When the draw for the Group stage of the Champions League is done, everything comes into perspective. Suddenly you start looking at the journeys you will make in midweek before domestic games. The reality is that it does have an impact on how you perform domestically. Last season, we lost just about every game we played after an away Champions League game in mid-week so that we're not travelling to places like Russia is rather welcome.
David Gill and Sir Alex have once again confirmed that there will be no new arrivals at the club before the transfer window closes on Tuesday so what we have available is the squad we, as fans, shall expect to win all against all odds.
Given the squad limitations with new Premier League rules, the manager can literally have a squad that plays domestic football and one that is for the European games. We've got Valencia, Rangers (can you believe) and Busarspor in Group C. Sir Alex will ask for 10 points to get us through but I think we can top this group. We must win all our home games and that is already nine points. Then you'd think that we have enough to win in Turkey and at worst get a point from trips to Spain and Scotland.
Meanwhile, the more immediate concern for United at the moment is West Ham United. Avra Grant's side visit OT tomorrow at tea time. We'd all have hopped for nine points out of nine from August but I won't be complaining if we get seven out of nine. It's a tough League. West Ham at home should also be an opportunity for our players to thump in a few goals themselves. A couple of goals for instance would do Wayne Rooney a world of good at the moment.
Anderson is back in the mix and I think the manager might just consider Michael Carrick to boost his confidence. Paul Scholes will need a rest one of these days as he can't keep playing every week. I thought we were poor defensively at Craven Cottage last week so hopefully we'll see a better showing in that department this time round.
Once again we get to play after our rivals so there will be extra pressure to win this one---especially if Chelsea find another six goals at home to Stoke.