The season that was for Manchester United

Highpoint- The big number 19. In the years after the 26 year title drought was finally broken in 1993, we were still taunted by Liverpool fans telling us we’d never beat 18 titles. This is the year we officially ‘knocked them off their perch’, with it clearly meaning as much to Fergie as it did to the fans.

Lowpoint- Men against boys, a centre forward we couldn’t handle, and over ran in midfield. Not the Champions League final, the League Cup defeat at Upton Park. Standing in the cold snow, watching a reasonably strong United team being taken apart by Carlton Cole and Jonathan Spector. Jonny Evans’ season never recovered from that, Bebe and Obertan played like, well, Bebe and Obertan. The disappointing performances from Smalling and Hernandez fortunately proved to be an exception in excellent seasons for them both.

Player of the season- Nemanja Vidic. Honourable mentions go to Hernandez and Van der Sar, but Vidic has been a rock at the heart of the defence all season. The partnership of Vidic-Ferdinand often looks unbeatable, and he has also played his part in the impressive development of Chris Smalling.

Best Away Trip- Schalke in the Champions League Semi final. An absolutely fantastic stadium was a suitable setting for one of the best European away performances from United in recent years.

We will miss you- Edwin Van Der Sar. The big dutch keeper enjoyed arguably his best season since joining the club, cementing his place as a fans favourite and leaving us with plenty of happy memories.

Season of two halves- Dimitar Berbatov. With Rooney carrying his England form into the start of the new season, it was left to Berbatov to pull the team through. However, once Rooney started to find form, Berbatov seemingly lost his, cumulating with him losing his place in the squad for the Champions League final.

Hats off to- FC Barcelona. There is no shame in losing to a team that could easily rank as one of the best club sides of all time. Fergie was brave with his tactics and picked the team that most of us wanted him to, but we were still outplayed. Messi, Xavi and Iniesta play football with such ease that you can only admire.

Comeback of the season- Antonio Valencia. Came back from a horrific leg break, arguably a better player than he was pre injury. His return offered the team more balance, and enabled the rotation of Giggs and Nani.

Remember me – Owen Hargreaves. After a single 4 minute appearance in 2010/11, United decided not to renew Hargreaves’ contract. He will now surely figure on every ‘big money flops’ list that the tabloids spew out, but rememeber that without Hargreaves there would have be no Moscow.

Bizarre fans moment- In Ibrox, Rangers fans singing ‘England’ with United fans singing ‘Argentina’.

Don’t mention– FA Cup Semi Final

A legend- Gary Neville. A lifelong United fan who made over 600 appearances for the club winning domestic, European and world honours, and despite a couple of shaky years at the end, has proved himself as United best ever right back. If that’s not enough of a ‘schoolboys dream’ career, he got Ian Brown to sing for him at his testimonial. Legend.

Hopes for next season- With a couple of players already on the way, and a few more seemingly packed and ready at the exit door, it looks like we might be looking at a bit of an overhaul at Old Trafford this summer. A keeper is obviously vital, and a goalscoring central midfielder is needed. It would be nice to see a few youngsters given a chance, Cleverley and Welbeck have both had decent seasons out on loan and deserve an opportunity. Fergie says there is money available but it needs to be spent wisely and I would be happy with a couple of solid players and a couple of exciting youngsters rather than one big marquee signing.

Read more of Blanchy 7 articles at The Busby Way

 


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