This is it! It all boils down to one league fixture (at least for me).
Chelsea visit OT this weekend on the back of a 7-1 mauling of Villa and a weeks' rest. In that period, we managed to see of Bolton last weekend and then forgot to come off the bus in Munich hence a 2-1 thrashing and injury to our best player. I think the one aspect United fans are still coming to terms with is that a week ago, none of us would have envisaged playing two of our biggest games all season without Wayne Rooney.
It really has been an unexpected writing of the script for this one.
The manager has revealed that Wayne will be out for a couple of weeks and that is just about the best news that we could have hoped for.
Attention now turns to a man who has already been convicted by the nation even without trial. Berbatov is now United's fulcrum of attack and that will not change at least till the Manchester derby comes round on the 17th of this month. It means this is his chance of chances to prove that he can lead the line at United. A chance for him to prove his critics wrong. A chance to write his name in United fans' hearts. 'All' its going to take for him is t win us our next two games and even though he doesn't score for the rest of the season, he'll be regarded as a hero for this season in particular. He's probably never been in this position before at United where the whole team looks up to him so this is rather a sub-plot that will interest fans and haters alike. (That's if you can differentiate between the two when it comes to Berba).
Anywho, I still have my reservations about our midfield. Sometimes they turn up and sometimes they don't. You don't have to be a manager to know that they didn't turn up on Tuesday. I mean that was pathetic from Carrick. He's really due a good performance. It's been like that for a while now and he owes us one. Valencia, Park and Fletcher will probably start tomorrow but the other bit of encouraging news I heard today (bar Rooney) is that Hargreaves will be on the bench for Saturday. Now that's something. This is when you kick yourself at the fact that he can't play in Europe till the final. I mean given that we need a combination of defence and attack on Wednesday, we could use such a player.
The odds are probably against United (which is almost unheard of at OT) but I think that is exactly what should win us this match. The manager does not need to motivate the players ahead of our next two games because the rewards are obvious. I've always said that whether the players are up for it is another matter. But they do know what is expected of them.
Above all, I do think that this is a chance for the players to show that they are not a one man team. This is an opportunity fr everyone that is not Wayne Rooney to make themselves an instant hero of the season---the kind of accolade Federicho Macheda claimed last season. Speaking of which, the Italian youngster is back from injury and will sit alongside Mame Briam Diouf on the bench tomorrow just in case we are chasing the game.
If by late Saturday afternoon we are four points clear in the league, we'll almost certainly win it! Anything less and we could be in for one hell of a finish in this season's Championship.
It's high time that we put some distance between us and our rivals, something that we've failed to do all season. History suggests that every time United lead in April, 10 out of 11 times they have gone on to win the league. That is why this is it for United.