Millsy’s View is here for The United Devils to make my predictions and hopes for this season with Manchester United. Last season there were signs of hope, and we did well to prove that we were the third best team in the Premier League last season, but this year is when we get serious. I would like us to make a run for the Premier League title and perhaps improve our position of third from last season, whilst also making a run to the Champions League Quarter Finals at least. The FA Cup and League Cup have much less of a significance for me this time around, I would like a run and perhaps the first of many trophies for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but otherwise they should just be used to give our youth prospects playing time.
There are countless people giving countless predictions regarding Manchester United’s possible performance in the Premier League this season. BBC Sport are the most recent ones to post an articletalking about how Manchester United might perform. In my opinion, with a little bit of depth, the first XI could be strong enough to at least present a challenge for the Premier League title. Whether Ed Woodward is actually going to get a move on and make a big signing that we really need is yet to be seen, however I find it highly unlikely.
To make a sustained, real push for the Premier League title, Manchester United need some defensive reinforcements, not another midfielder or top winger like Jadon Sancho. Sancho’s arrival might just kill the career of Mason Greenwood, who is most likely to lose his place should Jadon Sancho actually come.
But, for me, that’s not the most urgent area where United need improvement. The left-back position is one that could certainly be strengthened, although I like what I have seen from Brandon Williams up until now. Meanwhile, our centre-back partnership is most certainly not the best in the Premier League, so if we are to challenge the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, the latter of whom have had an excellent window, then a centre-back should really be top priority.
If we don’t end up signing some back-ups in defence, then I believe that the Champions League places are an absolute minimum requirement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. We may be able to capitalise early on by having the same lineup in the Premier League from last season, whilst Chelsea’s team still has to gel together, so we could end up using our early boost to still finish above them next season, such is the strength of our first XI.
Dean Henderson is one man who could genuinely help our Premier League form, where he could feature in place of David De Gea, who might feature between the sticks in the Champions League, much like the situation that Barcelona had in recent years. To have Henderson in goal in the Premier League could also take some of the pressure off David De Gea in some respects. Whilst his place in the team regularly might come under threat, it means the responsibilities will not be placed solely on his shoulders, so he could feel a bit of a lift helping out our next generation.
Overall, I think Top 4 is most definitely achievable, whilst we could keep up a challenge for the Premier League title until at least Christmas time, where our lack of reinforcements could be exposed during the busy schedule.
Manchester United are back in the promised land of the Champions League, with all of the financial and Tuesday/Wednesday evening playing benefits that it brings. Now, despite it being our first Champions League campaign since Jose Mourinho’s last season and just our third in 6 years, Manchester United are still second seeds, and are bound to have big expectations.
Getting out of the group is the minimum requirement for me in this competition, there should be no hopes of a post-Christmas Europa League campaign, everybody and their dog is sick of watching us on a Thursday night. Being second seeds is massive for us, as it means that we should have at least two lesser teams in our group, and if we get Zenit as our first seeds then we are laughing. Pot 3 still has teams like RB Leipzig and Inter Milan in there who are no pushovers, but the rest should equal 10-12 points for a team of Manchester United’s stature.
Should we get out of the group, I would love us to at least win our first knockout game, and I would be ok, if not pleased, with reaching the Champions League Quarter Finals. The expectation, of course, is that we should be reaching Semi Finals etc. but with how thin our squad is, along with challenging for a Premier League title, we may struggle to go on runs in both competitions, so Quarter Finals is where I’m hanging my hat on as an expectation, anything more is a bonus!
We reached the Semi Finals of the FA Cup last season, as it was a chance for silverware and we had a pretty easy run there. You cannot expect to have such a thing every season, but I would like us to reach the Quarter Finals at least, and a trip to Wembley is always very welcome. I wouldn’t say I’m expecting a Semi Final from this competition, but an FA Cup run where we hopefully play our kids until the latter stages would be lovely.
I do not care for the Mickey Mouse Cup. Although it is classed as a major trophy, it is only classed as that by fans of those teams in the last four. We could very easily reach the Semi Finals, but it is not something I am particularly hoping for. It has been reduced to single-leg Semi Finals this season so it won’t have much of an impact on our player’s legs as in previous seasons, but it is usually just an unwanted, nuisance competition that only Pep Guardiola really goes for. Ask me for my opinion again should we reach the Semi Finals and I’ll tell you we want it, but right now it’s not something I am paying particular attention to.