Saturday’s defeat at home to Crystal Palace was something of a reality check of the persisting issues at Manchester United.
Positive results against Chelsea and Wolves left many fans confident over a top four finish, but some are now less sure with a lack of creativity a real worry with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side struggling to break tight-knit defences down.
But there are still signs of encouragement for United fans, and Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy believes the Reds will still finish in the top four this season.
“I actually think fourth will go to Man United. I think Chelsea will do all right and Frank Lampard is a great appointment.” Murphy told The Mirror.
“But United have gone big in the market and the quality they have in the final third – I mean there is doom and gloom around them, but I think they’ll surprise a few.”
While we hope Murphy’s prediction is right, we disagree that United went ‘big’ in the market this summer.
Solskjaer managed to acquire two targets, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, in areas that desperately needed addressing.
Daniel James was hardly a proven signing either, with the Welsh winger joining from Championship side Swansea.
The squad still requires more strengthening for Solskjaer to challenge on all fronts, with the midfield and attack light in options.
However, the Norwegian’s side is still capable of eclipsing Arsenal and Chelsea to fourth spot and a return of Champions League football has to be the aim this season.
The Reds face Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday, who will be high on confidence after defeating Chris Potter’s Brighton away from home last weekend.