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Opinion: The shutdown has been a double edged sword for United

It’s important to start with the obvious, the safety of the public must come first, always and the shutdown due to Coronavirus was the right thing to do. With that said we can start to look at why the shutdown has been both a blessing and a curse for the Reds.

The timing could scarcely have come at a worse time for United who were arguably the form team of the Premier League. 11 games unbeaten in all competitions, 29 goals scored, two conceded, eight clean sheets led by the influence of January signing and Portuguese Magnifico, Bruno Fernandes. United sat just three points outside the top four with arguably the best fixture run of all the challengers confidence in overhauling Chelsea was high. We were also into the quarter finals of the FA Cup, facing a Norwich side who might well have been prioritising trying to stay in the league and had one foot in the quarter finals of the Europa league after a five-nil win away at LASK.

All in all the signs were promising for United to get a strong finish to the season with at least one trophy and a place in the Champions League (possibly in Pot 1, see what that did for Chelsea) looking very possible. The shutdown also means the loan spell of the increasingly popular Odion Ighalo could be over before the season is done.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The crisis has had a positive outlook too. When football shut down United looked set to be without Marcus Rashford for the rest of the season and doubts surrounded just when Paul Pogba would return. Scott McTominay had only just returned whilst Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire played with knocks against City.

Now all of them are fully fit and back in training whilst anyone else who was carrying a minor injury should be fully healed as many elite footballers get the longest break many of them will have ever had.

So, despite the break potentially having an impact on form, United can return to action strengthened by the return of two key players and full fitness of several others. The prospect of Pogba, Bruno and Rashford in the same team is sure to be a mouthwatering one for United fans, it’s just a pity no one can be in the stadium to witness it.

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