Though many mistakenly believed the last few seasons were a transition period for Manchester United rather than a club treading water while often slipping under the depths, it’s certain now that this season has been United’s metamorphosis year. Good seeds have been sown.
The club has established a regular back four with no injuries and welcomed Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba. Both have gone more smoothly than most United fans imagined, although Pogs seems to have his sights set on bars and posts rather than goals this year.
Jose Mourinho is the first United manager since Alex Ferguson to have the courage to drop Wayne Rooney to help build the team. Rooney has been fantastic at United, his influence summed up by a single number: 250 record breaking goals scored for the Reds.Yet sport can be both emotional and heartless at times, and when a great player doesn’t fit in a team in the same way it can be painful for the fans as well as the player.
It’s all part of a transitional season, one that includes one of United’s longest unbeaten runs, which, had it included a few more wins than draws, might have seen Chelsea feel the Red Devils breathing on their neck. Sadly, it seems the season is gone unless the Blues “do a Liverpool” over the next three months.
The EFL Cup however is in the bag thanks to the Zlatan’s unwavering personality seeping into the team’s DNA, and the FA Cup still to go…who says we can’t beat Chelsea?
And the easiest way for Man United to get back into the Champions League is in their hands via the Europa Cup.
Change can often be both painful for both a club and its fans, but it can also make for compelling viewing. It’s the seed’s destiny to become a strong tree. These things take time. The process is fascinating, and as a Manchester United fan I can’t stop watching.
You can find Dominic Monaghan on old episodes of LOST, traipsing across Earth for WILD THINGS WITH DOMINIC MONAGHAN and Middle Earth in LORD OF THE RINGS, or cheering on Manchester United at Old Trafford. He’s @DominicMonaghan on twitter and wildthingsdom on Instagram.