Thursday, 25 May 2017

Was it a good season or not for Man Utd?

Last night's Europa League final victory over Ajax gave Manchester United their first European silverware since 2008, when they beat Chelsea on penalties to win the Champions League. It provided a great boost to the people of Manchester in the wake of the terrorist atrocity earlier in the week, but on the football side of things, does it mean that United had a good season under Jose Mourinho or not?

As well as the Europa League they also won the EFL (League) Cup, the first time they have won two trophies in a season since 2011 (if you include the Community Shield, or since 2009 if you don't). Since Alex Ferguson departed in 2013 they have won just 4 trophies in 4 seasons (again, including a Community Shield), and fans have been struggling to come to terms with no longer being one of the best, if not the best team in England. Their seasons have gone as follows:


Manager

Season

Premier League Position

Trophies

Qualified for Champions League

David Moyes

2013-14

7th

Community Shield

No

Louis van Gaal

2014-15

4th

 

Yes

Louis van Gaal

2015-16

5th

FA Cup

No

Jose Mourinho

2016-17

6th

League Cup, Europa League

Yes

Although they have won trophies, they haven't come close to reclaiming the Premier League title that Fergie last won for them in his final season. The knock-on effect of that is failure to qualify for the Champions League, in which they have only made one appearance since the Fegie days. They will be in it next season courtesy of their Europa League win, but supporters desperately want to be gaining entry as English champions.

This season they were only beaten in the League 5 times, which only second place Spurs bettered, but it was their 15 draws that cost them a top 4 finish, and they ended the season 24 points behind champions Chelsea.

As well as struggling for silverware and Premier League competitiveness, fans have also complained about the style of football they have played. Brought up on a diet of attacking football, frustrated chants of "attack, attack" have rung out around Old Trafford for the past few seasons, including this one, and their goals-scored tally of 54 left them well behind their rivals.

This will certainly need to be addressed, but Mourinho will surely have a plan for next season, with or without Wayne Rooney, and he will undoubtedly be given the funds he needs to strengthen his squad over the summer. How much time he will be given remains to be seen though, as probably only a Premier League title will be enough to cement anyone's position as Alex Ferguson's true successor.