The Treble Winners versus the Invincibles; who did it Best?

On one side, Arsene Wenger lifting the invincibles trophy, on the other, Ferguson posing with the treble trophies.

English football had one of the fiercest rivalries around the beginning of the 21st century. Two clubs had carved out a niche in the elite category courtesy of their managers and style of play. They amassed trophies at will and set unique records only held by the two specific clubs. While one won the impressive Treble, the other won a trophy currently considered impossible to lift, the Golden EPL trophy (the invincibles). Indeed Manchester United and Arsenal gifted the EPL fans an unforgettable era of entertaining English football. Despite both groups winning their accolades impressively, some fans still decide whose feat was more memorable. Before deciding who did it best, let us examine both teams and how they ran their games.

The outlook and quality of both the Treble winners and the Invincibles

Both teams comprised two elite managers, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, famously referred to as the Professor. Before taking over their respective clubs, both managers had shown promise in their respective clubs before being given the jobs. They took over the clubs with the zeal to improve the legacies already made by Manchester United and Arsenal. Despite having their unique tactics, both managers wanted their teams to be possession based and dominant over their opponents. 

David Beckham holding the Champions League trophy. He setup Teddy Sheringham in the dying seconds of the Champions League final
David Beckham holding the Champions League trophy. He setup Teddy Sheringham in the dying seconds of the Champions League final. Photo Credits: Manchester United

The quality of the midfield

They, therefore, ensured that their midfielders were full of quality to run their games perfectly. The treble winners had the no-joke Roy Keane as their central defensive midfielder. He was backed up by the sharp-shooting Paul Scholes and the free-kick specialist David Beckham. Academy coach Nicky Butt completed this midfield four that collected the three trophies in the 1998/99 season. 

The Invincibles had Patrick Vieira as their captain and defensive midfielder. The Frenchman was known for his bullish style of play that made opponents shudder with fear whenever playing against him. He played with Robert Pires and former manager Fredrick Ljungberg. Current sporting director Edu also played a crucial role in shaping this midfield that went 38 games unbeaten in EPL. Their midfield was physical and creative, taking points from other clubs at will.

The intimidating shot-stoppers

The treble winners had the gigantic Peter Schmeichel as their showstopper. The Dane intimidated strikers with his big body size and made several crucial saves that won United games. On the other hand, Jens Lehmann was at his best during their golden EPL campaign. He kept 15 clean sheets and was one of the goalkeepers who won the golden gloves that season. The goalkeeping docket, therefore, played a crucial role in ensuring both clubs achieved their feats.

The walls that secured trophies

A famous football quote by Sir Alex Ferguson goes, attack wins you games, and defense wins you titles. This could be one reason he ensured he formed a wall in his defense that proved a hard nut to crack. Denis Irwin and Jaap Stam combined with the Neville brothers forming a wall that proved a menace to opponents. The three trophies testify to how good that defense must have been.

The Gunners utilized the services of Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy, Sol Campbell, and Kolo Toure. The likes of Keown, Cygan, and Lauren also played a crucial role in delivering the unique piece of silverware home. This respected defense ensured that Arsenal went unbeaten for 38 Premier League games. 

Attacks full of talent

The attacks of these two clubs during their respective seasons were firing from all fronts. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole accounted for at least 35 of Manchester United’s premier league goals. Despite being a substitute in most games, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also played a crucial role in both the EPL and champions league. 

The London greats had the talented Denis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry, who entertained the 2003/04 season and left the fans with great memories. Reyes, Wiltord, and Kanu also made an indelible mark in the hearts of the fans with some crucial goals. This attack will consistently rank as one of the best the Arsenal fans experienced at Highbury.

Both attacks were highly rated and definitely deserved to achieve their individual successes. Regarding squad quality, both clubs were well-equipped with enough firepower to win trophies. None of them had a deficient squad.

Individual Honours in the respective seasons

After Manchester United won the Treble, David Beckham was ranked second in the Balon D’Or rankings. Six other Manchester United had been nominated for the awards. These included Schmeichel, Giggs, Yorke, and Cole, among others. 

After Arsenal’s Invincible season, only three of their players made it to the Balon d’Or’s final nomination list: Henry, Vieira, and Reyes. Henry finished in 4th spot in the final rankings. These nominations might indicate how challenging it was to lift the Treble than the golden EPL. 

Thierry Henry celebrating a past goal for Arsenal. He was part of the invincibles and was among the Balond'Or nominees, emerging fourth
Thierry Henry celebrating a past goal for Arsenal. He was part of the invincibles and was among the Balond’Or nominees, emerging fourth

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The trophies won

Manchester United was rewarded with three trophies for their impressive campaign in the 1998/99 season. These were the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League trophies. 

The Gunners won the Premier League trophy during their invincibles campaign in 2003/2004 season and were given a special golden trophy. Taking part in three competitions and winning them is a more significant challenge than winning a single trophy. In terms of trophies won, the Red Devils have the upper hand.

The difficulty of achieving each feat

Alex Ferguson’s side is respected for being the first and only English club to win the Treble. They did this after English clubs had been given a 5-year Champions League ban breaking the jinx of no English club making it to the finals in 8 years, and winning the trophy. Determined and unstoppable, United went on to add the Premier League and FA Cups to their accolades.

However, other European clubs have also replicated this feat, winning trebles on various occasions. In 2013, Bayern Munich won the Treble in Germany. Inter Milan also won the Treble in 2010 under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho. In 2009 and 2015, FC Barcelona also won the Treble. This could indicate that more clubs might achieve this feat in the coming years.

Juventus has only replicated the Invincible season in the top flight of European football. They did this in the 2011/12 season before winning the Scudetto. This proves that winning the league unbeaten might be more challenging than winning the Treble. It might take several other years before another unbeaten record is made in Europe.  

The treble winners celebrating their great feat. No English club has been able to replicate the same feat.
Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes celebrating their great feat. No English club has been able to replicate the same feat. Photo Credits: Manchester United

Beyond the Thrills: Reliving the Unforgettable Seasons of the ‘Invincibles’ and ‘Treble’ Winners

The Gunners managed to win 26 games and drew 12 in the invincibles season (2003/04). Despite having that impressive season, they faced some challenging games. At the beginning of the season, they drew 1-1 with Portsmouth FC. Thierry Henry later said that they drew the game given luck after being gifted a penalty late to draw the game. During that season, Arsenal scored 73 goals in the league in 2004. They scored 113 goals in all competitions.

Manchester United scored 80 league goals in their treble-winning season and had 128 goals scored in all competitions. They lost 3 league games all season. In terms of the number of goals scored in the league, Manchester United outshined Arsenal. Manchester United offered a more entertaining season than Arsenal.

How the Unbeatable Were Beaten: The Shocking Story of the Invincibles’ and Treble Winners’ Campaign Downfall

During their treble-winning campaign, the Old Trafford outfit lost five games. They lost to Sheffield Wednesday, Arsenal, and Middlesbrough in the league. Middlesbrough was the only club that beat Manchester United at home. They were also beaten by Arsenal during the Community Shield match at the beginning of the season. The last loss came at Tottenham in the league cup 3rd round. These were the only dents Manchester United experienced before achieving their greatest success.

In the 2004 season, the Gunners also experienced a fair share of disappointments from opponents. They were beaten by Middlesbrough FC in the League Cup semi-final stage. They also lost to bitter rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals. Chelsea also eliminated them late in the Champions League, leaving them with only a single title. 

Both clubs won their accolades impressively. However, they also experienced some humiliating losses during the season. This did not deter their seasons from being recorded as successes.

The Legacy of the Invincibles and Treble Winners Lives On

Every football fan can agree that the treble-winning and invincible seasons were impressive. The two clubs offered top-notch entertainment that will forever stay in the outstanding football records. The two managers also offered their highly entertaining, unique, and entertaining football styles.

Furthermore, both squads contained stars who were capable of lifting the trophies. They also had the quality and depth necessary to win accolades, and they eventually did so. Winning the league unbeaten was a challenging feat, especially with the league having the likes of Chelsea rebuilding under Abrahamovic. The Red Devils and the Reds were also impressive clubs at the time, and so Arsenal did a great job.

However, I would go with a treble owing to the quality of the trophies achieved and the number of games played by Man United. The United side had to play several games to win all the trophies. The three are prestigious cups highly rated in Europe, showing how lethal this united side must have been.

Manchester United is set to raid the European market to strengthen its squad

David De Gea in past match for Manchester United. David De Gea has fallen out of favor with the club's fans due to his error-prone nature and style of play.

Manchester United has had a season full of highs and lows. Despite winning the Carabao Cup, they still fight for the top 4 spots with the likes of Newcastle United and Liverpool. With some of their key players out injured, they have lost some crucial matches exposing how low their squad depth is lying. Manager Erik Ten Hag has insisted on the importance of the club raiding the market early enough to give him ample time to prepare for the upcoming season. Several top players have been linked with Manchester United.

A modern goalkeeper needed

Long-time Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has fallen out of favor with the club’s fans due to his error-prone nature and style of play. He has made some easy but crucial mistakes costing the Red Devils essential points. He is also still working on high claims and sweeping of the ball. His build-up play from the back still needs improvement despite Ten Hag trying to encourage that style of play. FC Porto goalkeeper, Diogo Costa, has been identified as the top target for the club. His build-up play from the back is highly rated. Moreover, his high claims and sweeping skills are impressive. If Manchester United miss out on him, all is not lost. David Raya from Brentford has also been mentioned as another shot-stopper they might consider for the job.

The Manchester United defence menace 

Club captain, Harry Maguire, has failed to meet his price tag and might leave in the summer with Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe. He still needs to impress the gaffer, forcing him to use left-back Luke Shaw as a center-back despite Maguire being fit. Scudetto winner Kim Min Jae has impressed this season at the Serie A, with some sources linking him with a summer move to Manchester. Jurrien Timber, who Ajax will sell in the summer, is excited to link up with Lisandro Martinez again. The two have been the most mentioned defenders with links to Manchester United.

Jurrien Timber celebrating a past goal with Ajax at the Johann Cruyff Arena. The defender would be excited to link up with Lisandro Martinez again.
Jurrien Timber celebrating a past goal with Ajax at the Johann Cruyff Arena. The defender would be excited to link up with Lisandro Martinez again. Photo Credits: Jurrien Timber

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The midfield restructuring

Among other midfielders, Scott McTominay and Donny Van De Beek are on the way out of the club. Some new faces might be witnessed at the Carrington soon as the club sets sight on competing for trophies next season. Alexis MacAllister has been mentioned as one of the midfielders to help rebuild the club after impressing for Both Brighton and his national team Argentina. Declan Rice is seen as the perfect long-term replacement for Casemiro and has also been linked to the club. Frenkie De Jong is still the top midfield target as Ten Hag tries to bring him to Old Trafford for the second consecutive season. 

The striking options

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has been linked with Manchester United for some time now. With 22 Serie A goals this season and a scudetto to his name, he is wanted at the club to increase the number of goals scored. Harry Kane has also been linked to Man United in what is being taunted as an identical move to Robin Van Persie in 2012. Harry Kane is a Premier League-proven striker with two golden boots and can bank on that to give Manchester United the elusive Premier League title.

Victor Osimhen celebrating a past goal for Napoli. The Nigerian forward is among the players being sought after by Manchester United. Photo Credits: Napoli Official

Other clubs also eyed these transfer targets, with Ten Hag expecting to make quick signings to avoid missing out on his priority targets. A busy transfer window awaits Manchester United; it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Ten Hag Is Banking on this Player for the FA Cup Finals

Ten Haag celebrating a past win for United. The Holland national will be looking forward to beat Manchester City to the FA Cup

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag will be banking on Raphael Varane to help his defence when they take on Manchester City in a crunch FA Cup tie in a month. The 3rd of May has been set aside as the D-day for two Manchester giants to battle it out for England’s oldest and arguably their most prestigious domestic cup. 

Manchester City qualified for the finals after dismantling Sheffield United by three goals to nil (3:0) in the semi-finals. On the other hand, Manchester United had to win the penalty shootout against Brighton and Hove Albion to qualify for their second domestic finals this season. The defensive pairing of Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw had to be utilised during the game. Both first-choice defenders, Varane and Lisandro Martinez were out injured.

Raphael Varane celebrating Manchester United’s past win against Manchester City in the Premier League. Manchester United won 2:1 in the game. The two will face each other in the FA Cup finals. Photo Credits: Manchester United

An injured Manchester United back line: Raphael Varane and co.

Raphael Varane got injured in the Europa League first-leg clash with Sevilla and was pulled out at halftime with United leading by two goals. Harry Maguire stepped in but had an error-filled game culminating in an unfortunate goal. In the second leg, Harry Maguire was again on the receiving end, making a mistake that gifted Sevilla a goal. United lost the game, with Maguire failing to fill in the shoes of the absent French national.

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The seemingly impenetrable pairing of Shaw and Lindelof

Lindelof and an improvised Luke Shaw have been impressive in the centre-back position keeping two clean sheets in three games. However, Erik Ten Hag knows how lethal the Manchester City attack is and will need Varane back for the game. The World cup winning defender was present when the Red Devils beat Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford. He played a crucial role in taming Erling Haaland, who did not manage a single shot on target for the entire game.

Cityzen’s great run of form

Currently, Manchester City are in good form and it will need a confident Manchester United to stop their ambition of completing a domestic treble with the premier league in their sights. With Lisandro Martinez set to be sidelined for the remainder of the season, Varane will be needed at the club. He is being treated and assessed by the physios at the Carrington to see how soon he might return to the squad.

Manchester United are seeking to sign a new keeper

Livakovic celebrating a win for his team.

Manchester United are seeking to sign a new goal keeper, their main target, Dominic Livakovic. He has developed into one of the most prolific goalkeepers and has proven himself on the world stage. He plays as the number one Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper and doubles up as the Croatian national team goalkeeper. His impressive performances at club and national team levels are why he is now considered one of the most sought-after goalkeepers.

Livakovic exploits at club level

Livakovic was born on the 9th of January 1995 in Zadar, Croatia. He started his club career at the NK Zagreb team, where he made his senior debut on the 31st of August 2012. He joined Dinamo Zagreb at the beginning of the 2015/16 season and debuted for the club on the 2nd of October 2016. Since then, he has stayed at Dinamo Zagreb, playing a crucial role in their hunt for accolades.

At Dinamo Zagreb, he holds the record for the longest time since the start of the season without conceding a goal. He set the record of 535 minutes on the 2nd of August 2019 while playing against Gorica. His most impressive club performance for Dinamo Zagreb was noticed in the 2020-21 Europa League group stages. During that season, he conceded only one goal in 5 group-stage games while saving a crucial penalty. He was also instrumental when they eliminated Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 of the competition granting Zagreb their first Europa League quarter-finals appearance in history.

Dinamo Zagreb’s number one has been linked to a number of top sides following his great consistent performances. Photo Credits: Dinamo Zagreb

Livakovic exploits for the Croatian team

Dominik Livakovic earned his first international call-up to the Croatian National team in May 2016. He had to wait until 2017 to debut against Chile in the China Cup. In 2018, the Dinamo Zagreb shot stopper got the significant call-up to join the Croatian National team for the World Cup, where he won a silver medal after finishing runners-up to France. He did not play a game during the tournament, with Daniel Subasic being the leading man.

He was finally rewarded with his first competitive debut against England in a goalless Nations League match. It took several disappointing performances by Lovre Kalinic for Livakovic to be considered Croatia’s number 1 goalkeeper. He started playing this role satisfactorily against Wales on the 8th of June 2019.

His most impressive performances were noticed at the 2022 world cup, where he played eight matches for Croatia. He kept two clean sheets against Morocco and Belgium in the group stages and helped his team advance to the round of 16, where they faced Japan. His three crucial penalty saves ensured his team qualified for the quarter-finals. 

He saved another crucial penalty against Brazil in the quarter-finals. He ensured they got to the competition’s semi-finals for the second consecutive edition, where they were beaten 3-0 by Argentina. He, however, became the 15th player ever to be awarded a 10/10 performance by France magazine L’Equipe for his heroics against Morocco as they settled for the bronze medal. 

His world cup heroics have massively contributed to him being wanted by several clubs since he has proven to be a technically gifted player.

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Career Statistics

The Manchester United target has played at least 388 club games since he started playing his trade for Zagreb. These include at least 300 league and 70 European games. For the Croatian national team, he has played a total of 43 games. 


The Dinamo Zagreb shot stopper started winning trophies as early as 2014 with NK Zagreb, where they won the Croatian championship. At Dinamo Zagreb, he has won 5 league cups, two Croatian and two Croatian super cups. He won the world cup silver medal with Croatia while adding another bronze medal in the last world cup edition.

Livakovic in action for the Croatian national team
Livakovic in action for Dinamo Zagreb. The shot stopper has been linked with a move to Manchester United. Photo Credits: Dinamo Zagreb

Individual Honours

He has been named to the Croatian league team of the year seven times and named Croatian’s best goalkeeper for four consecutive years since 2019. After his superb performances, he was named to the Europa League breakthrough team of 2018. In 2020/21, he was named to the Europa League squad of the season

How much will it cost Manchester United to get Livakovic

The Croatian has a release clause of around 8.9 million euros that Manchester United is seemingly ready to pay. They are currently the only major club interested in the Croatian international, seeking to level up on David De Gea. If they can pay this release clause, Dominik Livakovic might make his appearance at Manchester United next season.

Will Alejandro Garnacho feature for Argentina U-20?

Alejandro Garnacho celebrating his goal in past match for Manchester United

Eighteen (18) year old Talented Manchester United forward Alejandro Garnacho is a wanted man in the Argentina Under 20 national team camp. The young sensation is needed to bolster the attack of the squad ahead of the FIFA under 20 World Cup that is set to be played in a months time.  The forward has been impressive for Manchester United this season netting 4 goals and recording 4 assists in 29 games.

The former Atletico Madrid academy player is particularly remembered for his superb stoppage time winner against Fulham FC and his late assist to Marcus Rashford that gave Manchester United the win against Manchester City. His superb form had earned him a call up to the Lionel Scaloni coached Argentina National Team before he unfortunately sustained a injury.

His needed presence at Old Trafford

As they near the end of the season, Manchester United are facing some key injuries as they try to compete for the FA Cup and a top 4 finish. The young forward is a crucial part of the squad and is expected to help add firepower to their forward line as they aim to achieve some of their targets. The head coach of Argentina under 20 national team Javier Mascherano, is believed to be a big fan of Garnacho. The under-20 coach would like him to be one of his key players as they aim to replicate what the senior team did in Qatar.

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According to some reports, Mascherano is set to fly  to England to try and convince Manchester United to allow their youngster to join the national team under 20 camp. If they accept to release him, he might miss the last 2 Manchester United premier league games and the FA Cup finals. The young forward has recently signed new long term contract at Manchester United and is believed to be one of the key future stars at the club.

Lisandro Martinez reunited with Ten Haag at Manchester United.

Thomas previously praising Ron

Manchester United has completed the signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax for fifty-five million Euros (€ 55 m). He is now the second player at Manchester United with a history of being coached by Eric Ten Haag. Donny van de Beek has also worked with Manchester United coach at Ajax.


Ten Haag rates Martinez highly despite his considerably shorter stature for a center-back. The Argentine will be the shortest center-back ever to have featured in the history of the Premier League. Most prominent center-backs are pretty tall and of huge stature, one that can be deemed to intimidate opposition players. Luckily, Cristiano Ronaldo, a player with excellent aerial and heading quality, is Lisandro’s teammate. 

Manchester United has completed the signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax for fifty-five million Euros (€ 55 m). The Butcher of Amsterdam has been reunited with Ten Haag at Old Trafford.
(Above) Lisandro and Ten Haag attending a Press conference while at Ajax. (Below) Lisandro Martinez and Ten Haag celebrating a trophy win at Ajax. The two reunite at Old Trafford, this time in a Manched United shirt. Photo Credits: Ajax FC

Despite this perceived shortcoming, Lisandro has successfully represented Ajax in the Eredivisie as a center-back. His excellence in tackling players earned him the name ‘butcher of Amsterdam.’ He is efficiently combative in one-on-one scenarios against attacking opponent players. Infact, after his transfer to Manchester United, he had this to say, “Yes, I am called the carnicero – The Butcher of ­Amsterdam. We Argentines do ­everything with passion and when I go out on the pitch, I fight for every ball. If I have to step over dead bodies, I do it.”

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The butcher of Amsterdam

Such a mentality has been attributed to the likes of Diego Simeone, Sergio Ramos, and Casemiro. Specifically, Diego Simeone, as a player, was highly regarded for his fighting spirit on the pitch. He was a win-at-all-costs kind of midfielder, aggressive and efficiently ruthless. They called him El Cholo. Coincidentally, Diego Simeone and Lisandro Martinez hail from Argentina and play(ed) a defensive role in their respective teams. Is this a young version of the former?

Lisandro has made seven (7) appearances for Argentina’s national team, La Albiceleste. The number of international appearances might increase depending on whether Ten Haag plays him. With many defensive players available, the competition for active participation is expected to be high. If the Argentine performs more remarkably, he can start most of the games. 

Ten Haag rates Martinez highly despite his considerably shorter stature for a center-back. The Argentine will be the shortest center-back ever to have featured in the history of the Premier League.
(Above) Lisandro Martinez in a one-v-one duel against Haaland during the 21/22 Uefa Champions League match between Ajax and Borussia Dortmund. The two are meant to face off in the high-tension Manchester Derby. Photo Credits: UEFA Champions League


Lisandro can play several positions, such as a center-back (CB), left-back (LB), or as a central defensive midfielder (CDM). This versatility is advantageous as it gives Ten Haag more tactical options during or before a game.

Last season, Eredivisie 21/22, Lisandro started in twenty-three (23) matches for Ajax out of thirty-four (34) matches that his side played. Moreover, he scored one (1)  goal and provided three (3) assists, which is quite a notable attacking contribution for a center-back. One of his significant attacking contributions is firing long balls into opponents’ defenses. In fact, in the 21/22 season, he made 5.4 accurate long balls per game which translates to a 61% efficiency of all his long ball attempts. Additionally, ‘the butcher of Amsterdam’ featured in Eredivisie’s nine (9) rounds of ‘team of the week’ awards.

Players tend to adapt differently to the Premier League. How Lisandro will adapt is not known yet? We can judge his performance by seven (7) to eight (8) games. Either way, Ten Haag will look forward to using him to bolster United’s defense. De Jong seems to be the remaining transfer Ten Haag hopes to complete to recreate a given type of midfield with his former and present players at Old Trafford.

Manchester United Transfer News. Ronaldo out?

It is pretty unsettling for a Manchester United fan that Cristiano Ronaldo did not travel with the rest of the team for the pre-season tour amidst the numerous Manchester United transfer news linking him to a possible transfer away from Old Trafford. The potential transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, among many other possible transfers to and from Manchester, keeps die-hard fans unsettled.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United’s top goal scorer in the Premier League 21/22 has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford. Clubs such as Chelsea and PSG have been linked with him. Chelsea’s transfers team made contact with Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, following the news that he was not part of the squad for the pre-season tour. They were trying to establish the situation at Old Trafford for the Portuguese striker and assess the possibility of a transfer. However, the two have not discussed a personal agreement, nor has Chelsea made an official offer for the Portuguese striker. Moreover, Chelsea is yet to place an official bid to sign the player. 

Picture Mbappe, Neymar, Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo on the same team

Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe are currently rated among the best footballers and happen to play for the same club. How would they lineup with Cristiano Ronaldo in the team? On paper, this team is quite formidable. However, the practicality of the situation, proper player management, and tactical implementation by the coaching team can be disastrous for one of the players. Some or one of the player(s) could end up clouded by the other(s). Notably: Benzema has been having a great season with Real Madrid following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, and Griezmann had a tough time featuring Barcelona with Messi present.

In addition, in the 21/22 Ligue 1 season, the three did not have a stellar performance per se. Mbappe was occasionally the main man on most occasions whenever the three were fielded. Mbappe played as the striking target in most matches and delivered exceptionally. Messi and Neymar had to take a deeper chance creating roles, but they occasionally failed to take up defensive roles. Well, probably Pochettinho’s tactics were a miss, or the three are just lazy.

As expected, PSG has turned down the opportunity to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. Considering the latter reason, it is pretty clear why. Furthermore, onboarding him with his high wages would significantly affect the team balance in other pitch areas, considering financial fair play guidelines.

Manchester United News

2. Frenkie De Jong

Looking at United’s chase for De Jong brings to mind the thought of chasing after the wind. Remember the Sancho deal? At first, Sancho proved quite elusive for the Red Devils, but after numerous rejected deals and fan videos calling for his signing, he finally arrived at Old Trafford. Ten Haag appears to be gathering some of his previous exceptional players. Manchester United is also pursuing Lisandro Martinez, who happens to have been signed and coached by the Dutch, fifty-two-year-old (52 yrs) Dutch coach. 

Frenkie De Jong has been a top transfer target for Ten Haag at Manchester United, despite the prevailing situation at Barcelona. Photo Credit: Barcelona FC
Frenkie De Jong has been a top transfer target for Ten Haag at Manchester United, despite the prevailing situation at Barcelona. Photo Credit: Barcelona FC

Barcelona’s financial status. Are they broke or not?

Frenkie De Jong has communicated through his agents, Ali Dursun and Hasan Cetinkaya, that he has no intention of leaving the Nou Camp. Moreover, they have stated that they are not accepting salary reductions or related negotiations. At one point, Barcelona had come to an agreement to sell the twenty-five-year-old to Manchester United, with some add-ons slated into the deal. The precise agreed transfer amount was sixty-five million Euros (€ 65 m) and twenty million Euros (€ 20 m) in add-ons. Barcelona claimed to not be in a stable financial position. They have been seeking to offload some players to lower their wage bills. The economic situation was dire to the point that the Nou Camp was open for weddings and other events during the summer break. 

Another major hindrance to closing this deal is the seventeen million Euros (€ 17 m) that Barcelona owes De Jong. Surprisingly, they can hijack a Raphinha-to-Chelsea deal and sign the Brazillian for sixty-five million Euros (€ 65 m). The purchase of Raphinha by Barcelona begs many questions about their actual financial status and whether they will sell the Dutch midfielder to Manchester United. 

3. Lisandro Martinez

This Argentine center-back, Martinez, has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, where he will rejoin his former coach, Eric Ten Haag, at Old Trafford. The Red Devils have agreed on personal terms with the Argentine and are looking forward to sealing a deal with Ajax. Last week, the Eredivisie team rejected an initial fifty million Euros (€50 m) deal from Manchester United. However, they are currently open to selling the Argentine.

Lisandro Martinez featuring for Ajax FC in a past match. The Argentine is a top transfer target for Manchester United. Mufc has stepped up its pursuit of the Argentine. Photo Credit: Ajax FC
Above, Lisandro Martinez featuring for Ajax FC in a past match. The Argentine is a top transfer target for Manchester United. Mufc has stepped up its pursuit of the Argentine. Photo Credit: Ajax FC

Squad depth

The successful transfer of Lisandro Martinez will add more defensive squad depth for the Manchester side. The Argentine will join an already star-studded defense if the deal pulls through. Some of these big names include Harry Maguire (Ten Haag’s captaincy choice), Raphael Varane (multiple times Champions League winner), Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw (dubbed to be present-day Roberto Carlos), Aaron Wan Bissaka (never misses a tackle), Alex Telles, among other defensive options. 

Who is Lisandro Martinez?

Who is Lisandro Martinez? You might not need to scroll through numerous Youtube videos to get to know this guy. He is a quite notable left-footed center-back. Lisandro Martinez plays for Eredivisie’s side, Ajax, and has made 74 appearances for the Eredivisie side, scoring six (6) goals and providing five (5) assists. It is worth noting that Ten Haag occasionally fields a back-four side. Occasionally, he opts for a 4-3-3 high press formation, and other times he goes with a 4-3-2-1 formation. As a result, Lisandro Martinez might bench one of the center-backs or remain as a bench option or a Europa player considering the number of matches in the first half of the Premier League.

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4. Pogba

The phrase, Pogback, was a trend in August 2016. At that time, Manchester United fans worldwide celebrated his return to Old Trafford for a record fee, one hundred and five million Euros (€ 105 m). Despite all this, Pogba has again parted ways with the Red Devils to rejoin the Italian side, Juventus. Before this move, sources close to Pogba claimed that he was disgruntled at Manchester United. During this period, Labile was linked with some clubs, including Real Madrid and Barcelona. When Zinedine Zidane was coaching Real Madrid, he had taken a keen interest in him.

Pogba in a Juventus shirt following his move from Manchester United on a free transfer. Photo Credit: Juventus FC
Pogba in a Juventus shirt following his move from Manchester United on a free transfer. Photo Credit: Juventus FC

The France national joins Juventus on a free transfer for the second time (United seems to be doing the heavy lifting here). Paul Pogba is a Manchester United academy graduate but seems to have never settled comfortably for the Premier League side. He has not been consistent throughout his stay at United. It is worth noting that at the start of the 21/22 Premier League season, Labile Pogba had several stellar performances. However, this did not reflect over the rest of the season. Alex Ferguson, at one point, made a statement regarding the player’s discipline and cited it as a reason for concern. Moreover, he did not fail to acknowledge the exceptional skills Pogba possessed.

Despite all this, Pogba has contributed immensely to the last trophy the Manchester United team won. Most notable is his role in their Europa final versus Ajax back in the 16/17 season. 

An active Manchester United transfer period

Ten Haag is active during this period. Cristiano Ronaldo might leave Manchester United; De Jong might agree to his transfer from Barcelona to Manchester United. There are numerous possibilities for Manchester United during this transfer period. The Red Devils might miss out on some transfers, lose some players, or complete unexpected player signings.

Here are some of the top transfer targets for Manchester United. Photo Credit: MIrror Football
Here are some of the top transfer targets for Manchester United. Photo Credit: Mirror Football

Cristiano Ronaldo to Chelsea?

Thomas previously praising Ron

Is Cristiano Ronaldo bound to join Chelsea? To the shock of the football fanbase, especially Manchester United fans, Chelsea are interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo. Other clubs that are interested in the five-time Ballon d`Or winner include Napoli and PSG. 

Not for sale

Initially Manchester United had profiled Cristiano Ronaldo as a not-for-sale player. However, with the arrival of Eric Ten Haag at Old Trafford has triggered more interest from other clubs. Ten Haag supposedly said that Cristiano is not part of his  plans at Manchester United. This was prior to him officially joining Manchester United as the head coach.

Since the change in ownership of Chelsea, the club has been knocking door in almost every club. The Blues have already shown interest even to the point of making offers for various players. These include, Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Nathan Ake (Manchester City), and Raphinha. Some of these deals have pulled through or are in advanced stages whereas some are at a threat of being hijacked by clubs such as Barcelona (Raphinha).

The guys at Stamford Bridge have made contact with Jorge Mendes, Christiano’s agent, with intention to purchase him from Manchester United. 

Play in UEFA Europa Tournament

The Red Devils’ failed to qualify for the Champions League last season. This was despite their top-4 predicted finish by most pundits. The squad was good on paper, but something was amiss. Imagine the quality of a squad with the likes of Varane and the England national team captain. It is rumored that the Portuguese striker knows nothing about the UEFA Europa Tournament theme song. Manchester United are keen to introduce him to this side of the world, regardless. In the 2021/22 Premier League season, Man U finished with their lowest-ever Premier League point total, earning just 58 from their 38 games.

Cristiano Ronaldo posing in Manchester United's jersey. WIll he play for the Red Devils 22/23 EPL season or will he move to Chelsea?
Cristiano Ronaldo posing in Manchester United’s jersey. WIll he play for the Red Devils 22/23 EPL season or will he move to Chelsea? Photo Credit: Manchester United

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Despite his notable performance in all competitions last season (28 goals) for the Red Devils, Christiano Ronaldo’s workrate is reducing but remains quite remarkable for a 38-year old. This might restrict Ten Haag’s plan for the United squad considering his playing style. The chances that Manchester United will sell him are not nil, but are all the more  appear to be increasing over the days as transfer progresses. Manchester United have traveled for their pre-season tour without Christiano Ronaldo. Is this the sign?

A growing Possibility of Ronaldo to Chelsea

A bid from the Blues is imminent, according to reports from Graeme Bailey and Scott Saunders. Despite the Portuguese’s fair transfer fee, Todd Boehly, Chelsea’s new co-owner, will need to budget for the player’s 400k-a-week salary. At the moment it’s not certain that Ronaldo is leaving Chelsea. However, it is certain that there will be a large outcry from Manchester United fans if Christiano Ronaldo completes his transfer to Chelsea. 

What will happen when the trophy drought ends for Manchester United this season 2021-22?

What will happen when the trophy drought ends for Manchester United this season 2021-22? Manchester United have gone a couple of years without laying their hands on any trophy, based on their squad outlook and form, Ole Gunners boys seem determined to end the trophy drought this season.

What will happen when the trophy drought ends for Manchester United this season 2021-22? Manchester United have gone a couple of years without laying their hands on any trophy, based on their squad outlook and form, Ole Gunners boys seem determined to end the trophy drought this season.

What will happen when the trophy drought ends for Manchester United? Photo Credits Manchester United

Spending without holding back: A hunt for trophies

The Red Devils have been in the news for their huge spending spree this transfer window. They’ve added Raphael Varane to their squad and Jadon Sancho. After several seasons of waiting for the arrival of Jadon Sancho, they were able to acquire the English winger from Dortmund. With Raphael Varane around, United now has enough quality and depth at the back making them a force in domestic competitions as well as Europe next season.

Raphael Varane holding his shirt number after he was announced at Old Trafford. Raphael Varane is one of the additions to Ole’s squad in a bid to win a trophy this season. Photo Credits: Manchester United

A consistent presence in the champions league this far

For starters, they won’t be entering the Champions League knockout phase having failed to finish among the top four last season but will most certainly start their European campaign at the group stage following their second place finish behind Manchester City in the Premier league last season.

The teams that they will be facing in the Champions League will be announced after the Champions League group draw is done. Currently the various European teams that finished at playoff positions in their various leagues are competing for the qualification spots.

What lies ahead if United win their first European trophy in six seasons this season? What happens if they finally end Man U’s long wait for a trophy since the Europa league final triumph over Ajax in 2016? What next when at last, the drought ends for Manchester United? What is on the horizon? What should we expect to see occur during the coming season? What are some of those things that might happen as a result of winning their first European trophy under Solskjaer’s management.

What will happen when the trophy drought ends for Manchester United?

What next – What happens after trophies are won? What is the feeling like just before, during and after a trophy win? What happens immediately after that momentous occasion in sport history when a team lifts their first league title in however many years or decades it may be (Arsenal comes to mind). What will be the general mentality of the individual players? What should we expect from every one else who’s part of that club including fans staff members journalists owners etc.

Sir Alex Ferguson posing with trophies after winning the treble. Will current coach Ole Gunnar be able to end the trophy drought at Manchester United? Photo Credits: Manchester United

A whole sea change takes place almost overnight as everyone involved with the club moves into another gear of existence and begins to look forward again instead of living constantly looking back on the Fergie days. Its certain that Manchester United players and fans look back with nostalgia to the good old Alex Ferguson days. Back when playing them was way tougher than it is now. Whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be as successful as him or not time will tell. What I mean by looking back and living with nostalgia is that every one associated with United are still looking back to have the former day experiences Sir Alex Ferguson.

David Moyes run at the club

The firing of David Moyes in 2014 was something everyone had thought would never happen especially after he was given a vote of confidence by one of the greatest managers to have ever graced the Premier League, Alex Ferguson. What makes it more depressing than his average-performance tenure at United is that ever since then there has been no light at the end of any tunnel for us fans to see so we can get excited again.

David Moyes in a previous match coaching Manchester United. He succeeded Alex Ferguson following his departure after 2013-14 season. Photo Credits Manchester United

A ray of hope to end Manchester United trophy drought…

However, with Bruno Fernandes present, a trophy seems around the corner. Bruno Fernandes has been a sensation since his arrival at Old Trafford. His goal and assist statistics can only be largely compared to those of Belgium’s finest, Kevin De Bruyne.

What was even more impressive, however, is that Fernandes’ assists were the leading ones in his team. What does all this mean? What it means is that Bruno Fernandes has been Manchester United’s main threat in recent years and has been a core component of the teams successes so far, Portuguese Magnifico.

The Portuguese Magnifico netted 18 goals in the 2020/21 Premier League season, coming third to Harry Kane(23) and Salah(22). Regarding assists, he came in third again(12) tying with Etihad’s Kevin De Bruyne. Harry Kane recorded 14 assists, beating the two to this accolade.

A UEFA Europa Cup exit for United

One trophy did come close to United’s door. A lose to Villarreal on penalties marked another trophy less season for United. Despite being trophy less, United fans take pride in beating their noisy neighbors, Manchester City, last season. “So although we do not have much to boast about right now, at least we beat one of our rivals! And as you know, winning against your biggest rival can only be a good thing!”

But what will happen when [the drought] ends? What would it be like to get a trophy for the club? What can we expect to happen? What will change at the club after? What is needed and what could be done better?

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The unending pressure to end the trophy drought at Old Trafford

First, when United do win a trophy, there will be more pressure. Expectations are higher than ever. United manager Ole Gunnar will face an even bigger challenge in making sure he prepares his team well, playing almost perfect football. Every single decision he makes in regards to players will be under scrutiny. Which player needs to be sold or which new signings are necessary – all eyes on him as he guides the ship that is [the drought] ending and its consequences going forward.

Furthermore, fans would hope that some of their favorite players remain at United despite huge interest from foreign clubs. What happens if a player like Anthony Martial wants to leave? What happens when some fans don’t want a certain player to remain at the club, such as Paul Pogba? What would Ole Gunnar do in these situations? How will he handle them?

Paul Pogba in a previous match for Manchester United. He provided 4 assists in this match whereby Manchester United played Leeds. Man U won 4:1. Photo Credits Manchester United

The possibilities

What if United continue their winning ways and reach one of the cups final but lose it again. What will happen then? Will the fans bear the sight of loosing yet another final after loosing Europa final last season? What kind of consequences will this have on the team’s confidence and reputation in England and across other leagues around Europe who are watching Ed Woodward trying to sign more players with Erling Haaland being one of them. What do you guys think about all this? Is there anything else that could or should be mentioned within these scenarios/questions? What will happen when the trophy drought ends for Manchester United this season 2021-22? What will happen if United continue to win more trophies after winning a trophy first time in – What do you guys think about all this?

The Emirates FA Cup is back

Bournemouth players celebrating their win over Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup

Game On

The English FA cup is finally back. The lower tier clubs are done with the lower knockout stages. The round of 32 is active with all the premier league clubs in the competition. Last season, Arsenal convincingly won the competition after beating Chelsea in the finals. This achievement cemented their position at the top of the England FA cup leaderboard. They have won 14 of the cups. Manchester United are the closest rivals with 12 FA cups. With most clubs eyeing the coveted trophy, the competition is stiffer this season.

Emile Smithe Rowe celebrating his winning goal vs Newcastle. Arsenal won 2:0. Photo credits : Arsenal. Arsenal have kicked off their title defence with a win vs NewCastle FC
Emile Smithe Rowe celebrating his winning goal vs Newcastle. Arsenal won 2:0. Photo credits : Arsenal

Bigwigs Who Have Qualified

Despite the competition being open to every English club, only a few get mentioned as the favorites. In England, 6 top clubs are always at the forefront of every competition. Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool are the routine top 6 clubs. These are the top six favorites to clinch the trophy. This is due to their experience in the competition and general quality as clubs. Arsenal has qualified for the next round by beating Newcastle 2 goals to nil. Liverpool is also in the next round having put 4 past Aston Villa.

Scot McTominay celebrating his early goal vs Watford in the FA round 32. Manchester United won 1:0. Photo Credit : Manchester United
Scot McTominay celebrating his early goal vs Watford in the FA round 32. Manchester United won 1:0. Photo Credit : Manchester United

Moreover, Manchester United are also through to the next round. They won 1:0 vs Watford, thanks to a Scott McTominay early goal. Chelsea take on Morecambe while Tottenham face Marine FC. Manchester City will be visited by Birmingham City.

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Tougher Competition

Furthermore, the competition is tougher this season given the quality of other clubs. The likes of Everton, Southampton, Wolves, Leicester City and West Ham are capable of challenging for the trophy. The clubs have decent squads that have impressed in the EPL this season. This is a big reason to worry for the big boys. More effort will be needed to dispatch off these clubs. The big boys must put their best feet forward if at all they want to win the trophy. Otherwise, they might be in for a rude shock from the impressive mid table clubs.

Todd Cantwell wrestling for the ball vs Coventry player in the FA Cup. Photo Credit : Norwich
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