What will we remember from Manchester United as they won the Premier League title for the fifth time in seven seasons? Not much except for Robin van Persie, and it’s quite clear they need a whole lot more to both repeat as champions and end their string of Champions League failures.
Great football? Nope. There were exciting comebacks along the way, mostly in the first half of the season, as Manchester City couldn’t get anything going away from home and eventually fell too far behind United, who clinched the title with about a month to go.
Is David Moyes about impressing the masses with exquisite football? Probably not. He just wants to survive the first year in the shoes of Alex Ferguson, shoes it is impossible to fill. Winning a title isn’t obligatory, but being part of the title contention and making the Champions League quarterfinals after two years of falling short is probably a must in order to avoid pressure. Making a good run out of the gates is recommended as well.
Robin van Persie ended up scoring more goals than anyone last season for a second straight year, finishing with 26. He had a long drought that didn’t matter due to Manchester City being so far away. He woke up from his spring slumber as it was time to actually finish the job.
But another year of just Van Persie and bit and pieces of other things won’t do. Manchester City will be stronger – new players, new hunger, and a better manager than before. Chelsea will be better, even though they haven’t sorted out their defensive issues just yet, and Jose Mourinho might not be the same man he was a decade ago.
Manchester United need signings. It doesn’t have to be a big one, but it has to be the right one(s). It’s unclear if Wayne Rooney is leaving or not, but if he’s gone it might mean that more than one player needs to arrive. The wings are a mess, with Antonio Valencia going through his worst season as a United player; Nani on his way out and Ashley Young having too few moments of actually contributing.
The midfield is a mess, with Michael Carrick looking for a partner he won’t see on the bench in the next match. The defense will be fine if the midfield will be fine. David de Gea will be an excellent goalkeeper very soon, and pretty soon it’ll also be less trendy to criticize him for every goal United concede.
Robin van Persie is the star, there’s no doubt about that. David Moyes made that clear when he made his remarks about Wayne Rooney that stirred the controversy right back into the headlines once again. But he’s not enough. Not if there are so many question marks behind him about more than two or three positions. Not when Moyes seems like someone who not only lacks the attraction power for big-name players Ferguson had, but might be a deterrent as well.