Welcome to the Optimist column, and this week is a special week because… IT’S THE OPENING WEEK OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE! If that doesn’t get you buzzing then I don’t know what will… Well, I can think of a few but that’s not the point… I wouldn’t mind fast forwarding to the moment when Michael Carrick is lifting the Premier League trophy and we’re singing about winning the 21st title. Wait, let me really stop.
The season starts Sunday, and already José has put us on notice that he won’t be dabbing or taking the top-quality photos for his Instagram account. With each passing minute, we get closer to seeing Old Trafford 75, 000 supporters strong and cheering on the team. After a pretty good preseason where we added Premier League proven players in Matić and Lukaku, and a(n) up and coming center-back in Victor Lindelöf we saw the team preform, win, fight and even struggle in the preseason, but looking at it now we as a team are in a much better place since probably before Sir Alex walked into the sunset. As you continue to read I’ll give you a few reasons why YOU should optimistic going into the Premier League season opener against West Ham.
First and foremost, football is back! And that should get any United supporter going! It has been since the Michael Carrick Testimonial where we last saw our beautiful home in Old Trafford, and now we face West Ham and we even get to see our old boy Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández again! But we get to show our muscle and bounce back from our hard-fought defeat in the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid. A quick turnaround for the boys should allow them to get over the midweek clash and be prepared to take care what should always be our primary focus in the Premier League.
We will most likely debut Lukaku who is our latest BIG money signing, but who has accomplished a lot at a young age. He turned 24 during the preseason tour, but already shown his quality each and every season. United pulled one over Madrid and Chelsea in the way we got Lukaku, but we signed a Premier League proven goal-scorer who in England has scored 104 goals in 184 starts, a player who scored 26 goals last season for Everton, and 168 senior career goals before turning 24 years of age. I could go on & on about his ability to score goals! With Ibrahimović gone for the time being (wink, wink) José has brought a damn near perfect replacement.
“At the age of 23, I always believed he had the possibility of becoming the best No9 in world football because he has absolutely everything.” ― Roberto Martínez, Belgium coach
“When Manchester United and José Mourinho come knocking at the door, it is an opportunity of a lifetime and one that I could not turn down. I cannot wait to run out at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 fans.” ― Romelu Lukaku
Nemanja whoa, Nemanja whoa, He comes from Serbia…. We’ll we signed another Serbian who goes by the name of Nemanja and we can only hope he gives us what Vidić was able to give. José has done it again first with Lukaku, and now with Matić. What has he done? He’s weakened the competition this time in the reigning title holders in Chelsea. Matić gives us another tall, strong, and physical presence on the pitch, another option to an aging Michael Carrick, a player who will free up Paul Pogba to shine the way we expect him to, a player that has played for José and has experience in the Premier League and 2 Premier League medals. Look for him to a key figure in this team & a shrewd piece of business by Mourinho.
Our 1st signing of the summer… The Iceman! Hopefully another José gem after the signing of Eric Bailly the season prior. The Swedish international who is known for his calm style of play. He is another typical Mourinho center-back who is also versatile enough to play right-back. Lindelöf is tall, strong and has pace to play with anyone in the league, and can be the perfect compliment to Eric Bailly’s style, but also capable to start attacks from defense to attack. He is also capable of taking free kicks as well. We have another player to allow us to control matches and play teams off the park.
José Mourinho is unbeaten in opening Premier League games winning 7 matches and 1 draw. Last season the team defeated Bournemouth 3-1, and we hope that trend continues. As far as Manchester United in the last 7 Premier League season openers United have won 5 of 7 matches.
Against West Ham last season United was unbeaten in 3 matches. At Old Trafford both teams drew 1-1. In the EFL Cup United dominated and won 4-1 which led to United eventually winning the EFL Cup, and when Man United visited West Ham at the London Stadium… United came out on top winning 2-0. Which bodes well for an improved Man United side.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Apart from possible Premier League debut for Manchester United for the new signings at Old Trafford. Something to watch out for is to possibly see Lukaku score against West Ham on Sunday. Lukaku holds an unbelievable scoring record against West Ham where he (while at Everton) he’s scored in his first 9 appearances for Everton against West Ham, and created 4 assists against them as well. So, if you like to bet… I’m no expert but wouldn’t fault you if you tried your luck.
To put it all in simple terms… Football is back. These are the best times because the transfer window is coming closer & closer to an end, the teams are close to settled, and its back to competitive football. There are very few things that get you going like watching your favorite club play and see them do you proud. Very few things like being a United supporter hearing the songs, seeing the faces of optimism, and just being able to be at peace with life for 90+ minutes… Well until you see Smalling or Jones driving up the pitch with the ball at their feet or seeing a Phil Jones face but besides that it’s all good.
Never forget… Hated, Adored, Never Ignored.