A 1-0 win in the derby clash against their arch rivals has given Manchester United a fighting chance of redeeming a largely forgettable 2015-16 and qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
This season will not be remembered with much fondness by the majority of the Old Trafford faithful, with some abject performances and disappointing results reminding the masses just how far the mighty have fallen.
Although Louis van Gaal has and continues to harbour a sizeable proportion of the blame for United’s woes, the players must taken responsibility and be accountable for a campaign that has not lived up to expectations.
A fair proportion of the Red Devils’ playing squad have not been at their best this season, with only a handful honestly being able to hold their hands up and state that they have been a positive force on the team.
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Arguably the biggest disappointment for United this season however has been the rather underwhelming start to life that Morgan Schneiderlin has made at the club.
Since the heady days of Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, the Manchester club have called out for a dominant figure to take charge in the boiler room and assert ascendancy in an integral area of modern football.
Many have been and gone, failing to emulate the distinguished duo that came before them, but a lot of expectation has been put on Schneiderlin’s shoulders given his rise to prominence at Southampton.
A shrewd operator that has improved year-on-year in the Premier League, the former Strasbourg starlet has become a France international and moved to one of the biggest clubs in world football over the last 12 months.
However, Schneiderlin’s debut campaign at United has not gone quite to plan.
Van Gaal has insisted in selected two from the Frenchman, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Michael Carrick in anchoring the side’s midfield.
Only plenty of occasions it has been Schneiderlin that has been the odd one out, while injuries have taken their toll.
In all, the 26-year-old has started 20 Premier League games this season but struggled to assert himself to the same degree that made him such an eye-catching player on the south coast.
There is every reason to believe that the Frenchman will improve next season and play a more prominent part in a United side that look to fight for honours. In 2016-17 he needs a consistent run of games and a settled partner in the heart of United’s team to get back to his best.
A slightly negative style of play has not suited Schneiderlin’s game and the potential arrival of a new manager could also breathe fresh life into the midfielder’s career.
At the moment the potential is there for the France international to be a star man at Old Trafford, but after one season at the club he is in danger of being added to the list of Manchester United midfielders that could to hold a candle to Keane or Scholes.