Manchester United season preview 2017/2018
Q&A with Adam Joseph
Q. What's your expectations for Manchester United this season?
A. Honestly, it's a little hard to say without the full squad being decided. There will still have to be departures ahead for the club, and maybe 1 (ideally 2) new arrivals. If I had to spitball now though, I'd say a top 2 finish would be ideal. You want that sort of progress. City are far & away the favourites & rightly so. Depending on the draw, I think a Quarter Final in the Champions League is a fair ambition at this point. Another Cup would be good, because Silverware is so important to a team's culture. I'm optimistic, but nothing would surprise me. I expect a step forward though this season, no doubt.
Q. What will be considered "a step forward" for United this season? What would you say is the minimum requirement for the season to be considered a success?
A. A step forward is moving past the mistakes of last season. re-establishing that crucial Old Trafford dominance, dispatching of teams they should at home. becoming a true contender again is also a necessary step forward. minimum requirement is top 3, winning one knockout round of the Champions League.
Q. What do you think of United's summer transfer window? Anyone else needed? Or are they ready to compete for the title?
A. Incomplete, but they've addressed key areas. A reliable goalscorer in Lukaku, a central defender of the future in Lindelof and a midfielder of the type United didn't have (Matic). Yes - fans find a lack of true star power underwhelming but United addressed key areas. They aren't done (hopefully) and if they are it's a 6.5/10 at best. The squad as is still need another full back, some youth in midfield and probably some class too. They still need another quality addition there, but there's age issues too. And of course, another forward is required. Sadly, you can't rebuild a squad in a single summer. Fans don't realise sometimes, but it isn't realistic to think that will happen. They're getting there though.
Q. Do you believe Mourinho deserves to be given time at United? Do you think he will be given time?
A. Definitely. Find me an alternative? There just aren't that many out there. Manchester United needs longevity & a plan. They have it in Mourinho. He might not be entirely different, but this has a different feel to his other managerial stops. Is that idealistic? Maybe, but United aren't just any other club. I think he will absolutely be given time, barring disaster. He turned me into a believer, and that's good enough for me.
Q. Completely agree. What's your take on the Bale/Perisic saga? Badly needed? Or does Martial deserve more trust?
A. I think United definitely need a player like that, but it's not a world ender if they don't get him. There's some long term planning in that space that means I think the club is not worried if they don't land a target in that area. The confusion for some is the Martial factor. I don't think that affects him, having alternatives and competition isn't the end for Martial - it's healthy and necessary at a world class club like Manchester United want to become once again.
Q. Completely agree. Right so can I take some predictions from you? How will Utd do in each competition? Top scorer? Player of the season? Breakthrough player?
A. 2nd or 3rd in the PL. A cup run always feels likely. Quarter Finals of the Champions League. Lukaku, easily. Pogba. Pereira. But very curious about Rashford's season.
Q. Brilliant. Final question what was your thoughts on club legend Wayne Rooney leaving?
A. Necessary thing unfortunately. he was hurting the team when he played, and it was the right time. the club needed to move on to progress, and i believe this was definitely the right call long term and i think we'll see that very soon.
Q. Just a final follow up then how do you think he will be remembered at United?
A. The tributes speak for themselves I think. He's left an impression on the club that'll never be forgotten.