Talk is Cheap for Draw-United

Yet another home draw for Manchester United at Old Trafford, their eighth – YES EIGHTH!!!!!!! – has made their quest for making the top 4 in the Premier League that much harder. To be honest, last Saturday’s result didn’t surprise me that much. West Brom, under Tony Pulis, are experts at killing a game and unless you get yourself in front (preferably early on in the match) you are always going to be in for a tough 90+ minutes.


Whilst if there was a winner, the reds of Manchester would have deserved it, but they didn’t in my opinion create enough clear cut chances against an obdurate, solid and well drilled Baggies side who after the game would have been saying “job done” onto the next match. In United’s other 7 home draws they created some great chances and apart from the Liverpool game they could and should have won all the others (Stoke, Burnley, Arsenal, West Ham, Hull, and Bournemouth), and that is the reason they are not where they want to be. 12 points dropped simple as.


Inevitably the focus and spotlight is put upon the manager Jose Mourinho. Whilst at times some of his tactics, team selections and in game substitutions have been baffling, he cannot be blamed for some of the guilt edged missed chances by the players in those home matches this season. A collective responsibility for me but its always the person at the top of the pyramid that the spotlight is on when results are not achieved. Some critics have said that Manchester United have progressed no further from last season under Louis Van Gaal. I would disagree, the football is undoubtedly better and the chance creation is so much higher, they have actually lost less games in the league than runaway leaders Chelsea. They are currently on a 19 game unbeaten league run but  too many draws have hampered progress and if you are not getting the results required you put yourself in the firing line and when you are at one of the biggest clubs in the world sometimes you just have to take it on the chin.


As we stand Manchester United are still in the Europa League and if they win that competition they will qualify for the Champions League, they face Anderlecht in their 2-legged quarter final later this month. Yes a decent draw, bearing in mind the other options, but you still have to go out and perform well, something United have not really done since February. The Red Devils have a tough league run in with Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Totteham Hotspur still to play, three of those away from home, though you could argue that may be a benefit judging by their home league  results this season. With a number of injuries and suspensions not helping their current cause it will be interesting to see what takes priority in the coming weeks.


It can be forgotten that Mourinho has already won his first silverware at Old Trafford with a League Cup victory, so the season has been successful in some sense, however if that’s all they achieve and do not quality for the Champions League it will be seen as a bit of a failure. Man United are one of the biggest clubs in the world no doubt, but if you spend 3 out of 4 seasons out of the Europe’s premier cup competition you will not be taken seriously which will effect the type of players the club can attract as well as the ones they would hope to retain. A massive two months coming up, its a fine line between an adequate season to a very good one.

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