End of Season Report: Manchester United

23May 2013

England - Premier League

 

Manchester United's attempt to win their 20th league title eventually became a stroll in the park thanks in large parts to the brilliance of Robin van Persie. But with so much going on at the club towards the end of the season, what can we expect next from the Premier League champions?

 

Season Summary - Champions

 

Manchester United set about winning the title back from bitter rivals Manchester City by signing striker Robin van Persie from Arsenal. It turned out to be one of Sir Alex Ferguson's final major signings, and arguably one of his greatest.

 

The Dutchman wasted no time in getting amongst the goals, scoring in only his second game for United against Fulham before scoring a superb hat-trick against Southampton a week later. And by the time Van Persie was scoring his 15th and 16th league goals of the season on New Years Day, United were starting to stretch clear of their faltering rivals.

 

Indeed, United won the title in a canter, not just by winning away to the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, and Man City, but by being ruthless against the so-called lesser clubs in the Premier League.

 

A controversial defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League was no shame, and neither was a FA Cup quarter-final loss to Chelsea. But United's season will be remembered for two things - the winning of their 20th league title and the retirement of their legendary manager, bringing to an end the most successful managerial career in British football.

 

 

Talking Point

 

Where do we start? Paul Scholes' retirement, Wayne Rooney's request for yet another transfer, and the end of an era for Sir Alex Ferguson, all huge stories but all coming when the season was effectively over.

 

During the season, and on the field at least, it was United's 3-2 victory at the City of Manchester Stadium in early December that singled out United as the favourites to win the title.

 

The manner of the victory - a last minute Van Persie goal - was just as significant as the three points; it told Man City that this United side won't lie down, and while the 2011-12 champions were dropping points at the likes of Sunderland, QPR and West Ham, United were seemingly scoring last minute winners or making breathtaking comebacks every week.

 

 

Plus and Minus Points

 

The signing of Robin van Persie was a massive coup for United, and the way the Dutchman immediately settled into the side was a huge plus, while the emergence of Tom Cleverley as a genuine top class Premier League midfielder is also a positive.

 

But arguably the biggest plus for United is Phil Jones. His performance against Real Madrid in a defensive midfield role was outstanding, and at just 21-years-old he looks to be a world class player in the making, if not already.

 

Failure to get beyond the last 16 in the Champions League, Scholes' retirement, and Rooney wanting to leave will all be seen as negatives in one way or another, but undoubtedly the biggest minus point for Manchester United this season is the retirement of Sir Alex. How will they cope without him? See below.

 

 

What Next

 

It may be the end of an era at United with Ferguson's retirement, but the club look to have the perfrect replacement in David Moyes.

 

The former Everton boss knows the Premier League inside out, and he has proved down the years what a fabulous manager he is. He'll have no problems settling in at Old Trafford, has a fantastic squad to work with, and is likely to be given money to spend - possibly on Everton players Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.

 

In fact, at 3.3 to back, United look a solid investment to retain their Premier League title. What next for this great club? A 21st title, that's what!

 

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Keywords: End of Season, Manchester United

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