Season Preview: Manchester United

Last updated : 13 August 2009 By Pete Shaw
How did you fare last season?
Champions, which I think was well deserved. Not just for the consecutive clean sheet run that propelled us to the top when rivals faltered, but on our day, though we weren't magic all the time, we were tough, resilient and able to conjour wins.

The finale was a grand day: you stayed up, we celebrated our title and also hit back at anyone questioning our ethics as our kids did win (and showed hopefully some will have a good future), and Alan Shearer wept. Perfect!

How do you expect you'll do this season?
Tough. Tevez was an impact player but it's not being sore to say he was over-valued in terms of fee and importance. 5 league goals and 3 assists is not the worth of a £25m player and I said so before he went to that lot. Ronaldo on the other hand is like losing your left hand. We always move on and will get over this but where we've replaced players before, they haven't been at their peak about to get better so we'll miss him, and despite all the abuse and stick he got, sure most fans will too as he was a benefit to the Premiership and its quality.

We'll be okay though, United always just get on with it, and too right to.

What have you done in the transfer market this summer? Which of your new signings are you expecting most from?
Owen was a major surprise. The key is him staying fit. If he does that, he'll score but it's Berbatov that needs to hit form because he'll play more.

I think Valencia is a belting signing and the way nobody has focussed on it will do him no harm. Utd have a reputation for burning money but Fergie is shrewd, he brings money in and only alters the side here and there. So let others spend a fortune in an over-inflated market and we'll just trust Fergie - so long as the Glazers don't nick all the Ronaldo fee for the debt and don't allow it to be spent as and when Fergie wants it.

Where do you think you'll need to strengthen in the January transfer window?
Fergie doesn't like the January window that much as he says it can disrupt a side and a team needs to have their players in for pre-season to bond so I doubt we will, unless something goes majorly wrong. We'll miss Hargreaves if he is crocked though, because we missed him in Rome for the Euro Final.

Have you any promising youngsters breaking into the team?
You saw them at the end of the season. Several have a chance and Macheda has come from nowhere really to stand a real chance of competing this season. A good few of the side that played at Hull will go on loan and gain valuable experience.

Have you got the right man in charge of the team? Will he still be there at the end of the season?
Absolutely. In Fergie we trust is the new cover of Red News. If we didn't trust him, we'd be mad. He's done it all. And he'll do it again. I hope he's got a good few years left.

Is the club being run well? Are you likely to be singing 'Sack the board' any time soon?
We don't even see the owners, as they hide in America, counting the debt which we only hear vague scare stories about, and the stories are not good. A club like Utd, with all its resources, should not be £700m+ in debt but we are. There you go, that's football these days, I'm sad to say.

Which team do you most want to beat and why?
Liverpool, to make it 19 and sweet, and Siddy, to prove you can have all the money in the world but you just can't buy class!

Who do you think will win the league?
Us. I have to say that now!

Who do you think's going down?
Pompey (they are in chaos and think they will struggle from the off), Burnley and Wolves.

How do you think Hull City will fare this season?
It will be tough, and I don't think you'll have the start to last season that meant you could survive despite relegation form for the tail end of the season but your manager has something about him, something some don't like but I do and if he has learnt from his mistakes, and gets the team he wants to have (as much as he can with the financial restraint), I think you'll cope. The key though is having a striker who can get you 15 goals, because 5 of those could be 1-0 match winners and I think for teams at the bottom, the main striker situation is now more crucial than any other area. Best of luck!