It’s fair to say that Manchester United have fallen short of their pre-season expectations, as many expected them to fight for Premier League glory, but the Red Devils certainly haven’t endured a disappointing campaign and there’s plenty to be pleased with.
Community Shield victory over Leicester City at Wembley kickstarted Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United career in the ideal fashion and he returned to the home of English football earlier this year for the League Cup final, where they defeated Southampton.
Last night, Manchester United lifted yet another trophy after defeating Ajax in the Europa League final in Stockholm and crucially sealed their spot in the group stages of next season’s Champions League- putting the Red Devils back amongst the big boys.
Finishing sixth in the Premier League is certainly a disappointment for Manchester United and there is a lot of work to do on that front but it says a lot that in a poor season for the Red Devils they’ve still managed to lift honours.
A lot of pressure was on Manchester United in the Europa League this season, as they were always regarded as the favourites to lift the trophy, and Mourinho’s side came out triumphant despite spells in the competition where they were unimpressive.
Overall, Jose Mourinho’s first season at Manchester United can certainly be classed as transitional and there is still a lot of work for the Portuguese boss to do if the Red Devils are to return to the summit of English football- but the progress made so far is a decent start.
Mourinho will once again splash the cash this summer to recruit more superstar signings for his Red Devils squad and there is no hiding from the fact that anything less than winning the Premier League title next season will be seen as a failure, due to the amount of money spent and the quality the Red Devils boast.
That’s going to put Mourinho’s side up against the wall as they fight back to achieve their expectations but the Europa League win is significant, as it can boost morale significantly and gives United a route back into the Champions League.
A return to Europe’s elite competition will significantly test their squad, as the likes of Paul Pogba need to be performing more consistently and players like Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will need to show they’re capable of playing at that level.
With the right additions this summer though, Manchester United should be able to storm across all fronts next season and Mourinho’s transitional season has seen the Red Devils stand on the right path- which will be crucial for the years ahead.