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Red or dead

Time for Manchester United to get big for their boots

Red or dead

They've improved under Jose - but next season they should blossom

Talking on the Manchester United website recently, club legend Denis Irwin was keen to highlight the progress the reds have made. ‘We have improved drastically from last season — I think the signings have been fantastic.’, he said, while acknowledging the gap to champs Man City. And the stats seem to support this, with United having more points already (and more goals) than in any season since 2013. So the past greats and pie charts agree Manchester United are going in the right direction — but are there still some doubters?

Perhaps people have romanticised the recent glory years and forgotten the numerous late wins ground out during the last seconds of injury time. Or maybe the contrast with Guardiola’s free-flowing football philosophy has wrongly marked out Utd’s more pragmatic style as negative or boring. It could simply be that Jose Mourinho — often at loggerheads with the media, if not the fans — historically doesn’t have a good third season with his clubs.

Red or dead

The time of their lives

But is the 2018/19 season the one that sees Utd return as genuine title contenders for the first time in years? Whatever opinions people have about the manager — and there are many — he’s a proven winner who has bought players to deliver now, not tomorrow. Pogba, Lukaku, Sanchez and more — there’s enough pace, power and craft in the Old Trafford dressing room to blow away any team. And in the 60th anniversary campaign since Matt Busby’s rebuilt side finished as top-flight runners up, what better season to go one better?

Red or dead

With almost 75,000 fans (plus plans to go bigger) every week roaring them on and decades of winning tradition behind them, this team may have no excuse. More money will be spent and more big names added to the squad — don’t be surprised if that means more trophies.

A trip to Old Trafford still has that magical allure, an atmosphere shared by Mancunian die-hards and devotees from other towns — even other countries. And for next season’s title race, each of those fans should expect talk of progress and tradition to be replaced by results that speak for themselves.

Pre-register to make sure you see Manchester United try to take the Premier League title back to the red side of the city.

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