It’s been a summer of change at Manchester United, following a disappointing sixth-place finish in 2021/22. Before we come to things off the pitch, how have preparations been going on it?

During pre-season, United performed pretty well and supporters felt optimistic about the new season. When I say optimistic, we were not expecting a title challenge, more a consistent way of playing and a culture change that could knit together and potentially take us towards the top four.

Then, as each day passed during the transfer window, United supporters felt more and more disillusioned and, as we saw during our opening-day defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford, the team hasn’t really improved since last campaign and the manager, without the necessary support in the transfer market, has a mountain to climb.

Erik ten Hag replaced Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford hotseat a few months back. What was the reaction to his appointment and how much patience will fans show as his tenure begins?

United fans have been very positive about Ten Hag’s appointment and excited about the journey they are about to embark on with him. They are also realistic and, providing they see signs of improvement in playing style and culture, then they will certainly be patient with him.

Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal finished ahead of United last season and have already spent significantly on new players. Because of this, most sensible United fans realise that the work Ten Hag has to do will take several transfer windows rather than just one. This is not a quick fix, sadly.

The saga surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo and his future has dominated the headlines for some time now. Has this caused much disruption to United’s plans over the last month or so?

I doubt it’s had a positive impact. Publicly, United and Ten Hag are saying that they would like to keep Ronaldo, but you do wonder if it’s best for United, Ronaldo, and the dressing room if he is allowed to move on. Anthony Martial’s injury has made things slightly more complicated because it highlights the lack of options United have in those forward positions.

The window is not shut yet and, only when it does close, will we really find out where Ronaldo’s future lies. Historically though, Ronaldo usually gets what Ronaldo wants eventually. The problem this time is that there’s not a great number of teams banging down the door to sign him.

Which player should Brentford fans keep an eye on?

A player you know so well and one that could be important to Ten Hag’s approach in the final third - that’s right, Christian Eriksen! It will be really interesting to see how he fits into United’s system, but his ability from set-pieces and vision around the 18-yard box can only help creatively.

How is Ten Hag likely to set up his side at the Gtech Community Stadium?

It will be a 4-3-3 with the midfield changing shape at different phases of the game and play. If Ronaldo starts, then expect Ten Hag to go with the additional protection of Fred and Scott McTominay, something not all United fans are fond of.

United won both meetings last season, by an aggregate score of 6-1. What is your prediction this time around?

At this point, I’d take a 2-2 draw.