Manchester United: Do the Red Devils Have Enough to Do Better This Season?

Manchester United's Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester United's Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images) /
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"You don’t even need glasses to see and analyse where the problems are. Now it’s about how we solve them. It’s not enough to do some minor amendments – cosmetic things. In medicine, you would say that this is an operation of the open heart. If this happens and everyone has realised that this has to happen and if people want to work together then it makes sense and I believe it doesn’t take two or three years to change those things. This can happen within one year."

These were the words of Manchester United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick last season. The German spoke on the back of a chastening 4-0 defeat at Anfield at the hands of fierce rivals Liverpool.

If anything, these words perfectly defined the fall of Manchester United. From being the behemoth of English football to one that needs wholesome changes at the moment.

The club still holds sway in world football with its commercial value and its humongous fanbase. But the expectation on the pitch from this hallowed institution has rather dwindled over the better half of the last decade, owing to its steep decline in quality, management, and success.

United step into the 2022/23 season under their sixth manager in the last decade. This very clearly states the level of change and chaos that has engulfed the record English champions. Going by the words of the aforementioned Rangnick, the club have once again started their painful but refreshed journey back to the top. But do they have what it takes to make 2022/23 a successful turnaround?


Manchester United began their new journey by appointing former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag at the helm at the end of last season.

There were also changes in the boardroom with long-term CEO Ed Woodward making way for Richard Arnold, who served as managing director during Woodward’s infamous reign. The long-serving chief scouts of the club Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout also bid adieu after 16 and 9 years of service, respectively.

The Dutchman who is known for getting the best out of youngsters and featuring proactive gameplay, found the preseason to his liking, getting to know his best squad for the upcoming term.

Being appointed early has helped the 52-year-old. He has had a decent amount of time and a full preseason to prepare his charges for what promises to be his most challenging assignment yet.

The proactive approach has rubbed off well on the young players who showed more hunger and desire. This was reflected in United’s preseason results.

Manchester United’s preseason results

  • 4-0 vs Liverpool, Rajamangala Stadium (Bangkok) – 12 Jul 2022
  • 4-1 vs Melbourne Victory, Melbourne Cricket Ground (Melbourne) – 15 Jul 2022
  • 3-1 vs Crystal Palace, Melbourne Cricket Ground (Melbourne) – 19 Jul 2022
  • 2-2 vs Aston Villa, Optus Stadium (Perth) – 23 Jul 2022
  • 0-1 vs Atletico Madrid, Ullevaal Stadium (Oslo) – 30 Jul 2022
  • 1-1 vs Rayo Vallecano, Old Trafford (Manchester) – 31 Jul 2022

The final three results might paint a picture of the usual struggles of the past but the bigger takeaway has been the improvement in overall gameplay. Another aspect has been the way the United players have adopted and fit into Ten Hag’s vision of the game.

There’s still a lot of work to be done, though, considering the way they slacked off in the final three pre-season games.