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Manchester United Offer Sluggish Start



Manchestr United stars Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford were seen arguing against Tottenham

There’s no doubt that the start to this new Premier League season has been an interesting one and with all manner of early shocks taking place, it has meant that the table has a somewhat different look to it.

A look that sees Manchester United lying in the bottom half of the table and although they have the mitigating circumstance of currently having a game in hand, they are already left playing catch up to their nearest rivals.

Just seven points from the Red Devils’ first five matches of the season, has once again heaped the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and although a trip to Newcastle and a visit of Chelsea resulted in four points, it is arguably the defeat before the international break which hurts the most.

A defeat that saw them thrashed by a former employee and with Jose Mourinho masterminding a 6-1 victory for Tottenham at Old Trafford, it is fair to say that ex-players were ready to carry out a live post-mortem on television.

One that saw the likes of Gary Neville and Patrice Evra queuing up to stick the boot in, after such a meek offering from Manchester United and although the board would not sack their manager straight after the game, it was clear positive results would have to follow straight after.

Thankfully, that has been the case since the first international break of the season has been navigated and with a 2-1 win over PSG bringing additional success in the Champions League, there is a sense that this team is blowing hot and cold in equal measures.

When you consider the quality that is within the Premier League this season, United simply cannot afford to be handing their contemporaries anything that resembles a head start and manager Solskjaer will have to try and make the recent win over PSG the norm in terms of performance.

If that can be the blueprint for future victories, then there is no reason that United cannot turn their fortunes around in double quick time. Then again, it is their misfiring nature which suggests that this is easier said than done.

One only needs to look at their bore draw at home to Chelsea, to see how flat a team they can be at times and if the likes of Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes have an off day, the whole of the team subsequently struggles.

While of course, the failure to purchase another top tier centre back could prove to be United’s bigger undoing over the length of the campaign and although Harry Maguire scored in the recent win over Newcastle, his early season output as a whole has been questionable.

If anyone is brave enough to back United this season, have the Old Trafford outfit priced at 22/1 to win the title – odds that only make them joint fifth favourites with Arsenal.

To the casual punter that might suggest a huge amount of value and you can understand why someone may want to place a couple of pounds on such a bet. Then again, to the more watchful eye and those more professional punters, this may be one you should avoid.

Of course, any early season discussion regarding United cannot conclude without mentioning Edinson Cavani and although the arrival of the Uruguayan is nothing more than a vanity signing, it is not a bad looking one at all.

Is it what the club need in terms of personnel? Absolutely not. Will he bolster the Red Devils’ attack line this season? Absolutely and now fans will have to hope that Cavani is more Zlatan Ibrahimovic rather than Falcao.

Because if he can be more like the former, it might just be the catalyst that the rest of the squad needs and who knows whether it can propel United to some form of domestic silverware come the end of the season.

However, if Cavani is more akin to a South American counterpart Falcao and not just in playing style but more out and out flop, it will only serve to put more pressure on a board that already has a scattergun transfer policy.

For the neutral, not knowing what you will get from this club from week to week, is the most entertaining thing about them and for their fans, it is also the most frustrating. Only when this team can find genuine consistency, can they allow themselves to dream of winning the game’s big prizes.