Man Utd: Director’s Cut – Ep 11: Football(ers) coming home!

A glorious start to the Premier League season saw Man Utd enter the year of 2022 top of the league six points ahead of 2nd placed Arsenal. Now it was time to not let complacency hit. Fans and Roy Keane alike thirsted for a Premier League title!

Football(ers) coming home

Despite the near perfect first half of the league season Roy Keane wasn’t happy (was he ever?). The squad had been exempt of any major injuries, meaning that Roy Keane had been able to use his best players basically as much as he wanted, which was a lot. The reason behind this was that Rhe really dreaded having to use some of the available back-ups. The right side was a problem that Roy Keane had addressed as early as the pre-season, but players good enough to bring in had been hard to come by. Therefore, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and He-Who… (Daniel James) had been in the matchday squad for most of the games, with Roy Keane praying to the footballing God (himself?) that no1 choices Reinier and Tahith Chong wouldn’t break.

He had managed to limit James’ playing time to 47 minutes over three games, but Tahith Chong had really struggled to find that magical form from the 2019/20 season. It was Reinier from his flying wing-back position that had posed the biggest attacking threat from the right side, with Chong looking pretty lack-lustre. Roy Keane felt the absolute need to bring in a new right winger for the team to stay competitive both domestically and in Europe. Therefore he decided to abandon his principles for once, when the opportunity to bring a footballer home presented itself.

Jadon Sancho (WR 80%, DNA 8) – £90M from Borussia Dortmund

After an almost explosive development in Germany it was clear that most Premier League sides felt that it was time to bring Jadon Sancho home. With almost electrical flair and speed he had even bedazzled Roy Keane. Despite a mere Ambitious personality and a fairly low Man Utd DNA of 8 Roy Keane decided to spend £90M to make Sancho the new no1 right winger. This opportunity was simply too good to pass on and money wasn’t an issue after the sales of Lindelöf and Martial.

Getting perhaps the most exciting young right winger in the world in was only the second best thing about this deal. The best thing for Roy Keane was that he could put Tahith Chong on the bench and send Daniel James to the reserves or wherever. Roy Keane didn’t have to see his sorry face anymore. Good riddance!

Blaise Matuidi who went into the season as Roy Keane‘s favourite midfielder had struggled to live up to the high expectations. Roy Keane wasn’t happy with his performances and had on numerous occasions played Gagliardini instead. This had made Matuidi angry, which of course made Roy Keane angry as well. No single player was greater than Roy Keane the team!

Exequiel Palacios (DLP 81%, DNA 14) – £14M from River Plate

When the South American scout returned with raving reports of central midfielder Palacios, Roy Keane couldn’t pass on this opportunity either! Perhaps Palacios wasn’t perfectly suited for the BTB role, but he displayed a great versatility that made him useful not only for the two central midfield spots but also for the DLF position, where his excellent Passing (18) and Vision (17) hopefully makes up for a lacking Finishing (10). His Perfectionist personality in combination with rumours that both PSG and Liverpool were after him made Keane snatch him up faster than anyone could spell his first name. Welcome to the club!

The third and final signing in the January window was a controversial one. Roy Keane hadn’t made it a secret that he wasn’t that fond of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Public comments like “he’s a cunt”, “I hate him” and “I’ll give any club that takes him on a pile of cash” hadn’t exactly made the relationship better. It was obvious to everyone that Roy Keane was looking for a replacement. The problem in this transfer window was the same one as in the previous one though, there wasn’t really any great right wing-backs on the market. Therefore Roy Keane once again turned to his recently adopted tactic of signing offensive players and then turning them into wing-backs!

Mason Mount (CWB 81%. DNA 13) – £75M from Chelsea

Mason Mount was such a great fit at right wing-back that Roy Keane actually wondered why Chelsea had wasted time using him in midfield! Mason himself seemed a bit puzzled by the question, but simply acted like he hadn’t heard it. Smart boy! Media and fans were not as satisfied with the signing as Keane though. The Chelsea fans were angry that the club let go of their prime asset, while the Man Utd fans questioned why anyone in their right mind would sign a player for £75M, just to make him into a back-up right wing-back. The media foresaw this causing problems in the locker room, but Roy Keane didn’t see any problems. He now had perhaps the best right wing-back duo in the world. This was a good thing!

With these three players coming in the team looked really solid going into the second part of the season. Both the quality was there to keep challenging for the Premier League title and the depth to fight a European battle as well! Hopes were high that this was actually the season where the story of the new Man Utd dynasty would start!

The Premier League

Despite significantly strengthening the team, the Man Utd performance for the second half of the season wasn’t as impressive as the first and actually included points lost to all serious (sorry Wolves) top rivals, but that didn’t matter in the end.

With two games left to play the Premier League trophy was theirs again. It was home. For the first time since 2012/13 Manchester United managed to win the league!

After winning the two final games the margin down to Arsenal landed on nine points, which means that Man Utd increased the margin in the second half of the season. Sadly Liverpool got their shit together enough to secure a Champions League spot for next season. Well, all can’t be sunshine and roses, can it? On the bright side Man City missed out on Champions League and Spurs fell to an abysmal 13th place. Through some sort of black magic Pochettino somehow managed to keep his job as manager, which every other club should probably be grateful for!

The clubs success didn’t stop with the Premier League though. No, this was a season worthy of calling the start of a potential dynasty!

The FA Cup

After a start that was shaky to say the least, with replays against both Cardiff and Preston, the team certainly found their winning ways. The road to the final was quite easy, but the opponents in the final was the toughest possible. After an exciting game and a nerve-wrecking penalty shootout Manchester United managed to win the double by retaining the FA Cup trophy!

What about Europe then, you might ask. What about the biggest one of them all?

The Champions League

Since Man Utd failed to win their group they got paired against group winning FC Bayern. A tough but in no way impossible draw. Two solid performances later the team were through to the quarter final, where AC Milan waited.

Beforehand this felt like a fairly kind draw, which proved to be absolutely true. After another two solid performances it was semi final time!

This time the draw wasn’t as kind anymore. The reigning back-to-back champions Liverpool over two legs was possibly the only match-up where the Man Utd team weren’t favourites, but the dream of European glory and a triple winning season was still very much alive.

Sadly the dream died in the semi final. Liverpool were simply too good. Just like last year. Man Utd had possession of the ball for long periods, but Liverpool were lethal in their counter-attacks. After two tight games Liverpool qualified for the final through a 4-3 aggregate result.

They eventually went on to win the Champions League for a third consecutive year, throwing a bit of a shadow over the Man Utd double winning season. For fucks sake, was Roy Keane never allowed to be happy? Always that German cunt Klopp ruining the party…

Player performances

A lot more green average ratings in the second half than the first, despite the team itself performing slightly worse! Lorenzo Pellegrini continued his godlike performances and was of course the team’s best player. We’ll get back to him shortly. On the other end of the spectrum we had four players (not counting de Gea. Whoever counts the keeper as a real player anyway?) that didn’t manage a 7.00 average rating. Neither of the DLFs Mandzukic nor Thiago Almada got over 7.00, which either points to them not being good enough or the role not really working in the intended way tactically. Either a thorough tactical analysis will be done or Roy Keane will simply try to shout at them some more to see if that does the trick! Gagliardini struggled a bit as well and might be found redundant going into next season. Marcus Rashford won the gladiator battle against Mason Greenwood by scoring 27 goals compared to 19. Houssem Aouar was another impressive performer with 11 goals and 10 assists from his IWL position. Now, back to the team’s true superstar, Lorenzo!

Lorenzo Pellegrini won both the Players’ Player of the Year Award and the English Footballer of the Year award, following in Paulo Dybala‘s and Mohammed Salah‘s footsteps, who had won the same double one and two years earlier.

He was of course named in the Team of the Season, together with five other Man Utd players. This team managed to fit both Greenwood and Rashford in. Perhaps Roy Keane better call a few journalists to see how he can make it happen as well!?

All in all, this has been a great season. The progression is pleasing, both results and squad wise. Last season’s FA Cup trophy was followed by a double this season. The squad is gradually being filled with talented players with Man Utd DNA and great personalities. This may very well be the start of a dynasty!

The questions going into the 2022/23 season are plentiful! Is this really the start of a dynasty? How many times can you put the word “dynasty” into a blog post? Will Man Utd win the treble next season? Will Greenwood and Rashford play together? Will Roy Keane finally get rid of Daniel James? The only way to find the answers to all these questions is to read the next episode! Until then,

take that you cunt!

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