By Gareth Freeman
Things aren’t looking as rosy as they were a week or two at Old Trafford but everything is still in United’s favour. Rooney getting himself sent off wasn’t the wisest of moves, it wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last he does it. Liverpool could even be on top before Ferguson’s side even kick a ball but with a point advantage and a game in hand you wouldn’t go betting on United losing the title just yet.
The players themselves seem to have taken back-to-back defeats in their stride. Patrice Evra has described the defeats as a ‘little accident’ and the Frenchman seems fairly confident of United’s success.
Ryan Giggs has really emerged as a leader this season. His comments are perhaps the most encouraging. In an interview with MUTV Giggs said: “We’ve got to do our own job, not worry about the teams around us. It’s still in our hands.”
The main worry really is Wayne Rooney. As a younger player when he demonstrated his acts of poor discipline it came with the excuse of ‘he’ll grow out of it’. Sadly I no longer think this is the case and if Rooney is a part of the team I think Man United fans will always have to deal with this from time to time. His quality mean it is worth putting up with but when it happens at key times like this it is unbelievably frustrating! On the plus side Carlos Tevez should get a run in the team. I know a lot of United fans aren’t too keen on the Argentine but his work rate can never be questioned and for me he has a lot of quality.
It may not be as comfortable as it once was but I can’t see United failing to win another two games along the way. Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City are the only games left where I could possibly see United slipping up but they’re all at home and I doubt anyone other than United will get much joy at Old Trafford again this season.
The sports betting odds are still firmly in United’s favour and I would imagine that this mini-slump will end when Aston Villa come to Old Trafford on April 5th. Villa have been on a poor run themselves lately and it is probably a good time to play them. They were beaten 5-0 by Liverpool last time out and a defeat like that will surely have rocked their confidence. The best thing United can do now is put those defeats behind them, like Evra said just treat them as a ‘little accident’ and continue their push for the League, Champions League and FA Cup.