United are a bit of an optical illusion at the moment. If you focus closely on one area something else will come into view, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Nothing has received more scrutiny recently than Wayne Rooney's approach to spending, budgeting and contract negotiation. All of which, sadly, removes the focus from the guys on the pitch playing the game.
Those with a sunnier disposition have been rejoicing the antics of Chicharito. It’s truly good news that the young lad is turning into a dead-eyed killer in front of goal. His humility is darn refreshing too in a world of £200 cigarettes. Look a little closer though and you’ll see that Berbatov hasn’t hit the back of the net for a while now.
I think the Bulgar has been putting in decent performances, and he plays well with Hernandez, but he tends to get a bit grumpy when doesn’t score. Time for a goal methinks.
Look at this picture long enough and you can see what Fergie is thinking
Van Der Sar, rightly, has got a look in for being the first United player since the television was invented to wear the shirt past his 40th birthday. And how we need him at the moment, the defence has put in some extremely wobbly displays of late. Tremendous as he is though, I am keenly aware that he is not the VDS of three years ago. Alas, I fear the Rio and Vidic 2008 vintage were superior to the current crop too. Nonetheless, this clean sheet was more than welcome and some more for the Christmas period would be lovely.
For me though, I want to be entertained. At the start of the season our games were rip-roaringly exciting. We may not have loved the result against Everton, for example, but my goodness it wasn’t boring. With Spurs in town I expected more of a show to be honest.
Nani can turn on the style but we were a more exciting team with Tony Valencia in the starting line up. I hope his recovery is going well. At least he won’t be lonely in the treatment room. Giggs and the two Owens will be there to keep him company. I checked the origin of the word ‘Owen’ and apparently it is Gaelic for ‘archer.’ Words sometimes change their meanings though, it could now just as easily be translated as injured.
One thing that can’t be missed at the moment is the results. During one of the most unpleasant periods of media attention in the club’s history we’ve managed to pick up four wins out of four. One man who hasn’t taken his eye off the ball then is Ferguson. At least he can see through all the BS and still send out teams to win football matches. Unfortunately, Ancelotti seems to have the same skill. We’ll need to beat the London club twice if we want to win this league.
Follow Mark on twitter.com/markjpayne
Photography courtesy of future15pic@FlickerCcoms