Manchester United can't be title-challengers because the squad isn't fixture-proof

thebusbybabe.sbnation.com
8 min read
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Solskjaer's Reds lack critical balance, and as constructed, are built to be inconsistent
There is a wave of momentum building towards the narrative that this Premier League season is a bit of an aberration and that any winner will likely have an asterisk attached to it. However, on closer inspection, the last 4 seasons were the real aberration. Prior to the 2016-17 season, only 5 sides had broken the 90-point barrier in 24 years. In the last 4 years, we've had 5 sides break that barrier with 4 ending the season as Champions and one side falling just short.

If you're a Fantasy Premier League enthusiast, you might've come across the term "fixture proof." It's a term used to label players who are likely to provide you with valuable points, regardless of the opposition that they face. In the last 4 seasons of the Premier League, these 90+ point sides could also be labeled as fixture proof. They were, for the most part, capable of decimating any opposition and went about it a myriad ways.

That's fine, but where do Manchester United come into all of this? Well, before the start of every season — due to their historical domination of the Premier League — Manchester United are always expected to field their own fixture-proof squad, or at least take baby steps towards it. The start hasn't been great.

The feel-good bromides of Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig are quickly followed by the sweeping apathy (a hallmark of the post-Fergie years) in losses to Arsenal and Istanbul Başakşehir. Well, for everyone who suggests that United don't have an identity, they do — this is it.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United are consistently inconsistent.

Former United captain Gary Neville, like many an armchair manager, is scratching his head for potential solutions, only to be trolled online by his mate Jamie Carragher. One week, he's suggesting midfield solutions on Monday Night Football. A week later, he's making assertions that Solskjaer fielded a diamond in United's humbling defeat to Arsenal on a wing and prayer; that he had to yield to the pressure of…
Suwaid Fazal
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