Being a United fan is a strange experience these days. Our very up and down start to the season was recently coupled with getting a footballing lesson against Juventus only to be beating them two weeks later. Showing grit and determination to overcome a terrible first 20 minutes at Bournemouth and come away with a victory. The Reds followed that up with a very disappointing beginning to the first and second half in the derby showing once again how far we are from where we need to be.
You really don’t know where you stand with this current squad and where the next performance is going to take us. We all know this is Jose Mourinho’s third season and it still is a mixed bag with team selection, formation and results.
This season United have already conceded 21 goals. Last season it was 28 in the whole season.
Out of the top six last season United had the second lowest goals for tally at 68 with Chelsea at 62. This season Bournemouth have scored more goals than us and are above us in the league.
Two areas of the pitch clearly need improving on that evidence and I’m sure it’s not a fact that Mourinho has ignored.
It feels like he is sticking with experienced players with wide-ranging results.
Mourinho said after the game against City, as per Sky Sports: “At 2-1, to bring a fresh Fellaini to the pitch, I think they would be in big trouble. But instead he was making an incredible effort to stay on the pitch.”
Are we ignoring our £52 million signing in the summer?
What about one of our better performers in pre season and our first league game, Andreas Pereira, being continuously overlooked?
Bailly can’t even get on the bench these days and, yes, his form hasn’t been the best but really who’s has? Is Jones a fitting defensive substitute? Darmian ahead of Dalot?
Sanchez and Mata have played well recently but both found their way to the bench on Sunday.
That isn’t to say any of these changes would have worked but at least we would have exhausted every possibility.
This season so far has been one step forward followed by a crushing three steps back.
It’s easy to look at negatives and have the benefit of hindsight after the fact but all the fans want is something to hang their hat on. It was a fantastic feeling going in to the derby with some optimism after the Juventus result. Getting a victory away from home against Europe’s elite gave us something we have not had in a while…..hope!
But again we will have to pick ourselves up and look to our next few fixtures.
After the international break we have Crystal Palace and Young Boys at home. We absolutely should win those games with something we have struggled with, ease.
A trip to Southampton and two back to back home fixture’s against Arsenal and Fulham follow that and if we are not looking back at those games with renewed hope than I’m not sure where that leaves us.
In an article I wrote a few weeks ago I said we had to adjust our expectations and buckle up for a bumpy ride. I think we are still trying to adjust, it’s hard to when you’re talking about the biggest club in the world.
Waiting for something to be excited about rather than nervous and cautious. Still waiting for a game where we blow away the opposition without a worry or doubt. We will wait though and we will hope beyond what is possible.
This is Football and we are United, what else is there possibly to do?