Manchester United’s worst season since 1988-89 ended with a sixth consecutive away defeat at Crystal Palace in the final game of the Premier League season.
United finished sixth in the league with 58 points, their lowest since 1990. United’s goal difference was zero, their worst since 1988-90 when Alex Ferguson’s team finished 13th in the old Division 1 – but at least the team won the FA Cup that season.
In all three cup competitions this season, United were eliminated at Old Trafford: by West Ham in the League Cup, Championship side Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. It was a truly awful season, one which started amid optimism following the second place finish in 2020-21 and the signings of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Only Ronaldo could be considered a success from those players; only Ronaldo, goalkeeper David de Gea, midfielder Fred and emerging talent Anthony Elanga enjoyed a season approaching an acceptable level.
United used three different managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who was dismissed after a wretched autumn run and 4-1 defeat to a Watford side who couldn’t win games, caretaker Michael Carrick who had a great week and interim Ralf Rangnick who hoped to lift the team. He didn’t.
Leading executive Ed Woodward was one of many departures off and on the playing side and more will follow in the forthcoming weeks. The recent appointment of Eric Ten Hag as manager was greeted positively by fans. The Dutchman excelled at Ajax and has a very tough job at Old Trafford, but surely United can’t be as bad next season. First, though, let’s look back at this season and rate the players out of ten from a season they’d all rather forget.
Player ratings for the season can be seen in the picture gallery above. To view the next image, click on the arrows or swipe if on a mobile device.