Reflecting back on the 2011/2012 Manchester United season is a bit of an up and down ride. The season has been over for about a day, and the time it took the outcome to go from amazing to disappointing can be measured in a few short minutes. Still, when the squad and fans look back on the year, nobody has to have anything but positive notes going forward.
The biggest surprise of the year for me was how David de Gea adjusted as goalkeeper for one of the most famous sides in the world. Teams looked to exploit his lack of experience in the league by crowding him on corners, and while there were times the young man looked a bit nervy, he often showed up with a big save. He should get even better.
I have to admire the scoring touch of Wayne Rooney. United's most reliable goal scoring machine was in top form for most of the year, and with the Euros coming soon he can be a major asset to his side. For the Red Devils, Rooney's health is vital, and he managed to stay reasonably healthy the past year. Still, Sir Alex tried a number of attacking options up front and the results seemed on and off again at best. For United to be on top again, number 10 has to figure into the mix.
The defense suffered a bit of blow when Nemanja Vidic was lost for the season, but when he gets healthy again the back line should be a fair bit better. Plus, as ManUtd.com reports, Manchester United is ready to go shopping for a few new faces. Just like the article states, Manchester City could set the pace for what it costs to bring in new those new players. As long as Chicarito Hernandez and the rest of the young players continue to improve, United has a nice stable of talent for the new season, as usual.
Some sort of success in the Champions League will again be expected, and United should again challenge for the Barclays Premier League title. United will only get better as the players get more experience. It is already time to put last season to bed and look forward to another exciting campaign.
Jason Gallagher is a long-time Manchester United fan, following the performances of the Red Devils since the days of Eric Cantona and David Beckham.