Manchester United have been missing several things since Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire from football. The Reds lacked great personnel, clear ideas and direction. They also missed fun nights at Old Trafford, as those were happening less often. Yet, the ‘fear factor’ is a very striking one.
Since 2013, Manchester United have not finished in top three of the Premier League. On two occasions they missed Champions League football and teams were not as afraid anymore. Getting a proper battering to Red Devils became a thing of past times. This time around, the minnows knew they should not be scared. This was not the side that would concede two in the first half and then score five in the second.
Things have changed. It is even easier to justify this being a case after the last Premier League campaign. Manchester United were not unstoppable in any way. They won just 18 matches, their lowest tally since the Premier League era started. At Old Trafford, just eight out of 19 times Manchester United managed to win. The fear factor must return.
Strong Premier League Start To Set The Tone
Victory over West Ham United was a nice start to the season. More importantly, it can potentially become a great platform for bigger successes. Ever since the 4-0 win last Sunday, media are talking about Manchester United all the time.
The triumph was hailed as ‘brilliant’, ‘powerful’ and ’emphatic’. It is important to start the season strongly, to set the tone for next matches. Little by little, other teams will start thinking differently about Manchester United. Ultimately, that is what everyone should crave for. For Man United to be a team who gets the advantage over opponent before the match even started. Many titles have been won that way.
Mixture Of Strength And Pace
We talked about this before the season officially started, but it worth mentioning it again. Man United during previous years always lacked one the two things. This time around, it should change.
A perfect mixture of strength and pace is not just something teams should relish, it is something that wins you titles in the Premier League. Sir Alex’s sides which won three straight titles some during 2000s had both. Arsenal’s sides of late 20th and early 21st century had both. With players like Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Man United have both. West Ham already had the opportunity of seeing that in person.
Manchester United’s Defensive Solidity
This is a big one. Rarely teams win titles because their attack could score more goals than their defense could concede. Chelsea last season were brilliant defensively after a poor start of the season. Leicester City were scoring and conceding goals all the time, before Claudio Ranieri realized how big chance was upon his team. Afterwards, 1-0 victories became their habit.
Manchester United were really good in that department last season. Considering Jose Mourinho’s team ended in sixth, it was a good achievement having the second best defense in the league. Just 29 goals conceded was a positive amongst negatives and considering improvements in United’s attack, things should change in the final third.