To be honest at the moment, you feel that Manchester United could do without the distraction of European club competition. No fan thinks we can win it this year, even the manager has publicly [albeit ill advised] dismissed the club's chances in Europe this season. It all becomes rather difficult to look ahead to tomorrow's Champions League away tie against Shaktar Donetsk in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Champions are full of Latin American players and have caused one too many top sides huge embarrassment in the competition in recent times. It therefore makes for painful viewing that United are hobbling to play against a well drilled, well organised machine when we cannot even break down mid-table teams in the league at the very large Old Trafford pitch. Football however follows no logic.
So it's three points on the board and search of 7 more to seal progression to the last 16. Given that Old Trafford is unlikely to be our fortress this season, it means we shall need to bag an away win in th group to put ourselves within contention for progression. Germany, Spain and Ukraine are hardly trips you'd fancy to pull off an away win but perhaps this one could turn out to be our best shot at an away victory, simply because we're not in the shape to seek results against any Spanish or German opposition away.
Regardless of his thoughts about whether we can win it, Moyes will go with a full strength side seeking a result to ease what is becoming a hurricane of pressure on him, the players and the club at large. It is evident to all that we shall struggle to beat any top side this season, but he'll win himself some slack if he can keep bagging the results against the also-runs. It's why the defeat at the weekend against West Brom could cost us more than the defeat at the Shittyhad. If I were a Manchester City fan, I'd be gutted beyond repair that one week, we play United off the park and the next we get beaten by an Aston Villa side missing Bentenke. Whereas drawing or losing to United can be explained, the same cannot about Villa or Cardiff or Stoke.
It's the same with United. Whenever the fixtures are out, regardless of their arrangement, we never pencil in 3 points at Anfield or the Shittyhad. One thing we definitely do is pencil in the three against West Brom AT HOME. Losing those three therefore means that we have to win at a place like Stamford Bridge to make up for them over the season. It all falls within the logic of trying to maintain the points accumulation stats that make you a title challenger.
It's going to be a little odd watching United tomorrow. The feeling is that United fans would rather see the team spend all efforts this week preparing for three point at Sunderland and then the next league match and then the next league match, because defeat to another also run could condem us to a fight we shall not be able to recover from.
Finally I'd like to see David Moyes get angry. Enough with being awed by the whole United thing and on to reminding us why he was selected for the job. A siege mentality could do for us in the circumstances. Take a media black-out for all I care. Just get those boys playing their blood out ad post a couple of results to give the one eyed fans something to hang on because Swansea is now that far back.
Labels: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE