We would be lying if we said we weren’t excited about Manchester United’s progress as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side head into 2021 in the Premier League title race.
A topsy-turvy year that started with poor results and lots of fan discontent is ending with the Reds placed 2nd in the Premier League, three points behind leaders and arch rivals Liverpool with a game in hand.
With thanks to Marcus Rashford, United snatched a 1-0 win at home against Wolves on Tuesday night, propelling Solskjaer’s Reds up to second spot. Liverpool’s scoreless drawing with Newcastle last night could be a blessing, and perhaps it’s a sign that all is not well at Anfield after winning the title for the first time in 30 years…
Solskjaer has his critics but his side have won seven of their last nine top-flight matches.
It’s no wonder Ed Woodward is complimentary of the manager in his letter to fans — published in United Review tomorrow — ahead of the New Year and Aston Villa’s visit to Old Trafford.
Woodward hails Solskjaer for brining attacking football back to United and confirms the club’s title ambitions for 2021.
“As we welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford for the first game of 2021, there is much to be excited about on the pitch as Ole and the team head into the new year competing strongly in the Premier League and with three cups still to pursue.
“The team’s positive form has lifted all our spirits in recent weeks, winning seven and drawing two of our last nine domestic games at the time of writing, and let’s hope for another entertaining game this evening to start the year on a bright note.
“Yet, while football has been a welcome distraction for many people, we know that these remain extremely challenging times for societies across the globe. Many of our fans have been personally affected by Covid-19 and we send our sincere condolences to everyone who has lost loved ones. Many others are on the frontline of the pandemic, whether working in healthcare or keeping our communities going, and all of you have our deepest respect and gratitude.
“We know that the social and economic fallout is severe and that’s why we have stepped up our own community response through the fantastic work of Manchester United Foundation. This includes the provision of 80,000 meals for vulnerable children during the Christmas holidays in partnership with FareShare Greater Manchester, complementing the wider campaign against child food poverty so inspirationally led by Marcus Rashford.
“Marcus’s efforts have demonstrated the power of football to be a force for good and we are tremendously proud of him.
“While this remains a difficult winter in the short-term, we can all feel more optimistic about the medium and longer-term as vaccines arrive to fight the virus. One of the many benefits from this should be the gradual return of fans to football stadiums and we can’t wait for ours to be allowed back inside Old Trafford.
“The team has coped well in challenging circumstances while playing behind closed doors. Indeed, at the time of writing, we have won more points-per-game since Project Restart last June than any other Premier League club. We also have four more wins and nine more goals than at the same time last season.
“There are many positive statistics like these showing the progress made under Ole in the past year. But they tell only part of the story. Just as important is the work we see being done behind the scenes to build a winning culture consistent with the club’s traditions of attacking football played by youthful, hard-working teams fusing homegrown talent with top-class recruits.
“We are getting closer to those objectives as the squad continues to develop following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani. Our ongoing investment reflects the tremendous resilience of the club and our commitment to supporting Ole, while remaining disciplined at an extremely challenging time.
“As always, our priority is to win trophies and, with the team going into the new year competing on four fronts, we are optimistic about the path ahead in 2021. Thank you as ever for your loyal support, enjoy tonight’s game, and best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy and healthy new year.”
We’ve got a big year ahead of us and it’s important that United look at the transfer market in January to see if any decent players are available, who would be able to come in and help the team out.
My biggest concern is how weak we are defensively, especially when it comes to defending set pieces, because you feel some team — big or small — will strike lucky against us one week or other.
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