150/1 to be Relegated - are they too big to go Down?

Liam Bewsher

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Premier League Relegation Odds 2022/23

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MANCHESTER UNITED TO BE RELEGATED @ 150/1

150/1 to be Relegated - are they too big to go Down?

Last Season, Manchester United finished on 58 points in the Premier League, their worst points tally since the competition began in 1992/93, and in truth, it was a miracle how they even got to that total.

When taking into consideration of some of their victories under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick throughout that campaign, United were arguably lucky to beat Wolves (a), West Ham (a), Norwich home and away, Brentford (a) and even earned fortunate draws against Everton, Newcastle, Chelsea and more.

The Red Devils' last away league win came all the way back on 20th February, a 4-2 victory at Leeds where they infamously blew a 2-0 lead in less than a minute before goals by Fred and Anthony Elanga restored parity.

Meanwhile, they are on a run of just six wins from their last 16 matches in England’s top-flight, spanning all the way back to late January, having endured a disastrous Interim Managerial spell under Rangnick who finished on a win percentage of 35%.

Without the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo in the side, who has reportedly wanted a move away from a club that he is adored at for achievements in his first spell, they’d have finished 14th, as the 37-year-old’s 18 goals earned them a total of 14 points.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United

Premier League Bottom Half Finish Odds 2022/23

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MANCHESTER UTD @ 6/1

United’s Brighton Debacle

The opening weekend of the Premier League campaign is one where fans usually turn out to watch their team with an optimistic mindset, however, entering the pitch with nine players in the starting 11 from last season’s side that failed so badly, it is easy to see why United fans struggled for optimism.

Considering the departures of Matic, Lingard, Pogba, Mata, Cavani and more, United have only spent around £65m in the transfer window on Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez from Feyenoord and Ajax, whilst Christian Eriksen joined on a free transfer. This was after their CEO Richard Arnold promised fans in a leaked meeting at a local pub that they would have £200m to spend.

On top of this, as far as departures go, they have sold Andreas Pereira to Fulham for around £13m, loaned out Dean Henderson to Nottingham Forest, as well as Alex Telles to Sevilla without any option to buy…despite having three other left-backs at the club.

Erik ten Hag finds himself with a weaker squad than that of last season that Solskjaer and Rangnick couldn’t get a tune out of, as well as seeing the same old culprits cause systematic flaws to his game plan, with David De Gea refusing to leave his goal line, whilst Fred and Scott McTominay offer very little at either end of the pitch, as well as playing a huge part in United’s lack of structure in midfield due to their lack of positional awareness.

McTominay’s performance was the most highlighted on social media after the game, as the 25-year-old completed just 18 passes in 78 minutes and was also lucky not to have been sent off for a dangerous follow-through when tackling Moises Caicedo in the first half.

It was hardly a surprise to see Brighton come out full of confidence at Old Trafford and get the win, after all, the Seagulls had thrashed United 4-0 at the Amex Stadium back in May and were singing songs such as “can we play you every week” and “going down with the Palace”.

At the end of the game, statistics read that United themselves hadn’t managed to score via their own players on the pitch, as well as Brighton having 15 shots to their 17. Until they make wholesale changes, things will not get better at Old Trafford.

Europa League Outright Winners Odds 2022/23

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MANCHESTER UTD @ 6/1

What’s Next for United?

United needs to back ten Hag on the pitch by providing funds for a plethora of new signings, otherwise, it will be another failed rebuild project.

Fans of the Old Trafford club are constantly reminded of the £1bn they have invested on players since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, but, any sensible fan can see that the players that currently feature on the pitch for them haven’t amounted to that kind of money.

United arguably needs two new midfielders, another striker, a right-back and a right-winger to fill out their squad properly - after all, they are yet to find out their Europa League group stage opponents in what will be a very compact season due to the World Cup in Qatar taking place during November and December.

The Red Devils also need players to refind form, with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes all having poor games against Brighton, whilst Luke Shaw was hardly innocent having let Leandro Trossard cut inside onto his stronger foot for the Seagulls' second goal - arguably, he is lucky to be at the club considering he has had two good seasons since joining in 2014.

Surely the likes of Marco Arnautovic and Adrien Rabiot aren’t the answer to United’s prayers - these kinds of signings could set the club back further as they’ve been notoriously bad at selling players. They are rather synonymous with the Glazer's ownership of the club, a lazy cost-cutting exercise.

It seems ironic that in the summer when ten Hag wanted Darwin Nunez he could be on the verge of getting Arnautovic, similarly to when United failed to get Erling Haaland and loaned in Odion Ighalo. This transfer news follows after reports of Joel Glazer reportedly refusing Ronaldo’s request to leave having seen the club’s share price drop to $11.53.

It always seems to be a battle for each manager against United’s board of directors and owners - causing a lack of stability, unrest and turbulence. An elite football club should be run by those with extensive knowledge of the game and business, not investment bankers.

Frenkie de Jong’s name has been frequently touted, but that even sounds unlikely after nearly three months of speculation, United must quickly identify other targets that can enhance their play style, such as Konrad Laimer, Ruben Neves, Youri Tielemans and more in order to give ten Hag the tools to succeed as United manager.

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