One of the strangest trends in the top of European football this season is how few clubs (or their fan bases) can assess their present circumstances, draw the conclusion that the future is promising, and go for the sunglasses.
Napoli and the league’s top team, Arsenal? Absolutely, there is no doubt. Rank them first on the list.
Manchester City, who may not win the league this year (unlike four of the previous five seasons), and who may be in the midst of a storm-related to the Premier League investigation is perhaps a notch below them. However, they have added a goal-scoring machine in Erling Haaland, Pep Guardiola is content and staying put, and they are the favorites to win the FA Cup and the Champions League. Don’t forget Borussia Dortmund football club, the Champions League exit was disappointing, but they’re alive in the DFB-Pokal, they’re top of the Bundesliga and they’re playing well.
I believe that group also roughly includes Manchester United: They have improved greatly from last year, are likely to qualify for the Champions League, have won a domestic title with the Carabao Cup (and may win another, the FA Cup), and are the favorites to win the Europa League. Erik ten Hag has been a big success for them.
The club’s potential sale, whether in full or in part, and if the necessary investment in Old Trafford and the team materializes are the only potential sources of worry. (A known worry-wart buddy who supports Manchester United worries that “we’ll wind up with fewer Glazers and even more debt.”)
And after that? There is only so much one can cheer on, and even the prospect of winning a championship doesn’t always make one happy.