Opening day Optimism 

Summary: Being a child on Christmas Eve. Waiting for your Bride to walk down the aisle. Awaiting the Birth of your baby. Getting to the airport before holidays. Opening the first beer on a Friday night after a hard week at work. Watching the minutes count down before Manchester United’s first match of a brand new football season.

Oh, what joy! A fresh new season with all the hopes and dreams that come with it! Will it be our season? Will it be filled with excitement, drama, last-gasp wins, let-downs, new thrilling players, wins and even silverware?

Everything reset to zero, a chance to banish all of those disappointments of last season. A clean slate. So it begins again. An interesting development due to TV is that you have already seen how some teams have fared, like Chelsea capitulating at home to Burnley and having two men sent off, meaning that you can already get a jump on them by winning on Sunday and also laughing at Liverpool failing to win at Watford. Yes! It’s already going our way! In 2006 United pulverised Fulham 5-1 after going 4-0 up within 20 minutes. We won the title that year and you knew from day one that it was on the cards! How great would it be if there was that show of strength against West Ham. Then again, the reverse is true and United won the league in 2012-13 despite losing at Everton on the opening day. There have also been false dawns like the 4-1 annihilation of reigning Champions Arsenal in 1989 when a portly Michael Knighton preceded the match with ball juggling antics and scoring in front of the Stretford end whilst blowing kisses to the bemused and amused Old Trafford faithful.

Make no mistake though, the opening day can be magical. Here we stand on the precipice of Mourinho’s second season – the season that he traditionally delivers a League Title. There are new faces, such as the already impressive Matic and the big-money signing of Lukaku, together with the promising Lindelof.  What’s also intriguing is how last season’s players adapt as they enter the second season after their “bedding in” period. Bailly should have no problems as he’s already proven to be a great player so far, but what of Pogba and Mkhitaryan? These players should be now able to have the platform to move on and contribute to the team from the get-go, and the team will be looking to perform. Carrick realises his potential as Captain in what is likely to be his swan-song season and he will be determined to go out with a bang as Skipper of Manchester United and cement his place in the pantheon of Old Trafford greats. I still believe that we are lacking in a truly magnificent wide player, and I am hoping that Mourinho is playing it down with his very public admission of defeat in the ongoing pursuit of Gareth Bale. Should he arrive at Old Trafford before the end of August then my head as well as my heart would believe that the Premier League title would be bound for M16 come May 2018.

Before all of that, let’s sit back and herald the start of a new season for Manchester United – Come on United!

Written by Paul Young


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