Published on January 28th, 2013 | by soccersweep1
Make or break time for Manchester United
Written by Duncan K.
The mouth-watering games with Real Madrid loom large on Manchester United’s horizon but that is not to take away the importance of the league fixtures they also face. The run of games between next Wednesday’s home match with Southampton and another home game with Norwich on March 2nd become crucial in maintaining a points buffer over Manchester City.
That run of Southampton home, Fulham away, Everton home, QPR away and then Norwich home has got to garner 13 points from 15. This is because the games then become a little trickier as the title finishing line approaches.
Nasty away games at West Ham, Sunderland, Stoke and Arsenal, plus City and Chelsea at home, pepper the run in. This is not to say QPR away is not tricky too but really, bottom of the table teams have to be dispatched. A point there is only acceptable if all the home games are won but Everton fans will be confident of something at Old Trafford and that is where the draw in that run may come. City look like they are about to properly click and United need that lead intact going into the last stretch.
On these tricky away games, if only these teams could play like they do against Manchester United throughout the season, what might they achieve? You always get a game at Stoke of course but this season has seen Villa, West Ham in The Cup, Reading and Southampton (in an otherwise dismal run of form) all do decent impersonations of Brazil when United roll into town. It is pretty galling. Check out a team’s next result after a sterling display versus United and it is often a tepid defeat.
Meanwhile, after the win at the weekend versus Fulham in The Cup, the road now becomes that bit more congested. However, this is what it is all about, being in the latter stages of competitions and getting a momentum going as we head towards Spring. It breeds energy and keeps all the players at their peak, knowing they will be involved in one game or another as the fixtures pile up. Ferguson recently said this is the best squad he has ever assembled. This is debatable in terms of quality, and he may have said that to boost their self-image, but they do all seem to work well together, they have a great spirit and determination and are very versatile position-wise. So maybe Fergie has a point when assessing their ability to be rotated and attack on three fronts.
We will know a lot more come early March, after Everton and Madrid have come and gone, either vanquished or having left a spanner in United’s trophy-making works.
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