In what has proven to be a tumultuous season for Manchester United, there have been many ups and downs along the way. Since replacing the irreplaceable in Sir Alex Ferguson, it was left to the Scot David Moyes to take the reins at Old Trafford. However, this was the impossible job and he was ridiculed for his negative style of play.
Meanwhile, the derision became so bad that supporters clubbed together in order to buy a banner which flew over United's ground. It was entitled "wrong one Moyes out" and took to the skies before the home fixture against Aston Villa in 2014. Being the managerial merry go round that it is, the former Everton boss was soon shown the door after only nine months in charge. In stepped experienced coach Louis Van Gaal. Having taken the Dutch to a third place finish at last year's World Cup, his credentials are second to none. This includes managing at the highest level for not only Barcelona but Bayern Munich. In addition to this the Dutchman won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax back in 1996.
His inception into the Premier League was a swift one where United lost to Swansea on the first day of the current season. His philosophy and ethos was going to take some time to bed in as the Reds struggled for the first few months. This was largely in part down to unattractive football and a 3-5-2 formation which left many fans with red faces quite literally.
This was not the Manchester United way as fans started to chant "attack, attack, attack" more often. However, Van Gaal has been grinding out several results including a 1-1 draw with Chelsea and in the last month his plan is beginning to come to fruition. Six successive wins, most notably against Liverpool was only ended by a 1-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. But what are some of the main reasons why Manchester United will challenge for the title next season?
9 Transfer Kitty
5 David de Gea
If Manchester United are able to keep David de Gea, this again will prove to be a vital cog in their footballing machine. The Spanish international has been responsible for a number of different man of the match performances. This has included performances against the likes of Everton where he saved a Leighton Baines penalty but also Liverpool. With a record breaking 10 saves in one game, he has now become a major figurehead at Old Trafford. It will be vital if they can stave off interest from Real Madrid as De Gea will have an integral role next year.
4 Michael Carrick
Another vital component of the side is midfielder Michael Carrick. Once again he will be essential if United are to challenge for the title. An extremely underrated player, he is able to play the ball forward and act in a positive manner. Furthermore, without Carrick, United have conceded more goals as well as gained fewer points. The former Spurs man has the ability to pick a pass at will. In fact, Carrick is responsible for his forward thinking approach to the game as he plays the ball forward. This is in stark contrast to United at the beginning of the season where fans criticized their negative style. Instead the ball was simply going sideways and backwards, whilst with Carrick at least he attempts to look forward.
3 Top Four
2 Sir Alex Ferguson
It is a big if at present, but if United are able to stave off injuries they will be in good shape to challenge Chelsea and Manchester City. During the current season, Van Gaal has had to deal with a wide variety of injuries. In fact at one time, he had more than a dozen players on the injury table. Through the years, it is clearly evident that avoiding injuries does benefit teams and their title challenge. If Manchester United can remain injury free, this will certainly increase the possibility of a successful title assault in 2015/16.
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