Friday, 7 March 2014

Why United NEED a top 4 spot this season:

Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I review why United need a top 4 spot by the end of the season in order to qualify for the UEFA Champions League again, after a slow and lacklustre start to the 2013-14 season has resulted in them sitting almost 15 POINTS behind the pace. 

Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City all occupy the top 4 spots in the Premier League at the minute, and with 10 matches to go it is crunch time for the teams who are title contenders, as well as European contenders. 

Anyone in the top 4 can still win the title this year, so competition at the minute is fierce with all clubs desperate to win their matches and hope their respective rivals drop points in the title fight (including Tottenham, yes I said it)

Manchester United's situation at the moment: 

  • Currently in 7th place, 3 points off 6th placed Everton with both teams having games in hand
  • Trailing 2-0 against Greek champions Olympiakos in the Last 16 of the UEFA Champions League
Frustrating: United have struggled this term under Moyes, but it's not his fault
United are losing 2-0 against Olympiakos (UCL), in a game they expected to win comfortably
  • Lost 8 matches already this season, out of the FA Cup and knocked out of the Capital One Cup by eventual runners-up Sunderland
But not all is doom and gloom. They have had a few shocks as of late, but their form and performances are so unpredictable that you cannot guess what is going to happen next for United.

Some are blaming Moyes, saying that he does not know what he is doing and are questioning Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to say he was the best man to replace him at the helm in the first place - even though Moyes took over the same team that won the title last year. 

Disgruntled: United supporters are annoyed (rightly so) but they should not blame Moyes
I feel that the criticism Moyes is recieving is unfair, very unfair. This is because it's not about the lack of signings that he has made, it's because the players have not performed up to their normal standard and as a result teams are picking up easy points against United because the team looks lethargic and vulnerable at the back especially when defending against a counter attack. 

Believe it or not, it is pretty much the same team that won the title back in April with games to spare, but they don't trust Moyes enough and are not playing properly as a result. 

They are making midfielder Tom Cleverley the scapegoat for the reason why the team is currently not doing as well as they would have liked - even though he hasn't been playing very well he isn't the only one. 

Unfair: Cleverley has been subject to a petition, wanting to ban him from playing for the English national team.
Harsh: This petition, asking the FA to ban Cleverley from the England squad has already reached over 17,000 signatures in 4 days

Lacklustre: Cleverley is getting unwanted attention as a result of poor performances

Scapegoat: Cleverley (centre) is being unfairly critiziced for United's poor form this season.
If United do not qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season, they could be in serious trouble. I say this because they want to re-build their squad with strong signings in the summer, but all the world's best players will be reluctant to join Old Trafford if they cannot offer them the chance to play in the Champions League, the most coveted and one of the most important terms when it comes to signing world-class players.

If they finish outside the top four (5-8th) then they will have to play in the Europa League, going through qualification rounds, group stages every Thursday and having to travel all across Europe within the space of a few days between matches - which has proven hazardous for the British teams who have participated in the competition in the past. 

It will be an interesting finish to the league season... that's for sure.