Manchester United are expected to rise again next season. With a manager of European pedigree coming in and a number of top-class players expected to be recruited, the Red Devils will be many people’s favourites to challenge for the Premier League title.
But they won’t win it, according to club legend Gary Neville. One of the all-time greats of the English game, the 39-year-old claims that the 2014-15 season is unlikely to end in league success for Louis van Gaal and his men.
‘At this moment in time we’re in a period of instability’, the Republik of Mancunia quotes him as saying. ‘I’m not saying we’re going to be champions next season, I think that would be too big of an ask’.
United officials and fans will think otherwise, of course. The Red Devils finished the 2013-14 season in seventh place under David Moyes, who was dismissed in late April. It was the three-time European champions’ worst finish in the Premier League era, and they will be expected to bounce back.
However, given how competitive next season’s Premier League title race promises to be, United could well end up empty-handed again. Manchester City, who won their second title in three years earlier this month, will be the favourites given that they have – and will probably still have in August – the best squad in England.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will be more determined than ever to bounce back after a trophyless campaign, while Liverpool will be looking to build on their very impressive 2013-14 season in which they finished second, just two points behind champions City.
And don’t count out Arsenal either. Even though the Gunners have not won the title since 2004 and fell out of the race midway through March, manager Arsene Wenger will be pumping up his players to go all the way next season.
The 2014-15 Premier League title race will be one of the most competitive in history. United will be in the mix, but whether or not they can actually win it is open to debate.