Readjusting our expectations

Let’s be honest, there has not many moments this season to fill Manchester United fans with pride or enjoyment, there have been a few moments here or there to saviour but more to forget sadly.

First game of the season when Raphael Varane was paraded on the pitch before the Leeds game, I couldn’t help but think that maybe this could be the start of something. We as football fans are led by emotion and belief in what could happen so we suspend our notion of reality because if you can’t dream of success, what is the point of being a fan?

Ole Gunner Solskjaer lost his job after United’s humbling 4-1 loss away to Watford following a spell of bad games, including two embarrassing defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City 5-0 and 2-0 respectively.

Michael Carrick held the post for a handful of games before Ralf Rangnick came in as an Interim coach until the end of the season.

Rangnick tried to instil his own beliefs and way of playing on this team but abandoned it soon after a few games, were the players not smart enough to grasp his instructions or did they not want to do it?

Who knows but the campaign limped on and while United got some decent results they also have had their share of really damaging results, compound this with our two biggest rivals in Liverpool and City arguably the two best teams in the world at the moment and it’s a low ebb for United fans.

United won’t be playing in the Champions League after a poor end to the season where it seems the wheels have come off and everyone seems to be counting the seconds until the end of the season.

I can’t say I will remember too much about this season as I will try to blank most of it from memory, but I will remember how some of the players at United have behaved over the course of the season.

One good aspect of Rangnick’s tenure is his honesty about the problems and his honesty about the players, maybe some have hidden behind previous managers but now their spell at the club is at an end.

There will be a lot of departures in the summer including Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani and Nemanja Matic, these are just players whose contracts expire at the end of June.

Several more have played their way out of the club with their bad form and many seem to believe the number leaving the club over the course of the summer reaching double figures.

Erik ten Hag has been announced as the new manager and after winning the Eredivisie title with Ajax has now cut his contract short to start work with the club.

The Dutchman has a huge job on to rebuild the club to one capable of challenging on all fronts, sadly he will learn about the size and pressure of United very quickly.

United are the biggest club in England and thus will always be talked about but as many mangers including the great Sir Alex Ferguson found out you are only two losses away from a crisis.

Ten Hag will hit a low point in his first season, this is an inevitability but it’s how we as fans respond to this that will define his tenure.

My expectations for next season are to let him rebuild the team and hopefully see a United side playing attacking football and going in the right direction. League position is irrelevant to me as progress is more important but not everyone will share my view.

Social media is a cesspit sometimes, while the majority of fans will give the managers and the squad more time, I do fear that it’s the online pressure that will tell with some fans too impatient to allow anything to take longer than they want.

I think that we should lower our expectations of this club for the time being so as to let the new manager build a team capable of winning trophies. He has proven he can achieve great things with Ajax, but he will need time to bend the squad to his will.

Now a lot of fans will be thinking or saying ‘But we are Manchester United’ when reading this in not allowing their standards to drop in what they want for the club. However, looking at some of the results and performances this season then standards are on the floor.

John Murtough and Richard Arnold do seem to be making sweeping changes and saying all the right things on the football side, I however will hold my reservations until we see any changes on the pitch.

This season all aspects of the club let itself down from the owners, staff, and coaching to the players, with new personnel coming in and hopefully a change in way the club is run fixes the problems that have come to a head this season.

Many can argue that Rangnick has been a disaster as interim but for me his job was to see the club from the inside and then he could see the problems that need to be fixed. On the pitch it has been poor but maybe we needed this to allow us to clear the decks and change for the better.

Next season is a few months away and we as fans all need the break to get some rest as it has not been an easy watch this season, there may be long term gain under ten Hag but there will also be short term pain.

We as a fanbase need to readjust our expectations for the new manager for next season as if we don’t I fear he might be crushed under the enormous weight of them.

More Stories Erik ten Hag Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Ralf Rangnick