There’s something to be said for trying to reduce expectations slowly, the fans of most big clubs aren’t likely to respond well to being told they won’t win anything. It should at least sort the real fans from the plastic ones.
ESPN reported that sources within Man United have admitted they don’t expect to challenge for the Premier League title again until at least 2022. The league already looks completely gone for this season, but it’s quite a startling admission to accept not challenging for a few years.
It shows how far the club has fallen in recent years, could you imagine Sir Alex Ferguson coming out and saying he won’t challenge for the league for at least three seasons?
At least this does suggest some sort of strategy going forward. The report goes on to suggest that this means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be shown patience by the board as he attempts to overhaul the playing squad.
It makes sense, the playing squad is full of players who don’t belong at a club with Champions League aspirations, never mind trying to win the league.
For starters that would include Ashley Young, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and you could argue people like Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic could fall into that category.
Getting rid of players might not bring in huge amounts of transfer fees, but at least getting them off the wage bill should give Solskjaer some flexibility to sign some new players.
There’s a decent nucleus there with David de Gea, Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw coupled with developing young players like Rashford, Gomes, James and Greenwood. It’s possible two windows of outstanding recruitment could see them challenge sooner.
While it seems awful that it’s come to this, if the club can start to get recruitment back on track and play exciting football then things will improve. It’s still a tough sell to season ticket holders to ask them to pay hundreds of pounds to watch us not win the league however.