Well, the transfer window is not over yet but it might as well be. Jose has got his four top targets and the Red Devils are back in business. There will be links to new players between now and September because tabloids need to sell papers, and get people to click on stuff, but Zlatan, Mkhitaryan, Bailly and now Paul Pogba are here. It is the kind of strengthening that would have sounded like a dream best case scenario.
So now, we’d better win the league. No, never mind that. Now we’re GOING to win the league. Here are the TOP FIVE reasons why.
N.B. Taking this too seriously may dampen your enjoyment of it. And life in general.
Zlatan always wins
Did you know that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won a lot of league titles? Like, really a lot? Like, 13 in 15 years if you count the hooky ones at Juve. The sheer maths of the thing tells you all you need to know. To paraphrase the immortal words of Jamie Vardy, “Buy Zlatan, get titles”. Zlatan, right, wins league titles at a faster rate than Ryan Giggs did and that really is some going.
Okay, so he’s 34 now and making the leap to an infamously physically demanding league. His partnership with Wayne Rooney is so fundamentally unsuitable that reaches a sort of quantum, existentialist level of wrongness that few can match. They’re going to have to odd-couple style draw lines on the pitch about 10 yards back from the penalty area demarcating acceptable positions. When Robin van Persie complained about players getting in each other’s zones he really had not seen anything yet.
But still. Zlatan. Goals. Taekwondo. Titles. Talking about himself in the third person. Zlatan.
Paul Pogba is BACK
If only there was some kind of handy portmanteau that would work as a hashtag? #PogbasicallyWeHavePaidMillionsForAPlayerWeCouldJustHaveKept. No but seriously, the #Pogback hype is real and so it very well should be. He’s an absolutely amazing player. And a very good dancer, but that’s by the by.
He’s not Messi or Ronaldo in that he is very unlikely to put up era-defining numbers in a season, but he is the biggest upgrade our midfield has had since Fergie signed Roy Keane. Or since Paul Scholes came out of retirement. But don’t mention that second one to Poggers.
A title-hoover of Zlatan-esque proportions, Jose Mourinho is at the helm now. Some of the schtick might grate over time, and at some point it will no doubt spectacularly implode, but we are currently living through the honeymoon period and it is great. He might have broken Bastian Schweinsteiger’s heart and cruelly taken Juan Mata off as a substitute to make a show of him / used him to make a perfectly logical substitution (delete as appropriate) but he has cut a very impressive figure so far. His digs at other managers have been relatively restrained, although it can only be a matter of time before he pokes Steve Bould in the eye or something. He is talking a good game in press conferences. He looks like he actually knows what he is doing and that 21st century football isn’t a baffling enigma to him, thus making him a step up on United’s last two permanent managers respectively.
He’s had really good support from the club’s powers that be, and looks ready for the fight.
Look at him. Are you telling me you don’t think the universe rewards that kind of purity of spirit? Look at his face when he’s happy. It’s a great face, and he deserves happiness. That’s a potent combination.
Also, how else do you write the next chapter of the fairytale he is clearly living through. His life is essentially the plot of the movie Goal so far, with less Alan Shearer. Titles will inevitably follow, history (well, the plot of the movie Goal) teaches us that. (In the interests of journalistic accuracy I would like to make it clear at this point that I have never seen the movie Goal, and am assuming someone wins titles at some point).
It seems like it should jolly well be about time.
Three seasons without a league title? What is this, Liverpool? Who are we, Arsenal? No way, we’re Manchester United, the Premier League big dogs and we’re back! In theory. On paper. Hopefully. I mean, we’ve only been good for about 900 of the last 10,260 minutes of league football we’ve played since Fergie retired, but still. Law of averages and all that.
It does not seem that plausible that 90s legends Manchester United should go another campaign without a title.
And, finally, on a serious note, having brought in one of the games serial winners as a manager and addressed key areas of weakness in the squad in pretty spectacular fashion in the transfer window, we really should be able to make a serious push at this season’s title. It has only been three years, which in the context of any other club would seem perfectly reasonable but frankly, even though this is classic spoiled United fan thinking, it has sort of felt like a lifetime. It would be absolutely amazing to win it again, and there are AT LEAST five reasons that should happen.