Fans of the Red Devils would rather forget about the 2013/14 campaign, but things should be much better this coming season. What kind of futures odds are on offer for United and will they be making any kind of realistic challenge for the Premier League trophy?
According to various sportsbooks, the Red Devils should bounce back in style in 2014/15. They're listed third on the soccer futures odds list behind only Manchester City and Chelsea, with the average line currently at +550 or so.
Disappointing. That's how we could best describe the 2014/14 season for the Red Devils. Just one year after Sir Alex Ferguson led the club to the Premier League title, Manchester United finished in seventh place this past season.
They did much better in other competitions, winning the Community Shield, reaching the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and making a relatively surprising run to the quarters of the Champions League. Still, there's no excuse for a team as talented as the Red Devils to finish outside of the top six in the Premier League.
Much of the blame should go on the shoulders of David Moyes, who took charge in place of Ferguson and never looked like he was up to the task. There were so many bad losses that it was hard to keep track, and even the addition of Juan Mata didn't help. Moyes couldn't even last the whole season, with Ryan Giggs taking over as player-manager for the final few fixtures.
Individually, Wayne Rooney (17) and Robin van Persie (12) were the only players to reach double digits in goals in league play. Injuries got in the way for both and their health will be crucial to a bounce-back campaign in 2013/14.
The best overall player for United had to have been goalkeeper David de Gea, who saved the team from even more embarrassment throughout the season.
Man United supporters must be really looking forward to the new season, as well as those wanting to place their soccer picks on this team.
David Moyes is gone, replaced by Louis van Gaal, who just wrapped up a successful World Cup run with the Netherlands. An incredibly well-respected and experienced manager, the Red Devils are in much better hands under van Gaal.
It's been an interesting summer for United, personnel-wise. Though they lost Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Alexander Buttner to other clubs and Giggs to retirement, they're hopeful their new signings will more than make up for the losses. Vidic, the long-serving captain and reliable center back, is obviously going to be mighty hard to replace though.
Still, the additions of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera shouldn't go unnoticed. Shaw was highly coveted around the world and should be the starting left back for the club (and for country) for at least the next decade. He's a fantastic addition. Herrera, bought from Athletic Bilbao, should immediately make United better in the middle of the park, which has been a problem area ever since Paul Scholes retired from competitive play.
With a new manager in charge and a very talented nucleus of players, there's definitely reason for optimism around the club (especially when you get free advice from other bettors in the forum).
We know it's going to better for the Red Devils 2014/15. But just how much better?
In all honesty, we wouldn't count out a team coached by Louis van Gaal, who showed just how good of a manager he really is in the World Cup, especially one that features big-time names like Rooney, van Persie and Mata.
Those thinking about taking United lightly this season may want to re-consider. It may be too much to expect them to challenge for the title, but at a price of +550 you could make far worse wagers. What we do know, however, is the Red Devils will be right back in the thick of the title race, so keep this in mind for your future sports picks.