After some very patchy form early in the campaign, Manchester United have the chance to end this season on a high.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side look set to finish second in the Premier League and have the opportunity to claim some silverware after securing a place in the Europa League final. It is about as good as they could have hoped for after getting knocked out of the Champions League group stages at the end of the year.
Can they kick on next season? They still seem way short of challenging Manchester City, while the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool are also set to provide a bigger test over the second half of the year.
While reaching a Europa League final is all well and good, it is still levels below where Manchester United need to be. That is certainly the opinion of Damien Delaney.
Speaking on Virgin Media last night, he said Solskjaer's team are still well short of the standards required despite their recent successes. He is also worried about their dependance on Bruno Fernandes.
"I'm judging Manchester United on Manchester United's standards, which is Champions League and winning leagues. They are miles away from that!"
Damien Delaney after United reached the Europa League final.#ROMMUN | #MUFC | #UEL pic.twitter.com/grsLuGJg08
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) May 6, 2021
We saw it in large portions of the season with Leeds in the Premier League, or AC Milan, the second leg against Granada. They were poor, poor performances, but they were getting through because they have some magic at the top end of the pitch.
But my god when you move up the rungs of the ladder, and tonight they only came up one level to Roma, they got caught. They're going to go up another level against Villarreal.
If we're talking, and I'm judging Manchester United by Manchester United standards on Champions League and winning leagues, they are miles away from it at the minute...
They got exposed, in so far that they will be exposed defensively by Champions League teams and the opposition won't give up the chances that Roma gave up tonight. Roma have one of the worst defensive records in the league, it's definitely the worst in the top ten.
I think there are problems for Manchester United, massively.
Bruno Fernandes is carrying that club on his own. He has picked up Manchester United Football Club and put it on his back.
Cavani, whether or not he's there next season we're not sure, but they need a striker to replace Cavani that can give you 50 games a season, and they need to protect Bruno Fernandes.
Solskjaer will be looking to make a couple of big signings in the coming months, something that will be needed if they are to bridge the gap to Manchester City next season.