It is finally the end of yet another football season, and with club football now almost three months away from resuming, now is the perfect time to cast our minds back on the year gone by and select the best and worst of the 2017/18 Manchester United campaign. All of the United writers have provided their selections for the categories, and a simple majority will decide the winner of each individual award.
Signing of the Season – Nemanja Matic
Yes, it’s a bit of a boring choice. Romelu Lukaku has also been a successful purchase, but he had a bit of a goal drought in the Autumn, whereas Matic has never really dropped his performance level. He’s a far more technical player than I thought he would be when we bought him as he can actually find a pass and beat a man. He often brings a level of calm to the base of the midfield that the rest of the side lacks. I hope he continues to be this good next season.
Most Improved Player of the Season – Jesse Lingard
Last season was a bit of a nothing season for Jesse, which was quite a comedown considering he had scored the winner in the FA Cup final the year before. This season he was something of a revelation managing to win a few games for United on his own. He’s now arguably a starter for England and has become nigh on undroppable for Jose at United. I also enjoy his dancing and more than that, how much piss is boiled when he does it.
Player Who Should Leave the Club – Marouane Fellaini
Marouane Fellaini. Back of the net. There is no player that better encapsulates everything wrong with the current United squad. To quote myself, ‘He cannot tackle, he cannot pass, he can’t dribble, he can’t shoot and he can’t take set pieces. His defensive clearances from opposition set pieces aren’t really that great. He is a disaster waiting to happen in his own area. Quite simply, he’s just not up to it.’ Enough said really.
Goal of the Season – Matic vs Crystal Palace
Matic’s stonker against Palace. In a season where United were often very dull, there were quite a few contenders for this award: Lingard’s solo goal away at Watford, Valencia twatting it in against Everton and both of Pogba’s goals away at City could have all won it. But I have to give it to Matic. The touch to set himself was sublime and the fact it won the game in the dying minutes made it mean so much more. Plus, I ruddy love a long shot.
Match of the Season – Arsenal away
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United. This game was mad. Absolutely all over the place. If it wasn’t for a world-class performance from David De Gea, United would have been hammered. As it happened, they tore through Arsenal on the counter-attack with two homegrown players, Lingard and Pogba, playing brilliantly. Then Paul went and spoiled it all, by doing something stupid like landing on Bellerin’s leg.
Worst Match of the Season – West Brom home
Manchester United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion. Truly woeful. The lack of creativity and urgency shown by United in this game was almost negligent. Losing at home to the team that finishes bottom just shouldn’t happen to a team as strong as United. The fact that it led to City winning the title was just a footnote. We should have rioted.
Rating for this Season – 6/10
Which is mad considering we finished second and got to a cup final. We also beat all of City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal (twice) and Chelsea. But the standard of football was so poor throughout the season. United lost to all three of the promoted sides away from home, which is unforgivable for a team with title-winning aspirations. I don’t even need to mention that Sevilla tie. Much needs to improve next season, or I’ll be tearing up my membership. Which will be difficult, especially as it’s laminated.
Hopes for the Summer
I hope that United don’t act like fools and sell Pogba. This now seems far more unlikely than it did a few weeks ago, but the rumours just aren’t going away. We need to strengthen, probably in defence but certainly in central midfield. Someone to play in there alongside Matic and Pogba is a must, but hopefully, they have a bit of flair about them. More than anything, I just hope that United plan on being far less boring. I’m not too bothered about winning anymore, I want to be entertained.
Player of the Season – David de Gea
David De Gea. It’s not a contest. He’s the only world class player in the United squad. There’s no doubt he’s the best goalkeeper in the world and he’s currently at the peak of his powers. He’s won so many games for United on his own and he makes saves that are simply inhuman. I hope he never leaves and we can build a statue of him one day. Or that fax machine.