Aspirations and reality still don’t match up at manchester united. The unfortunate semi-final exit from the european league against sevilla FC is typical of the season of the former title holders, who failed to reach the semi-finals for the third time this year.
Coach ole gunnar solskjaer’s team did many things right against the spanish european league experts, but lacked efficiency and cleverness at the decisive moments. For the first time since 2015, the finals of the europe league and champions league will be played without any english teams.
Last season, liverpool, tottenham, chelsea and arsenal made the finals a pure premier league event. One day after local rivals manchester city lost in the royal league quarterfinals, the 2019/20 european cup chapter also ended for the last representative from the island on late sunday evening in poland.
Despite all the disappointment and annoyance about the 1:2 in what was actually a superior game with many scoring chances, solskjaer and his captain harry maguire also looked ahead. The trophy longing should finally be satisfied again in the coming season – the last title was celebrated by man united three years ago.
"We know what it means to play for this club: losing is not acceptable," said maguire. "Only making it to the semifinals is not acceptable."Despite narrowly missing out on the europa league, FA cup and league cup finals, the central defender was confident of winning the title in the near future: "it will certainly happen soon."
In fact, the development of the red devils under solskjaer gives cause for hope. In the premier league, united recently went 14 games unbeaten in a row and qualified third for the champions league. Alongside the established david de gea (goalkeeper), maguire (defense), bruno fernandes (midfield), and anthony martial and marcus rashford (both forwards), young players such as the exceptional talent mason greenwood (18), who scored ten times in his first complete premier league season, can develop magnificently.
Nevertheless, solskjaer also sees a need for action for the upcoming summer of transfers. "We have to strengthen the team across the board because it’s going to be a long season," said the norwegian, who is unlikely to get a super striker: in an interview with the german press agency, borussia dortmund’s managing director hans-joachim watzke recently rejected a move for bundesliga top scorer jadon sancho this summer.
It is quite possible that solskjaer will have his squad ready for the start of the league on 12. September is not yet complete, after all, due to the corona pandemic, the transfer window will not open until 5. October closed. More important to the coach than speed, however, is accuracy: "we have to be 100 percent sure when we make deals," he emphasized. In the end, there’s one big goal above all else: the english record champion’s aspirations and reality are finally to match again.