Thomas Patterson reviews a season of revenge and emotional farewells for the red half of Manchester.
Could you seriously envisage such a title romp after the manner in which you lost it last May?
Not in the manner that it was done so. I knew that Sir Alex would rank winning the league back as his main priority especially after Manchester City won it off them in such dramatic fashion last season. His off season purchases, namely RVP affirmed his hunger to win back their title and put an end to any momentum City were building.
What were the major turning points of the season?
Breaking our 10 year drought at the Bridge, winning 3-2 back in October; beating Manchester City in December 3-2 at the Etihad; and our 2-0 away win at Everton in February. All grounds we have struggled at picking up results at in the past. I think getting the 3 points at all them were key moments in our campaign.
Who has been the stand-out performer?
No question RVP has been different class. But for me Michael Carrick has been the stand out this campaign: he has stepped up to another level. He has been the heartbeat of the squad, influential on many occasions throughout the campaign. I think all those years learning from Paul Scholes has finally started to show and without Carrick this campaign RVP wouldn’t have been as rampant and United’s success might not of been.
Also, David De Gea deserves a notable mention on a fantastic campaign, finally cementing his spot as first choice goalkeeper. He has proven all his critics wrong, and will continue to improve for a number of years to come.
Have you been surprised by Carrick’s imperious form?
A little, I thought his best years were past him. But i guess not. Serving his apprenticeship under Paul Scholes I always thought would pay off, as we would eventually see glimmers of what he is capable of and this season we defiantly saw that.
On this season’s showings would you be sad to see Rooney leave or help open the exit door?
It would be sad to see him go. I believe he fits into the starting squad at United but his ego is a big reason for him to want to leave. If his ego is going to disrupt his football and he is going to continue to play the guessing game on his United career every time he is not happy, then I think its time for him to move on. He is, and has been, a fantastic player for United. He will be missed, but who knows he might pull a u-turn on his decision. It’s been done before.
What would you have done different if installed in the dug-out last August?
I would have probably played Rooney in the midfield. I feel he would make a great central midfielder. His work rate, passing and hunger for the ball and to win is second to none. I would have also not played Nani in the second leg clash against Real Madrid. I would instead have put Welbeck out wide, Rooney in the hole and Kagawa on for Cleverley.
Your own personal highlight?
Derby win at the Etihad and of course Sir Alex’s farewell at Old Trafford against Swansea. Truly An amazing day that will forever live in the memory. Very emotional, yet very fitting.
Thoughts on Ferguson’s retirement…
Didn’t expect the day to come so soon and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t saddened by it. It will be very different come next season. The man is a one off: we will not see his like again. He deserves all the accolades he gets, even though he has already achieved most. I’m sad, but happy that he has retired on his own terms, and has gone out a winner, which is what he was and always will be. He will be missed. But it’s an exciting time for United and I have full confidence in Moyes moving forward.