Plan A was obviously to retain our trophy and status as league champions, but it is already obvious that Manchester United will not win the league this year unless they play the rest of their games in Uruguay where marijuana is now legal.

Plan B has got to be something next to being in the top 4. As it stands , the current occupants of those 4 places are teams that will rarely drop points between now and the end of the season. It means, we already have a battle on our hands to make the Champions League places. I say so because we're not in any kind of form to dictate an automatic Champions League place next year and unless we win it (which will require a solution of marijuana and cocaine served to the players) we could be starring at the real possibility of having a season without Champions League football for the first time in an aeon.

Aston Villa on Sunday kick starts a run of 5 games against sides that are below us in the league table. It is not too ambitious to say that United desperately need to win all those games. Given the schedule we have in January, you really have to wonder where our season will go from here if we do not win these next five games. In that quintet of games is of course a Capital One tie against Stoke and you'd imagine that this season of all seasons requires that we hold on to every Cup competition for as long as possible.

With all the available mid-table fodder over the Christmas period (where the title is usually won and lost), one can only wonder what an advantage we would have had over our rivals going into this period if we hadn't messed up the entire first half of the season. Still, with about 16 wins required between now and May to stand any chance of Champions League football, United could do with knocking off some of those wins now because it only gets tougher ahead.

I've critical in the past of the sluggish and lacklustre play of our players in the league. I'd like us to use more speed and tempo to the game as that has made us marginally better in Europe. Given that teams attack us more often than ever, using quick counter attacks throughout our game-play could easily make for chances and goals in the same way it happens in Europe. The idea of a slow build up to our opponent's box in hope that somehow the ball will work its way into the net cannot still be relied on.

We've sunk so low in the league standings that a win will hardly improve our standing in the table. But the next 12 points on offer for us could improve our standing by a mile if we bag all of them. Anything less and my word it will hurt so bad.