Luke Shaw has admitted watching Manchester United’s rivals compete in major European finals last season “hurt” the Red Devils.
United finished sixth in the Premier League and were on holiday by the time Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal were playing in the Champions League and Europa League finals.
Man Utd’s sorry end to 2018/19: Five key things to know…
- United lost eight of their final 12 matches last season.
- Their campaign ended with a home defeat to relegated Cardiff City.
- The commitment level of the players was questioned, particularly after a 4-0 loss at Everton.
- Meanwhile, United’s rivals were playing in European finals and Man City won the Premier League.
- Liverpool beat Spurs in the Champions League final while Chelsea and Arsenal went head-to-head in the Europa League.
Meanwhile, neighbours Manchester City won the Premier League title, something United haven’t come close to doing since Sir Alex Ferguson left as a champion in 2013.
United finished the season with a home defeat against relegated Cardiff City and Shaw says it was painful to experience the rest of the ‘Big Six’ playing finals after that.
“We were all very disappointed,” Shaw told Sky Sports. “It hurt even more that there were so many English teams around us who were playing in finals and had done well while we were just on holiday. There was nothing we could do about it other than watch the games and think. Of course, it hurt. We all felt it. We have a lot to prove this season and I am sure we will.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be aiming to return to the top four this season, with a lack of Champions League football making things difficult in the transfer market.
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To do so, a number of United players will have to improve on their performances from last season. Even Shaw, who arguably enjoyed his best campaign at Old Trafford, acknowledges he can do better next term.
He added: “From a personal point of view, it was a better season than I have had for a while but I still think I can do much better.
“I didn’t really feel like anyone deserved the player-of-the-year award because of the season we had as a team. There is more to come from me and everyone needs to be better because last season was somewhere near embarrassing.”
United’s 2019/20 Premier League campaign begins against Chelsea at Old Trafford this weekend.