Opinion: Crucial summer ahead for Manchester United

Manchester United’s fate is finally sealed and it’s now confirmed that the Europa League is the competition we will be involved in next season.

Despite being given a glimmer of hope before the Chelsea game last weekend, United couldn’t get the top four job done.

The season looked, for a while at least, like it could be salvaged under Solskjaer but the ugly truth of our players quality and attitude reared its ugly head.

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It’s the hope that kills you.

Some are not good enough and some are not willing to be good enough.

A mixture of wasted talent and no talent.

The end of the road for some of the squad Ole has said but this squad has survived more managers than it really should have.

Whomever comes in and whomever goes will not really matter unless the toxic element amongst the players is rectified.

Fingers can be pointed above at the men running the club, the managers or the players but in reality, it’s a perfect storm of mediocrity.

Everyone will have an opinion and it will vary from pundit to person but the constant in it all is Ed Woodward.

I don’t want to make this about him as I think everyone has made their mind up about the job he has done.

I hear people say the club should have waited until the summer to make a decision on who gets the job on a permanent basis but that is rubbish.

Why wait? At the time things were going well and a decision had to be made. These players needed to know who was in charge and if the club had waited and went on this current run the opinion would have been, ‘why didn’t you name Solskjaer the manager and you wouldn’t be in this mess?’

You can’t win and neither can United right now.

Ole overachieved in the beginning and this current poor run coincided with injuries due to the rise in tempo in our play.

A pre-season and new direction (hopefully with some decent signings) in the summer is much needed.

The upside to all of this is that we have seen what we are capable of under Ole. Free flowing football and dynamic play was thrilling to watch again.

But when does poor form become the players fault?

Failing to nail down players to long term contracts has effected our most trusted performer.

We have witnessed individual errors for weeks from David de Gea. Mentally and physically he has taken his eye off the ball. Marcus Rashford is another one who’s form and contract situation have fallen by the wayside.

Ander Herrera’s move to PSG seems set and his absence has contributed to our downfall.

Our squad is not strong enough and needs major rebuilding. This hasn’t been the case this season it’s been the case since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Time is up for Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to show us something over a consistent basis. They have proved they can’t sustain any type of form. Flashes of brilliance are not going to help United in the long term. Also, both taking about playing elsewhere helps no one but themselves and I think that’s all they are interested in.

You could go through the squad and rate them individually but thats for someone else to do at another time.

Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof are being talked about as our players of the year. Not a single attacking player has won the Sir Matt Busby trophy since Robin van Persie in the 2012-2013 season. Indicative of our plight.

Manchester City and Liverpool are far from our reach for now. It almost seems like they are both in a league of their own now.

It is worth noting how they got to where they are though. Pep and Klopp saw weakness in areas of their squad and directly addressed them. Full backs and Goalkeeper for City, Centre back and Goalkeeper for Liverpool. Simple.

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Both have spent big in those areas and both have paid dividends. That’s not to say that spending will solve all your problems (United can testify to that) but it never really seems like The Reds have ever really directly addressed their gaping problems.

Players signed out of desperation rather than necessity.

We can argue the areas United need to improve but I think we can all agree that spending money in the summer has become an unavoidable necessity now.

A lot of big clubs around Europe are rebuilding and have a better pull than us right now. Unfortunately, the club doesn’t seem to have any foresight unless it’s commercial so this summer is already looking bleak.

A search for a Technical Director seems like another reactionary decision with no end in sight. The transfer structure could alter our approach this summer with new ideas that might not align with our managers.

Right now, the club is in a really dark place.

I hope our Norwegian manager is given and trusted with what he believes he needs in the close season. It’s encouraging to hear his thoughts about the squad and it’s hard to disagree. The bad run is much to do with what he has inherited mentally as well as physical ability in this squad. Hopefully, a pre-season with this group with additions will reignite our hope for next season. Top four wasn’t that far away in the end.

Chelsea will have a transfer embargo next season, Arsenal and Spurs don’t have the funds to compete with us financially so the gap isn’t insurmountable. Everything will hinge on our recruitment and even though we were given false expectations with Oles start, it’s his end which will tell the whole story.

More Stories Ander Herrera David de Gea Ed Woodward Luke Shaw Marcus Rashford Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Paul Pogba Robin van Persie Romelu Lukaku Victor Lindelof