CLUB : MANCHESTER UNITED
RECORD : W23 D11 L4
POSITION : CHAMPIONS
VERDICT: A successful season yes, but a glorious season, questionable. Manchester United fans around the globe will remember the season as the year they passed their fiercest rivals Liverpool. That is the glory they will take from their most gruelling campaign for quite some time. United had the heart of a champion, but many times during the campaign did not play champion style football. Look no further than the Champions League Final at Wembley where Barcelona put on a footballing lesson. Let’s be real though, NO ONE could have stopped Barcelona. United did what they needed to do to get their hands on the title however, showing tremendous fighting spirit in matches at West Ham, down 2-0, and at Blackpool, also down 2-0. When Sir Alex Ferguson’s men started the campaign, one thing was in mind; get back the title. They did, making United the most successful club in terms of English titles.
HIGHEST POINT: Had United done the, in all honesty, unthinkable and beaten Barcelona at Wembley last weekend, the season could have gone down as one of the most glorious campaign’s ever despite the struggle in the league. However my high point for the Red Devil’s this season has to be the United/Chelsea game at Old Trafford. Knowing that a win would virtually carve their name on the title once more, Javier Hernandez and captain Nemanja Vidic stepped up and sealed a 2-1 win for United. When the final whistle blew, they celebrated like it was a title clincher. Let’s face it, Fergie was right. United were never not going to get the point they needed from the last two games.
LOWEST POINT: Finding a low point in any championship winning team should be impossible, but it’s quite simple to find United’s low point(s). Manchester United were twice taught a lesson in football this season. At Anfield, Luis Suarez stamped his presence on the Premier League with a blistering performance, and Dirk Kuyt scored the “Seven-Yard Hat-trick.” At Wembley, Barcelona showed why they are considered the best team of all time where they thrashed United, owning nearly 70% of possession.
SUMMER PREVIEW: If the season taught Sir Alex Ferguson anything, it will be about his back-line. At time’s, the defenders just didn’t show up. A healthy Rio Ferdinand is a fierce defender, but Rio isn’t getting any younger and strikers are only getting stronger, and faster. Fergie will need to look to bolster his back-line, and inject a little bit of youth and class in an aging midfield. A third striker may be needed, with Dimitar Berbatov edging on the wrong side of 30. I fully expect United to have a busy shopping spree this summer.
2011-2012 CAMPAIGN PREDICTION: 1st. It won’t be easy, but I expect that Fergie’s men may have one more title in them before their kingdom starts to come under assault.