Monday, 12 January 2015
A KICK IN THE TEETH
As ever when the media is full of bombshells aimed at the club, there's no point in adding to that. This blog shall take Sunday's events in perspective but also in light of the season so far and what's remaining of it.
The last time we failed to register a shot on target at home was May 2009 against Arsenal. That stalemate won us the title. It's safe to say that Sunday's result at least confirmed we shall not win it this season, but that was never the target.
United were poor yesterday in the final third. For a team whose strength is in the forward line, it is damning that the post mortem report yesterday includes a distinct lack of cutting edge. It was all too predictible and then quickly moved to desperate when Marouanne Fellaini was sent on to receive long balls up front.
That is not to take anything away from Southampton who were brilliant in executing their game plan to perfection. They are a difficult lot to play against. Ronald Koeman excelled in getting Michael Carrick man marked throughout and goodness knows Carrick is the pipe through which all our juice runs. (Okay maybe that didn't come out right....but therein lies the point).
And that was just it really from yesterday. United were short of ideas upfront whilst the Saints were well drilled in their game plan. So, to move from that and stretch the crisis to comparing Louis van Gaal and David Moyes is not quite clever.
Statistics should be used to back up a point and not to make the point itself. For instance the fact that only 3 sides have breached our defence more than once in the league so far does not mean that we have a great defence. And yet the same reasoning is being used to compare the two managers in the post Sir Alex era.
We're fans. Look back at the Moyes era about this time and think long and hard if you had any hope for the future. Now ask yourself if you think that despite yesterday's result, there is hope about the future under Louis van Gaal.
Admittedly, after the summer splurge, we probably are entitled to expecting much better from United. What is key though is that the manager is still on course to deliver what he was asked of by the board back in August. For that, and for the fact that he is one of the few coaches excellent at building long term projects at clubs, he deserves a lot more respect than David Moyes was afforded.
This is not to suggest I am board with everything he is doing; for instance I still think the 3-5-2 is making us suffer unnecessarily through games, but there's a reason I'm just a blogger and he's the manager of the biggest club in the world.
Sunday was a huge setback, but it's effects could still be avoided if we get up next Saturday and go again. We still have a run of winnable games to easily restore ourselves to third place. So more than anything, it's the reaction that matters.