Hi I’m Masa United.
On 22 May, Manchester United’s long and painful 21-22 season came to an end.
From the opening match against Leeds on 14 August 2021 to the final match against Crystal Palace on 22 May 2022, they played all 49 official matches and finished the season with a record of 20 wins, 13 draws and 16 losses. There were a lot of dramas this season… There are many things I don’t want to look back on, but this time I would like to take a quick look back at this season as part.1 “Story Edition” of the 21-22 Season Review.
Here’s today’s table of contents
(1) August ~ September 2021
✔ Sancho, Varane Join
✔ Ronaldo Returns Fever
✔ Pogba In Action
✔EFL First Round Lose
✔ Defeated By Villa
While the effects of the corona pandemic still linger, United have been narrowing their minds to their domestic pre-season matches and making adjustments. On the other hand, the arrival of key players was delayed by the Euro 2020 tournament. They finished second in the league last season and are looking to win the title, acquiring Joydon Sancho and Rafael Varane. United have successfully taken their acquisition targets and increased their strength to start the Premier League.They defeated Leeds 5-1 in the opening match. He also acquired Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus on 27 August. The return of Ronaldo after 12 years was met with great excitement by the United supporters. Ronaldo scored two goals in his United debut against Newcastle on matchday 4. The team will get off to a decent start, going undefeated in the first four matches.Embed from Getty Images
Pogba shined brightest in the opening four matches. Starting with four assists against Leeds, he has also had assists against Saints and Newcastle, recording seven assists at this point. A change from a battle that had been a good one. After suffering a crushing defeat against the Young Boys in the Champions League, they also lost the Carabao Cup against the Hammers and disappeared early. The YB match was lost due to the departure of Wang- Bissaka and the mistake of Lingard, and the match against the Hammers was rotated drastically, but the sub-squad did not work, and it was becoming clear that there was a problem with the strength of the organization.
United then suffered their first league defeat in the Premier League Matchday 6 against Villa. United had 28 shots on goal and couldn’t score. There was little tactical preparation, and the addition of Ronaldo’s strong personality gave the impression that the balance of the team was also disrupted. And in the three defeats against YB, Hammers and Villa, Solskjaer’s theory of limitations will be pointed out. While supernating the force, Solskjaer’s skill will be a major factor in not being able to exert its effectiveness on the pitch. In his last Champions League match against Villarreal in September, he used a 4-3-3 system using Pogba and Bruno’s double 8 to secure a victory, but it was not enough to completely dispel skepticism.
*Click here for the Villa Battle article
★Results as of the end of September (PL1~Matchday 6) ★
PL:4th place 4 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss, 13points
EFLCup:3rd round elimination
CL: 2 matches, 1 win, 1 loss,
Best Game:PL Matchday 1 vs Leeds (5-1) H
Worst Game:PL Matchday 6 vs Villa (0-1)H
(2) October ~ November 2021
✔ Ronaldo’s use in
✔ Dramatic victory over Atalanta
✔ Humiliating defeats to Liverpool and City
✔ Solskjaer sacked
✔ Interim manager Carrick
The incident happened in the match against Everton in matchday 7. Ronaldo, who was left out of the starting line-up for this match, was furious. Sir Alex complains about Ronaldo’s use of the game. At this point, Solskjaer’s player management was no longer in control, and in the match against Leicester, where the CB was plagued by injuries, Solskjaer was forced to use the injured Maguire. There have also been incidents that tear Bailly’s pride apart. In the CL home match against Atalanta, United conceded the first goal and despite being booed by the supporters, they rose to prominence in the second half, and in the end, they came back to win with a Ronaldo’s goal and showed that “This is United!” but then suffered a historic defeat against Liverpool 0-5 at home.Embed from Getty Images
Managed, tactical, conditioned and mentality have all pushed themselves to the limits, and the Liverpool game effectively brought Solskjaer’s government to collapse. In the following game against Spurs, which was countdown to his dismissal, he managed to use the three-back (five-back) system to secure a win, and in the CL-away game against Atalanta, Ronaldo again took advantage of Ronaldo’s performance to bring them to a 2-2 draw, but in the following game against City, those five-back didn’t work and lost 2-0 at home. This was also a big part of City’s kindness that United only conceded two goals, and it was not surprising that United conceded as many goals as they did against Liverpool.
Then came the PL12 matchday against Watford. After a 4-1 away defeat, Solskjaer’s dismissal was announced the next day. United, who were supposed to be in contention for the title with Ronaldo, Sancho and Varane in the squad, collapsed in one fell swoop after nearly three years under Solskjaer. As a legend-manager, Solskjaer’s dream of bringing titles to the club was also dashed here. Coach Michael Carrick will then take over as an interim replacement. They won 0-2 against CL Villarreal using a 4-3-3 variable system. In the ensuing PL Chelsea match, Ronaldo will be left out of the starting line-up and brought into the draw with a high-press tactic. Interim manager Carrick, who uses a wide variety of tactics, has sent fresh air to United.
*Click here for the article on the Watford match
★Results as of the end of November (PL7~Matchday 13) ★
PL:8th place 5 wins, 3 draws and 5 losses 18points
CL:5 matches 3 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss
Best game: CL/GS Round 5 vs Villarreal (0-2) A
Worst Game:PL Matchday 9 vs Liverpool (0-5)H
(3) December 2021~January 2022
✔ Rangnick Interim Coach
✔Good performence against Palace
✔Postponed Due to Corona
✔Maladaptation to Rangnick style
The Premier League matchday 14 match against Arsenal continued to be led by interim manager Carrick. This match was also a series of mistakes and a conceding opener, but Arsenal, who had shifted to a low-line defence, suffered with high press and sharp negative transition, and finally got three points thanks to Ronaldo’s penalty kick. From the following match against Palace, Ralf Rangnick will take over as interim coach and take charge. He has been in charge for this season only, and from next season he will be involved in the graph as a consultant, which is an unusual position. Against the palace, Rangnick’s high-pressing tactics in a 4-2-2-2 system were immediately shown. Front-line players such as Ronaldo and Rashford also perform well in defensive tasks and win with aggressive football, as if the loose battles up to that point were a lie.Embed from Getty Images
United had already set to progress to the next round and was in full rotation against the CL Young Boys. While Van de Beek and Matic were the starters, Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage made their senior debuts in the final stages, and Rangnick’s youth-oriented arrangement became a hot topic. However, since then, there have been a number of coronavirus positive cases at the club, with the games against Brentford and Brighton postponed. In the resumption against Newcastle, there was no sharpness in the movement, and the Rangnick style drew with a lurking twist. The defence was getting stiffer, but the lack of action became a challenge.
Against Wolves after a 3-1 win over Burnley. The match reported the cacophony between Rangnick and the players. The 4-2-2-2 style of high pressing and fast-hitting vertically didn’t work at all against Wolves. First loss since Rangnick became manager. From the next FA Cup match against Villa, the system will be changed to 4-2-3-1, but in the Premier League matchday 22 against Villa, a winnable match was brought to a tie, and the problem of not being able to balance offense and defense was difficult to solve. There were some bright spots, such as the rise of Elanga, Sancho’s adaptation and the improvement of Fred, but management problems surfaced, such as the 1-3 win over Brentford, in which Ronaldo, who was replacced by Maguire 71 minutes, expressed his dissatisfaction. Despite a dramatic victory over the Hammers in their last game of January, they were under the impression that the task remained a mountain of work.
*Click here for the Wolves game article
★Results as of the end of January (PL14~Matchday 23*Matchday 18 postponed) ★
PL:4th place*Provisional 11 wins, 5 draws, 6 losses, 38 points,
CL:6 matches, 3 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss,
FA Cup:to Advance to the 3rd Round
Best Game: PL Matchday 15 vs Palace (1-0) H
Worst Game: PL Matchday 21 vs Wolves (0-1) A
(4) February 2022 ~ March 2022
✔ Lack of scoring ability
✔ Sancho’s quality
✔ Elanga’s growth
✔ Ronaldo’s comeback
✔ CL defeat
In the winter transfer market, United put out players on loan who were dissatisfied with their playing opportunities, such as Martial and Van de Beek, but they did not move to acquire them. Make matters worse for United, Greenwood arrested after assault and eliminated from the Squad. In the FA Cup match against Boro, which resumed after a two-week winter break, they struggled mightily against lower-ranked opponents. United lost after a penalty shoot-out. In the Premiere League draw to Burnley and Saints. There are uneven performances in the first and the scond half half or every match, and the battle continues to be unstable. In particular, the lack of scoring ability was serious, and even if United recorded a mountain of shots, they could not score goals.
United won the following games against Brighton and Leeds, but by this time the Rangnick style had almost disappeared and the battle depended on individual abilities. There is no sense of unity in the team, and the performance of Sancho and Ronaldo will be unstable with the difference between winning and losing. The CL match against Atletico ended in a draw thanks to a goal from Elanga, but the match was completely defeated. In the following Premier League match against Watford, they drew scorelessly. At the time, criticism focused on Ronaldo, who has scored just one goal in his last 10 games. The theory of limits also jumped out. In the ensuing derby against City, Ronaldo, who was told he was out of the starting line-up, returned to Portugal. However, it turns out later that this was due to the treatment of hip pain, but Bruno’s false ninth team lost 4-1 to City without a good point. The overwhelming gap to City was a sign that United’s identity was undermining.Embed from Getty Images
However, in the ensuing game against Spurs, Ronaldo, who returned from a hip injury, scored a hat-trick. Win 3-2. United wanted to continue their momentum against CL Atletico, but they were defeated by Atletico and a mysterious judge. They were eliminated from the CL in the round of 16. The match against Atletico showed United’s limitations in tactical inability.
*Click here for the article against Spurs
★Results as of the end of March (PL24~Matchday 29*Matchday 18)★
PL:6th place 14 wins, 8 draws, 7 losses 50points
CL:Elimination from the last 16
FA Cup:Eliminated in 4th round
Best game:PL Matchday 29 vs Spurs (3-2) H
Worst game:PL Matchday 28 vs City (4-1)A
(5) April 2022 ~ May 2022
✔ Complete Collapse
✔ Lots of injured
✔ Veterans in action
✔ Historic Low Achievement
✔ EL Qualification
In the matchday 31 against Leicester, two weeks after the break from the Atletico game, formation changes such as Bruno’s false 9, Pogba No.10 and Maguire at CB on the left, but they don’t work. It will be a 1-1 draw. In the ensuing match against Everton, they lost 1-0 and became no longer cohesive as a team. The win over Norwich was won by Ronaldo’s hat-trick, but dependence of attack on Ronaldo and non-functioning Pogba’s difensive midfielder also highlighted the organization’s flaws.Embed from Getty Images
In the matchday 30 match against Liverpool, in Ronaldo’s absence, he played with Wan-Bissaka on the left back and Rashford at the striker, but lost 4-0 without any way out. After this defeat, it was announced that Eric ten Hag would be at the helm from next season, but the match against Arsenal was also lost 3-1 due to Bruno’s penalty shootout and a messy decision, and United could not capitalize on the upward momentum. In addition, after the game, Scholes revealed that Lingard had said that “the dressing room is in shatter”, and it was reported that “some players are ignoring Coach Rangnick’s instructions”, and it will be completely disintegrated. Also, during this period, there were many people who injured and those who left the squad. Pogba and Shaw, as well as Sancho and Maguire left the front line, and the best squad could not be formed.
In the ensuing match against Chelsea, United tried to turn the tide by starting the veteran squad of Matic and Mata, and thanks to the hard work of these two players, United managed to bring the game to a draw. The match also saw 17-year-old Alejandro Garnacho make his senior debut. The final home match against Brentford was won 3-0 in front of the fans, thanks in part to emotional plays by Matic, Cavani, Jones and Mata. However, in the ensuing match against Brighton, they started in exactly the same starting line-up as against Brentford, but suffered a 4-0 defeat to possession-dominated Brighton, making it their sixth game of the season in which they conceded four goals (or more). In the final match of the season, against Palace, they lost 1-0 despite a disappointing battle, but managed to maintain 6th place. United have decided to participate in the Europa League next season. However, it was a season that ended in a historic low, with a club-worst record 57 goals conceded, a minimum of 58 points and six consecutive away losses.
*Click here for the article on the Brighton match
★Record as of the end of May (PL30~38) ★
PL:6th place 16 wins, 10 draws, 12 losses 58points
Best game…PL Matchday 35 vs Brentford (3-0) H
Worst game…PL Matchday 36 vs Brighton (4-0) A
At the beginning of the season, expectations were high due to the success of reinforcements, but soon it was revealed that the balance of the team was broken. The defeats against Young Boys and Villa were damaging and showed the limits of Solskjaer’s government in its third season. Player management also did not go well, losing badly to Liverpool and City, and Solskjaer was sacked after being stabbed in the back by Watford, but the interim manager Carrick who took over did a good job with two wins and one draw in only three matches.
After becoming interim coach of Rangnick, expectations for high press and high-energy football were high, but due to the backlash of some players and the cacophony in the locker room, the team fell apart. Elanga rises to prominence and Sancho finally shows his ability. Fred had some positives, such as transforming into a Seleson at No. 8, but the team’s tactics were degenerated and Ronaldo’s attack turned into a reliance on him. The decisive turning point was the elimination of the CL. After this, they were unable to maintain their motivation and suffered a spate of injuries. In 9 matches from April ~ May, 2 wins, 2 draws and 5 losses, United was on a sudden brake, and not only the top 4 but also the EL zone was in danger of being missed.
It was said to be worse than the last days of Moyes, Van Gaal and Mourinho, and was undoubtedly the worst performance and content in the club’s history. Tactics, organization, mentality, physicality, condition… It’s the worst season of all and you may not want to look back on it anymore, but it’s also a season that will be remembered as the season of Ronaldo’s return. Next time, I would like to evaluate the season of each player, including that Ronaldo!
Thank you for reading until the end!