A year ago yesterday, Manchester United lost 2-0 at Goodison Park, as goals form Kevin Mirallas and Leighton Baines propelled Everton towards a Europa League spot, while United’s travelling support watched on aghast.
David Moyes’ wretched spell at United had been brought to an end on the same turf where the Scotsman had forged his reputation, one which had convinced his predecessor that he would be the right man for the job.
Certainties were at a premium when Louis Van Gaal arrived at Manchester United in July.
Expectations and hopes abounded after a disastrous season under David Moyes, but the canvas in front of the Dutch manager was largely blank by the time he stepped into the United dressing room for the first time.
Juan Mata has described Sunday’s 2-1 win against Liverpool as one of the best days of his career, claiming that he’s now fully understood what the game means to both set of fans.
After a solid display against Spurs, Mata was choses ahead of Angel Di Maria for United’s trip to Anfield and produced an outstanding performance, scoring both goals as Louis Van Gaal’s team played Liverpool off the park and strengthened their grip on a top four finish.
Paris St Germain defender Marquinhos has emerged as a surprise transfer target for Manchester United in the summer. It is well-known that United need reinforcements in defence.
The signings of Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind have only added temporary reinforcement to the inexperienced line. United have been looking at a number of top defenders. They are thought to hold a long-standing interest in Borussia Dortmund centre back Mats Hummels. The poor form of the 26-year-old appears to have made United look at other alternatives. United are back to winning ways in the top four race after a 2-0 win over Sunderland.
Betfair puts United at 8/11 to qualify for the 2015/16 Champions League.
North London, 28 April 2013. Manchester United travel to the Emirates having already clinched the title and they are welcomed onto the pitch by a guard of honour, while Sir Alex Ferguson prepares to face Arsene Wenger for the last time in his career.
In the away end’s concourse, travelling United fans have been bouncing long before kick-off.
It’s been one of the most exciting Premier League seasons in history, there’s no doubt about that. At the very top Manchester City and Chelsea are neck and neck and nipping at their heels is a stream of clubs desperate for those final Champions League spots including Manchester United.
It’s been a surprising campaign so far with both Southampton and West Ham flying high in the top-flight with Ronald Koeman’s men currently sitting pretty in third. But can they maintain that run to send them globetrotting around Europe come next season?
David De Gea has become the subject of increasing interest from Real Madrid who have identified the 24-year-old as the heir to Iker Casillas’ long-standing throne as number one goalkeeper.
Signed from city rivals Atletico Madrid in 2011 for £18.9 million, De Gea has developed into one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and is arguably the reason why Manchester United have a strong chance of finishing in the top four. A number of outstanding saves throughout the season has allowed Louis Van Gaal’s side to pick up crucial points in their pursuit of returning to the Champions League, but there is belief that De Gea sees his long-term future at the Santiago Bernabau.
Louis Van Gaal’s reign at Manchester United is three months and, as the third international break drags on and on, it’s time to reflect on some of the (early) positives and negatives we’ve seen so far…