Manchestet United returned from Dubai Wednesday, just in time to get a bodily reminder of the gale and usual wind that has bedevilled Manchester recently. The warm weather training in Dubai was frowned upon by many as it has luxurious holiday written all over what would otherwise be a great team bonding opportunity.
Regardless of your opinion about that break, the managerial staff can only be vindicated by two victories over the next two games, in four days. The domestic crisis means that Crystal Palace away on Saturday tea time falls in the category of must win games if the current management is to be tolerated in this so called transition period while in Athens on Tuesday, the competition presents the only realistically available route to the Champions League next term. That though is for Monday's preview.
The immediate concern is Crystal Palace tomorrow. I've been trying to work out if there's some jinx or record that is up for smashing against the Eagles. These records have come more often than not against the smaller sides so hopefully the fact that I haven't found one yet should hold us in good stead on the night.
The league itself is obviously one that United fans will not hold long in memory, save for if we suffer relegation, but we're in a position where we cannot realistically challenge for the fresh crumbs off the table. It has left us in the uneviable position of challenging for cold stale left over crumbs that would have sent the Bibilical Prodigal Son back to his rich father sooner than is Bibilically recorded. The Europa league is those cold stale left over crumbs. The number of games in the competition coupled with the low revenues means that it is a competition that teams like United could do without. Given that United will aim to win the league next year, the Europa league becomes a nasty distraction.
Unless Sunderland win the Cup, we are perfectly placed to avoid that horrible competition next year. However, one cannot simply hope that United ease off and finish 7th this year as pride dictates we fight on to finish as high as possible. It's why yours truly will still be berating the side to beat Palace. However, that could again come with the ramifications of the Europa league next term since we will more likely finish 5th or 6th if we launch an assault on 4th. That, dear reader, is the crux of the dillemma this fan faces ahead of the next MatchDay.
In other more contentious news, Wayne Rooney has agreed a new 5 year deal at the club that will see him earn 50p per second untill 2019. I can only wish him well during those nights at the bar and the afternoons at the shopping malls. I never take time to covet a player's wages if that player is doing the business when we take our seats in the pubs. What Wayne has done for himself is cashed in on all the sympathy in the bank when he has those off weeks or off months for instance as he hasn't yet scored since Boxing Day 2013.
It will be great watching United after 10 days or so of not watching them, but of the two quick games coming up, Tuesday is the one that will get my blood boiling for the away win.
So come on United!