Say What

Published: Friday February 7, 2014 MYT 7:16:00 PM
Updated: Friday February 7, 2014 MYT 7:24:38 PM

It’s fourth or bust for the Devils

Juan Mata will be expected to provide some much needed spark to the Manchester United midfield. — AFP

Juan Mata will be expected to provide some much needed spark to the Manchester United midfield. — AFP

OUT of the FA Cup, out of the League Cup and 15 points behind league leaders Arsenal – the Year of the Horse has not been kind to fans of Manchester United.

The season has lurched from one disaster to another. We have lost a scarcely believable eight matches already and there are still 14 more matches to go.

In fact, David Moyes’ team have been breaking all sorts of unwanted records since the beginning of January – the loss last week to Stoke was their first since 1984.

The FA Cup loss to Swansea was their first ever home defeat to the Welsh side. The three defeats in a row – from Jan 1-7 (Spurs, Swansea and Sunderland) – was the first time that it had happened to United since 2001.

Despite all these setbacks, fans should remember that there is still a lot of football to be played.

But, only the delusional will think that United can claw back the 15-point deficit in the league. Nope, the realistic target for the club should now be fourth place.

We are, after all, only seven points behind fourth-placed Liverpool!

To narrow this gap, Moyes needs to start inspiring his team. It’s all very well to tell the press that this is a season of transition and that a rebuilding process is imminent, but we are Manchester United – the same team who won the league by 11 points.

Moyes and the management of the club can plead for the fans’ understanding, and the majority of United fans will give them that, but there has to be an improvement in results soon.

Up next at Old Trafford are Fulham, who are rock bottom at the moment. Nothing less than a win will do. The big one for United is the midweek match at the Emirates.

United have a pretty good record against Arsenal, so a decent result here can kick-start the push for a spot in the top four.

Champions League football next season is vital for the club to attract the top European talent to Old Trafford. The Red Devils are still in the Champions League and face Olympiakos in the round of 16 on Feb 25.

The only bright spot in January was the club’s record purchase of Juan Mata, but fans should not expect the Spanish international to do a Cantona, and save our season.

The Spanish international will bring the spark of creativity that has been missing in our midfield this season, but we also need more from his team-mates.

Yup, Rooney and Co need to remember that they wear the famous red shirt when they walk on the field.

Let’s get ready for the long gallop ahead.

Tags / Keywords: football, EPL, English Premier League, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, Champions League

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