The quality of the current Manchester United team is probably somewhere in the middle of the last two seasons.
2012/13 saw Sir Alex Ferguson mastermind a rip-roaring success. His Manchester United team collected more points from losing positions than any other Barclays Premier League team before them. They conceded goals early and allowed teams to come at them; but always threw enough at them to leave with three points. There were memorable comebacks like the one against Aston Villa. There were crazy opening periods like the 4-3 victory over Reading. There was the last gasp victory over Manchester City. The flaws in the team were evident but the goals of Robin van Persie, a gung-ho attitude and the aura of the manager were enough to paper over any cracks.
2013/14 didn’t go so well. David Moyes didn’t react with the same bullish attitude as his predecessor in the face of setbacks. He didn’t throw the kitchen sink at teams after an early goal went in. He waited for the system to pull them round and it couldn’t. There wasn’t the inspiration from the sidelines and there wasn’t a fully-fit Robin van Persie to pop up at the right moment to rescue points.
The quality of the squad is probably worthy of back-to-back top four finishes in the last two seasons but the difference in the managers, and their coaching teams, saw a dramatic swing either way.