Man Utd’s alternative end-of-season awards after cancelling their own

    The good news for Manchester United fans is that their awful 2023/24 season is nearly over. The bad news is it is not quite over just yet.

    Wednesday sees the Red Devils host European rivals Newcastle, who have already won 3-0 at Old Trafford this term, before their Premier League campaign ends with a trip to Brighton.

    It seems likely that United will record their lowest finish in the Premier League era, currently sitting eighth in the standings, and they have cancelled their annual awards ceremony at the end of this rather tumultuous campaign.

    The club insist this is so not to distract from their FA Cup final against rivals Manchester City. But it’s not a great look either way, really.

    Not to fear, because we at 90min are on hand to dish out the awards on their behalf – just as we did with Chelsea last year.

    Alejandro Garnacho

    Garnacho has shone this year / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

    At least not every United player has been utterly rancid this season.

    Congratulations to 19-year-old Alejandro Garnacho, who has had to do a lot of maturing just to ensure that his side have been able to just be competitive at least.

    Andre Onana

    What a redemption story, by the way / Michael Regan/GettyImages

    Good lord, the pickings were slim here.

    Much was made about United’s summer transfer business as and when it was happening, that they were the signings needed for Erik ten Hag’s side to help bridge the gap to the title challengers.

    But Mason Mount has spent most of the year injured, the weight of expectation has inevitably brought down the rise of Rasmus Hojlund, and Sofyan Amrabat should maybe consider taking up competitive curling.

    Despite an utterly horrendous and self-destructive start to life in Manchester, Andre Onana has started to turn a corner.

    Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes - Soccer Player - Born 1994, André Onana, Christian Eriksen, Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Højlund, Harry Maguire

    Ah, some real positivity from this season / Visionhaus/GettyImages

    A league-wide increase in stoppage time has brought about some stunning late comebacks this season, and it’s only fitting for a team like United to get in on the act themselves.

    For 92 minutes of their home clash with Brentford, the Red Devils were clearly second-best. And then Scott McTominay popped up with a brace, scoring on minutes 93 and 97.

    That’s United heritage right there.

    Harry Maguire

    Captain, leader, legend – one truth and two lies / Visionhaus/GettyImages

    Alright, so Harry Maguire may not be the quickest defender. Or the smartest. Or the strongest. Or the best in the air. Or the most inspiring. Or popular among fans. Or gracious of players.

    But he has just enough of everything to be decent and has refound his confidence this season. To the Euros, he goes.

    Erik ten Hag

    Just smile and wave, boys / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages

    You have to give credit to Ten Hag for remaining positive in spite of the decline he has overseen.

    “We are one of the most dynamic and entertaining teams in the league at this moment. We are creating loads of chances by playing good football.”

    Well, he’s right if you consider that United games are usually entertaining to watch. It’s just rarely his side that are creating the entertainment when in possession.

    Erik ten Hag

    The goods just kept on coming / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

    United have given up over 600 shots this season – a stat that ranks among the worst in Premier League history. These are numbers to rival the very worst team relegated from the top flight.

    But Ten Hag isn’t worried about that.

    “We are maybe not so good in shots against, but in goals conceded [we are good], and it’s all about that. They are the numbers [that] count.”

    They aren’t particularly good in the goals conceded stat either, for what it’s worth.

    Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire, Mason Mount, Kristoffer Ajer

    Jubilation to disbelief / Clive Rose/GettyImages

    After somehow losing at Old Trafford earlier in the season, Brentford managed to exact their revenge on United back at the Gtech Community Stadium.

    The Bees were dominant from start to finish, though thought they had lost out to a 96th-minute goal from Mount, only for Kristoffer Ajer to convert an equaliser before the final whistle.

    Brentford registered 85 touches in the United box – the third-most on record in the Premier League era. But, you know, Ten Hag said it was fine.

    Michael Olise

    Olise punished Man Utd / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

    We could do a whole article on United’s worst defeats of the season (and believe me, we probably will), but their 4-0 tonking at Crystal Palace takes the cake.

    Eberchi Eze, Casemiro

    Time to go, Casemiro / Chloe Knott – Danehouse/GettyImages

    Jamie Carragher sent a rather stern message to Casemiro after his horrendous showing at Palace: “Leave the football before the football leaves you.”


    Cole Palmer, Alfie Gilchrist, Nicolas Jackson, Benoit Badiashile

    Bedlam at Stamford Bridge / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

    United led 3-2 at Chelsea with 99 minutes and 18 seconds on the clock.

    They lost 4-3.

    A boyhood United fan in Cole Palmer scored a match-winning hat-trick for the Blues.

    Alejandro Garnacho

    What could have been / Robin Jones/GettyImages

    Since Garnacho’s 89th-minute goal at Arsenal was ruled out for the most marginal of offsides back in September, Ten Hag has sought to point to it as a sliding-doors moment whenever possible.

    No, Erik. The season would not have looked that different. That goal wouldn’t have magically made you better at defending.

    Donny van de Beek

    As shocked as the rest of us / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

    Donny van de Beek somehow clocked 21 minutes across two appearances for United this season before joining Eintracht Frankfurt on loan.

    So much for a redemption arc under his former Ajax boss.

    Jadon Sancho

    He’s the famous Jadon Sancho and he’s going to Wembley / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

    Jadon Sancho shouldn’t have lashed out at Ten Hag on social media. Ten Hag shouldn’t have dug him out in public the way he did.

    Both parties are right and wrong, but only one of them will compete in a Champions League final next month.

    Now it’s time for him to regain some sweet, sweet transfer value.


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