Manchester United kickstart their Premier League campaign on Sunday against Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford.
In what is new manager Erik ten Hag’s inaugural season in England, the new term presents a chance for a cultural reboot after the calamity last time out that saw the club finish sixth and have the worst season in its history.
Naturally, for United fans, like supporters of other teams, some excitement is building ahead of Sunday’s match against Graham Potter’s men.
But despite there being a new man at the helm making sweeping changes from top to bottom, expectations are not at the all-time high that might be expected.
According to the Athletic, United fans lie in midtable in the Premier League, with their fans only the 12th most optimistic, to a degree of 72%.
Pessimism within the fanbase stands at 28%.
These figures are based on the news outlet’s hope-o-meter, which seeks to gauge supporters of all 20 Premier League clubs’ optimism or pessimism levels ahead of the new campaign.
The numbers are deduced from the Athletic’s followers and how they feel about their club’s chances in the 2022-2023 season.
United’s optimism rate of 72% represents a significant drop from last year’s mark, which was at 94%.
This is indicative of the fans exercising caution after the heartbreak of last season that saw former manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer shown the door after a string of poor results.
The Red Devils have also had a poor transfer window, with only three confirmed signings. There are gaping holes in the team that need to be addressed.
United are also extremely thin in midfield and in the attacking department and it could be said are an injury or two away from crisis if the unthinkable happens.
United’s top four rivals Arsenal and Tottenham topped the hope-o-meter chart, with each having 97% optimism levels. Bottom of the chart was Bournemouth, with Chelsea second to last with only 33%.
Here are the results! pic.twitter.com/ZVg4BCmbST
— George Caulkin (@GeorgeCaulkin) August 5, 2022
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