After an adrenaline packed end to the 2011/12 Premier League season we saw Manchester City win England’s top league for the first time in 44 years. Two dramatic injury time goals gave them the title at the expense of their local rivals Manchester United. United fans were left devastated when 13 seconds after their game ended with Sunderland their rivals completed a heroic comeback against QPR. Many people believed the two victories over their local rivals during the season justified them taking home the title.
Ever since the 23rd of October after City beat United 6-1 pundits and fans have claimed that United’s team is far inferior than their rivals and dramatic squad improvements are required if United want to mount a significant challenge for the title in the next season. However, if we look at the statistics United only lost the title by 8 goals. Does this really mean a huge improvement to the squad is needed? Furthermore the amount of points they accumulated over the season (89) was their third ever highest tally and set a record for most points without winning the title. Although they didn’t strengthen the squad with big names during the previous off season as City did they still mounted a strong challenge for the title and in the latter months of the season also had an 8 point lead at the top.
The return of the influential midfielder Paul Scholes resulted in people questioning how Sir Alex Ferguson hopes to plan for the future when he has to recall the old guard to help him out of an injury crisis. Although his return proved successful and resulted in him being voted third in the Football Writers’ Association player of the year after only coming back to the team in January, the hopes of many United fans from the previous seasons were that Ferguson would buy a big name centre midfielder, and the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Bastian Schweinsteiger were touted around by the UK media. However, none of the deals were completed and left United fans feeling the team lacked numerous world class names. Reports have surfaced that United have more or less completed the signings of the Argentinian winger Nicolas Gaitan and Japanese play maker Shinji Kagawa. Although these players are considered as good players they aren’t at the same level as people such as Cristiano Ronaldo who left the club in the summer of 2009. All fans can do is sit back and wait for the pre-season to end and see if Ferguson can once again work his magic.