Monday, 10 March 2014
On a day when all three goals were scored by Englishmen in the side, United never really looked troubled at the Hawthorns. The last couple of fixtures in which Marrouanne Fellaini has played from injury have resulted in credible performances from the Belgian, so much so that the boss will receive more stick from fans if the Belgian does not make the team for the testing home games against City and Liverpool.
The one adverse on the day was a rather cold afternoon for Robin van Persie who escaped a red card and seemed to cut a frustrated figure on an afternoon when you'd imagine there was no need to be frustrated especially considering how the game panned out for United. It has sparked plenty of bile from the press regarding his future. The reality is there's a lot of deconstruction and reconstruction to be done in the summer, so much so that it's at best hit and miss to predict any happening in June and July.
I know we kept a second straight clean sheet but our defending has been a source of nerves for us this season. They say David Moyes is a defensive minded manager but United have been anything but solid this season. Everytime a team has dared to run at our defence, we've been at sixes and sevens. On Saturday, Jones and Smalling did not look like a central defensive partnership, even in the making. I know they've hardly played together and Phil is only coming back from injury but it was a bag of nerves when they were up against it. That usually transits to the goalkeeper and the midfield as the defence is the bedrock on which the team is built. City and Liverpool will run at us at will next week, so you hope something can be done on the training ground this week to make the defence more assured.
Because of how far back we've fallen, the win merely maintains our status in 6th or 7th in a merry-go-round that is swapping positions with Everton at the moment. Perhaps in the next couple of weeks we shall learn if we shall ultimately finish above the toffees. Yes, it has become that bad.