Last summer we saw an unusual figure walk into the manager’s office in Carrington. Sir Alex Ferguson’s office was now occupied by his fellow Scotsman and chosen protégé, David Moyes.
Moyes brought with him a ‘never say die’ attitude and a magical ability to work wonders with an annual transfer kitty that could only be labelled as ‘modest’ for a Premier League side.
However, this modesty evaporated as the pressure to make a signing got the better of him and forced him into overpaying for his former player Marouane Fellaini.
Now, as we near the end of his first season as Manchester United manager, people are finding it hard to see the good points of the campaign, and rightly so. With that in mind, there are plenty of reasons for optimism for the Old Trafford faithful.
It’s been a long time coming, but some would say it was destined to happen once he’d signed for the club. Rooney’s aggression, desire and drive gained him huge support in very little time. His performances didn’t exactly hurt either.
While many may not be overjoyed with his image or some of the things he has said, Rooney has seen off every challenge he’s faced within the club, including Sir Alex Ferguson.
With the likelihood of Van Persie departing the club in the summer becoming greater, it leaves a vacant space for Rooney’s desired position and, interestingly enough, opens another in the position just behind the striker, perhaps one for Juan Mata to occupy.
The Next Transfer Window
With rumblings coming out of the Glazers’ camp of a €200 million transfer kitty, the fans are in for a very exciting period.
Whether the value of that kitty depends on departures remains to be seen, but one thing that can almost be guaranteed is that Moyes’s current squad are not good enough to compete with the reinforcements made by the league’s elite.
Reus? Kroos? Gundogan? It really is one of the joys of being a supporter of a top club; the world’s best players are all reasonable targets.
What will excite United fans is the vast amount of variations that could make up next year’s Manchester United XI. With Vidic leaving and Evra and Ferdinand arguably too old to play at such a high level, the defence may well be one that has never been seen before at Old Trafford.
Add to that the well-documented midfield problem and you’ve got a very unfamiliar starting eleven, which, admittedly, may not turn out to be a bad thing for the reigning champions.
Januzaj – The boy born to wear number seven
Adnan Januzaj is 19 years old. That should never cease to amaze. The brilliant Belgian has shown such a range of talent that one would fear whether or not Moyes has the ability to mould him into the world-beater he should be.
A certainty to be nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award and, one must assume, a shoe-in to win it, the teenager has been the blinding beacon that has kept the United faithful alive over the difficult season of regression.
For these and so much more, there are plenty of reasons to be an optimistic Red Devil. While the season’s opening day win against Swansea does seem like a long time ago, it shouldn’t be too long before the Reds are seen to be rolling over such sides as we are all so accustomed to.