With the crossing of the season’s halfway point, it was impossible to prevent a comparison of managers. Maybe other clubs are doing it too, but I’ve not bothered diving into other clubs’ blogs to see how fans and pundits are comparing their managers to past successes or failures. I care what people say and write about United, and that’s all that matters.
It hurt to read that at this stage of the season, Van Gaal’s United and Moyes’ United earned the same number of points – 37 points from 21 games – despite the arrival of some of the game’s best and brightest to Old Trafford. So, what if Moyes had splashed the cash like Van Gaal has been allowed to? Where would we have been at the turn of the season last year?
We can dwell on the “what ifs” and “should haves”, but that’s not going to bring back the 2013/2014 EPL trophy. That ship sailed a long time ago, carrying our noisy neighbours on it. Instead, we need to focus on the remaining 16 games of the current season.
A quick peek at the next few fixtures should give United fans a little spring in their step, and a lot to believe in. Saturday’s 2-0 win over QPR, thanks to goals from subs Fellaini and Wilson, wasn’t as easy as it should have been, with the luckless Falcao missing a series of chances and with Di Maria struggling to play in a position that clearly does not suit him. Following the FA Cup 4th Round tie against Cambridge, we host bottom-placed Leicester, where a repeat of the September 21 debacle is not expected to happen. A visit to the Hammers a week later should prove a tougher test, but we have enough reason to believe that the job will be done. Then, a visit by Burnley who surprised us with a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor, but few expect the score to be repeated at Old Trafford.
So that’s it. Let’s not dismiss our team just yet. Faith is what we need. Faith in Van Gaal and his philosophy (hopefully it’s about goals and victories, rather than possession); faith that the right tactics and formation will be used for each game (and not the dreaded 3-5-2); faith that De Gea will continue to make those amazing saves and sign a new contract that will keep him at United for a few more years; faith in Captain Marvel 3.0 – Wayne Rooney – and his ability to rally the team to victory after victory; faith in our strikers and their goal-scoring prowess; faith in a rock-solid midfield and defence; faith that United will collect maximum points – at home and away; and faith that the Red Devils will strike fear in the hearts of all opponents again like before.
With faith comes belief. And I believe in a top 3 finish.