a positive end. The Reds’ 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley brought glory and silverware to the club – and Louis van Gaal the sack. It was the Van Gaal’s first taste of success in England, but was swiftly followed by an end to a period in which the Dutchman has increasingly alienated supporters and, critically, failed to deliver on his promises. Retirement beckons, José Mourinho beckons. Louis goes, but it is with a modicum of dignity restored. The same cannot be said for Ed Woodward.
As the old saying goes, it’s not despair, but the hope that kills you. On Tuesday night, Manchester United travelled to East London to face West Ham United with Champions League qualification on the line. The Reds needed a win to leap-frog Manchester City into fourth place with one game remaining after the Blues had come unstuck at home to Arsenal. Yet, as has so often been the case during Louis Van Gaal’s disastrous reign as United manager, his team fell apart on the big occasion. On an emotional night in East London the Hammers out-played and out-fought United in every department. It was West Ham’s last appearance at the Boleyn Ground, but in truth the home side did little more than expose United for the poorly managed, disorganised mess that the side now is.