Did Man United Enjoy The Second Best Season In England This Year?

At the start of the season it was thought that managerial heavyweights Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho would steer either Manchester City or Manchester United to Premier League glory this month.

But alas it was another new boy in Antonio Conte who would take the title with Chelsea. Conte and his players take on Arsenal this weekend and if they beat their London rivals then Chelsea will add the FA Cup to their Premier League trophy.

So I think everyone will be in agreement that Chelsea have enjoyed the best season in England in 2016/17.

But after Conte’s men, who have enjoyed this season the most?

I don’t think it’s clear cut.

Obviously Tottenham Hotspur will say that it’s them. They finished runners-up after all, their best final league position in the Premier League era. They also finished a massive eleven points ahead of North London rivals Arsenal! Plus they made it to Wembley before losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final stage.

Mauricio Pochettino has a fantastic, young squad and they seem to get better and better each and every season they are together.

But Spurs failed to add silverware to their trophy cabinet and struggled to make positive inroads in any of the European competitions.

The season also ended with much speculation regarding Tottenham being able to keep their talented squad together. Rumours are suggesting that Daniel Levy’s wage structure at the club is becoming an issue with players such as Kyle Walker, Danny Rose Eric Dier and Dele Alli all being linked with moves away.

On the other hand you have Man United.

Mourinho’s side never really competed for the league title this year and they drew far too many times. The Red Devils finished in sixth spot and were a hefty twenty-four points behind champions Chelsea. United also had a major problem in-front of goal and often struggled to kill teams off.

But they did end the season with two major trophies (the League Cup & Europa League) and with qualification for next season’s Champions League. They ended this campaign with that winning feeling and by winning the only European trophy that had so far eluded them.

Unlike Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, United’s win in the Europa League final means they don’t have to negotiate any tough qualifying round as they head straight into the Champions League group stages.

United now don’t need to worry about convincing stars to join the long-term project like they did last summer with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they are now back amongst Europe’s elite in the biggest club competition. That means transfer targets such as Antoine Griezmann are more likely to arrive.

The French forward stated earlier this week:

“Winning titles is what I will look for this summer when deciding on my future.”

United and Jose have history in the title winning department and this year’s two trophies back up that pedigree.

The ultimate goal, if you’re not going to win the league title, is to get Champions League qualification. That’s just the nature of the beast these days.

I suppose it just depends on whether you think consistency in the Premier League is better than winning trophies or vice-versa.

Personally I’d prefer to win two cups and get Champions League qualification than by simply finishing as a runner-up in England’s top flight.

I think Tottenham’s fantastic season and their superb squad make it harder to judge because the Spurs support will have adored watching their team this year.

But I, without doubt, would have preferred winning two competitions and getting straight into the group stages of the Champions League than finish in third or fourth place.

I bet Jose Mourinho and Man United fans will make that point clear to rivals Man City and Liverpool over the course of the summer.

But Manchester United can’t sit back this summer, they need to back their manager in the transfer market and they need to challenge for the Premier League crown next term, the United fans won’t be happy with the same journey next May!

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