It is those that get to watch United only at Old Trafford that have been hard done by this season. It's hard to believe but United have picked up more points away from home than any other side in the division. It sobers the mind to the reality and how better off we would be if we made home advantage count.
Upton Park is high on my list of worst grounds. West Ham themselves are not the most fanciful of opponents given their agricultural approach to a game of football. Sandwitched between two fierce derbies, this fixture was always looking awkward. That we came away with full points is very much welcome in the circumstances.
I blogged a week ago that even though the board has a long term vision with the current manager, sometimes such plans can be overtaken by prevailing momentum borne of current events. Moyes had a northwest derby, a deficit to overcome in Europe, and a Manchester derby in 10 days. Of those fixtures, only the Olympiakos game was feasibly within the club's powers at the moment. After adding three points at West Ham, you'd imagine he has done enough to avert that momentum that had built after the demoralizing defeat to the vermin last Sunday. It goes without saying therefore that Tuesday's derby has become a no pressure fixture for him.
Having Michael Carrick in defence did cause many to gulp, and I reckon the likes of Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll were rubbing their hands at the prospect of coming up against a patched up defence. No worry though because Fellaini was effectively a third centre back for us and Darren Fletcher neutralised their midfield threat leaving us with a rather good base to free our front four. Rooney, Mata, Kagawa and Young thrived with little defensive responsibility. Surely David Moyes must use this next month without RVP to make all our creative and destructive talents take charge of the midfield. Without Robin, Wayne leaves the midfield equation and hence opens up room for Mata, Kagawa and Januzaj, then Fellaini, Carrick and Fletch-depending on who is selected, to dominate the middle of the park. It will be interesting how they cope on Tuesday.
When you factor in the derby, 7th place could be our base camp for now unless something extra-ordinary happens between Sunday during the Spurs game and Tuesday at close of play. Our position therefore is dependent on how we perform in the run in, given that City and Everton are the only fixtures left against sides above us in the league.
Finally, Wayne Rooney, take a bow.....but for as long as he earns 300k a week, more of the same will be expected. With great sums of money comes great responsibility. Just like we've come to expect Cristiano and Lionel to do some alien stuff akin to their alien wages.