Thank God that's out of the way then. United are now defeated this season but that’s no reason to predict we’re about experience any kind of Old Testament horrors. A look at the league table shows all is well, but it is time to face a few home truths. Our results over the last month have been a lot more flattering than our team’s beauty.
Mick McCarthy has an beguiling pair of eyes, during the final ten minutes of this match it looked like they were frisking every single person in the stadium. It might possibly have been easier to smile but that is probably not his style.
The victory Wolves fashioned though, had the stamp of the Yorkshireman all over it. They worked incredibly hard, never let our players get near their box in peace and effectively punished the mistakes we did make. My red-tinted eyes tell me a draw would have been a fairer result but it would be harsh to do anything other than praise the victors.
It also gives us a chance to rethink some of the eulogies aimed at United’s direction in the last month. For all the trumpeting about team-spirit and never-say-die attitude there is an unhealthy chorus of ‘play a little bit rubbish for 30 minutes’ turning up in every fixture at the moment.
For now, we top the league and still our dastardly title rivals just can’t make us pay for our mistakes. It is important to remember, however, that mistakes are indeed being made. Essentially, Fergie’s management is papering over a few ever more obvious cracks.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record we are yet to replace Roy Keane. As we play with a more rotational passing system now it doesn’t matter 85-90% of the time, but when a few players are having a lousy day we don’t have anybody terrifying to scare them into action.
Vidic is a solid captain but his confidence is borne of keeping our goalmouth clear, a task made 6 billion times easier by having Rio Ferdinand stood next to him. He was too busy babysitting Johnny Evans on Saturday to drive the side forward. Alas, it was a free-kick he needlessly gave away that led to their winner too.
Criticism for criticism’s sake irks me immensely and whingeing about United now would be the equivalent of lying on silk sheets and complaining about the colour. The only thing that matters is whether or not this squad is good enough to bring home the 19th title. My gut instinct tells me that it is, but only just, and only if we don’t get found out by the bigger sides.
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