The title race has shifted in United’s favour by a significant degree but I take little pleasure in the weekend’s football this week. Wolves are a beleaguered side and their manager, Terry Connor, seems to be a decent man trying vainly to solve problems that are not of his own making. What’s more, the upsetting collapse of the Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has brought the things that really matter into sharp focus.
My thoughts are with Fabrice Muamba and his family at this time. At the time of writing he is showing signs of recovery.
Wolves are a sorry sight at the moment. Five nil was a merciful result for them and even United, chasing the title, looked sheepish scoring against them. It seemed an unnecessary cruelty and their chairman has big questions to answer for the way he sacked Mick McCarthy. Last year Wolves beat us in this fixture under the Yorkshireman. The situation could not be any more different this time around.
But this campaign has been marked by differences, not least those in United’s European adventures. Whereas last year we somewhat overachieved in reaching the Champion‘s League final, this year we have represented ourselves very poorly.
Bilbao dismantled us and did so in admirable fashion. Their harrying play, a kind of Barcelona without the sterility, is just the kind United have struggled against in recent years. Cracking that code is Fergie last big challenge. Well done to the Basques though, I sincerely hope they go on to win the competition.
Whilst there was a fair amount of excitement from this correspondent about the Europa League, in hindsight, we are better off out of it. For years we have been hearing about the taxing nature of the Thursday-Sunday routine. After having experienced it for a few weeks now I think we all understand what people were on about. Given a few years in the competition we could have perhaps found rhythm, but it was a gruelling schedule and one we weren’t able to master with the injuries problems we have had.
Despite the various travails in the treatment room and abroad we have amassed a stupendous number of points and goals this season. For all the plaudits City have collected, we are now higher scorers. After 29 games we have 70 points, one season we won the league with 75 I recall. This team is not doing so bad.
So the shackles are off and we face a straight trot to the finishing line. De Gea, who has been superb of late, spoke out this week about the manager wanting us to win every game between now and May. Let’s hope the players can do just that. It’d be nice to win at the Etihad too…
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