Thursday, 10 March 2011

AFTER THE STORM....


Well technically it should be calm after the storm, especially the kind of storm that Manchester United are in right now. The question is are we past it anyway?

Three defeats in a month for a team that was quietly going on about finishing an entire season unbeaten should be some sort of crisis right? Well at least the media think so. Personally I'll quickly forget the events of the past month if we can kick on from where we are an keep posting points on board for the remaining few games to see us just over the finish line still in first place.

The only worrying thing for the past month--besides the standard of officiating has been the inability of United to call on their 'unbeatable spirit' that we've seen in the earlier stages of the campaign---I mean before the game at Wolves, there were games before in which we had played poorly but still stole a point from the game. A case in point is Sunderland. Granted, we should have come away from Stamford Bridge with at least a point---but again we played well enough to take all three! We should have put away one of the many chances that we had to make it 0-2!
The Anfield game was however a horror show. I mean we moan about how Carragher should have been sent off and all but that Liverpool team could easily have battered us with 10 men---besides, they were already 2-0 up at the time. We simply lacked the passion and desire to play at the required standard and with the right enthusiasm---I mean its was a derby for crying out loud so you do wonder when all the fire in the belly died out. We can have few complaints in that regard.

I'd like to see United play with the sort of determination and hunger that defines our club. For a moment at Anfiled, our players looked like they had been fed up of success and hence wouldn't be arsed about getting themselves whipped at Anfield. That Suarez was allowed to dance his way in the box tells the story of footballers that were not willing to get their shirts dirty.
I really hope we can get stuck in for the last 9 games or so of the season.
The two week break in the league couldn't have come sooner enough for us. I really hope that we'll be back on a roll after the International break.

All our remaining games are winnable but if we play with a desire to get back in the dressing room clean then I must add that all our remaining games are potentially banana skins. Besides the Arsenal and Chelsea games, you hope that the remaining games--including trips to West Ham and Newcastle---not to mention Blackburn should be winnable games not least because we cannot afford at this stage to relinquish the leadership of the league. I'm thinking we keep it while we still got it. Giving away our lead will leave us in a position of dire agony that we found ourselves in last season when we simply ran out of games to patch up the distance between us and Chelsea.

Before all that however, and in the form of a curtain raiser in the battle for the championship to come, United entertain Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday with the winner booking a place in the semifinal at Wembley. Arsenal are smarting from Champions League elimination at the hands of Barcelona whilst we could do with a win ourselves given what we've been through. The result could certainly carry a psychological impact for both winner and loser so I think its imperative that we draw first blood. Knocking Le Arse out of the Cup could be what could make our title run in that much easier as they might not recover from being eliminated from three competitions in the space of 14 days.

Right now we don't have Nani at the time Valencia is returning (we can't get a break at the moment) and one wonders if Park is ready for this is the sort game he thrives on. Ultimately though we may have to make do with Fletcher and Giggs on the wings for Saturday as Valencia is unlikely to start or be named in the team.

Here's to Calm after the storm!

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