David Moyes will have the chance to get rid of the deadwood in this present team and inject new blood to stop the rot next season. – AFP Photo
IF there’s one thing I learnt this season, it is not to take Manchester United’s results too seriously, as evidenced by its fickle nature.
To do so would only invite endless nights of unrest. So, I figured, if it’s yet another defeat, I’ll just allow myself a few minutes to wallow in sadness and wonder what went wrong, again, and then snap out of it.
It is working fine, so far. No, it’s actually not, for my patience is wearing thin.
From the 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park a fortnight ago to the reverse scoreline in Greece against Olympiakos in the Champions League, United’s season can be summed up by these two events – a win will almost inevitably be followed by a loss.
That said, this weekend’s break for United has its advantages.
It will allow injured players such as Jonny Evans and Phil Jones to recover, and more importantly, it will allow David Moyes and his much maligned boys to further reflect on a disastrous season so far.
There are a lot of important games looming on the horizon, 11 left to be exact, starting with next weekend’s encounter against relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Having lost to West Brom last September, United will have to be at their best against Pepe Mel’s battlers. That means, no defensive errors and being able to capitalise on any goal-scoring opportunities.
Failure to do so, and coupled with another abject performance, will surely invite another disastrous result.
The wait between games this season feels longer, partly because of United’s painfully early exit from the FA Cup, and crucially, from the sobering nature of their results in this season of transition.
Despite all the doom and gloom, United have a lot to look forward to, especially next season when David Moyes – who has perhaps the most coveted managerial job in football – will have the chance to craft and shape this under-performing team according to his ambitions. That means, getting rid of the deadwood in this present team and injecting new blood to stop the rot. However, as to whether Moyes and his backroom staff possess the tactical nous required to change losses into draws, and draws into wins, remains to be seen.
However, results aside, the signs are encouraging.
The acquisition of one of the best players in the Barclays Premier League, Juan Mata, the extension of Wayne Rooney’s contract and the excitement of watching the technically-gifted Adnan Januzaj blossom bodes well for the hopes and aspirations of millions of Manchester United fans around the globe.
And I, for one, am starting to feel the stirrings of excitement at the prospect of a revamped United squad that will, in all hope, go a long way in restoring a familiar order – challenging for the top honours in seasons to come.