Some may disagree, but Manchester United are hardly in ‘decline’

Nemanja Vidic

Whisper it quietly, Manchester United look a team capable of winning the championship. It may be all too early to conclude such; indeed, United have been far from convincing this campaign, but, call me a delusional optimist if you wish, things are looking up down Sir Matt Busby Way.

United in decline? They’re not – and they never have been. When Cristiano Ronaldo had left Old Trafford, many thought United would not be able to cope and would struggle; yes, they couldn’t quite reach the heights of the double winning 2007/08 season, nor the campaign after that, but they remained a constant threat in the league, even without the services of Ronaldo, falling just a point short of Chelsea and there is every possibility they can do one better this season.

To quote a well-worn cliché, United have been every bit of a roller coaster club this season. The defence has been particularly scrutinised; but although their league form would suggest otherwise, they have been the best team in Champions League, defensive-wise at least, with three clean sheets from three in a difficult group. Stability has now been restored, though, with the return of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Against Spurs on Saturday, they were excellent; United were tight, compact and had a gameplan, and encouragingly enough, both Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher had the opposition held safely in their pockets. That ties in with the ‘things are looking up’ point. The Red Devils have won their last four games, they’ve been far more disciplined at the back, and players have found form; look at Javier Hernandez or Nani, someone who has managed eight assists this term, leading the way in the Premier League.

Decline is a silly word to use in Manchester United’s case. If you want to find a team in decline, look no further than Liverpool.


6 responses to “Some may disagree, but Manchester United are hardly in ‘decline’”

  1. MUFC33 says :

    Nicely and correctly said.

  2. Zee Germans says :

    I love the defensive performance in the tonttenham game… Aldo, I guess we will have to put Berba into the bench, the lad lost it (once again)… I just can’t handle his inconsistency! Lets return to the 4-5-1 formation (until Rooney get his form back), and probably we will get more chances of winning/score more games.
    Ps. I’m delighted with Park’s latest performances and Carrick’s presence in the middle. We need these guys to recover their top levels! Then we will have a Team!

    • The Gaffer says :

      Surely not Berbatov! I like the 4-4-2 for the time being, we’re scoring goals and it allows Nani more freedom.

      The Park and Carrick we know best have returned! Let’s hope they keep this up; actually with Valencia’s injury, Park will play more often while Carrick might have just played himself into a possible five man midfield for the upcoming games…we’ll see.

  3. Zee Germans says :

    I think with a 4-5-1 Nani can get as much as freedom as with a 4-4-2. Anyway, what I love of this formation is the midfield triangle Scholes (or Anderson), Carrick, Fletcher. I remember the away game against Chelsea last season, it was one of the best performances of this 3 midfield strategy I’ve ever seen…

    About Berba, what can I say… Some people can say he is not carismatic, not a Man Utd material, or on the other hand he has one of the best techniques of all the premier league players. But one thing we can’t dismiss about him is his inconsistency that makes of him a poor goalscorer (hope he can shut me up this season). I agree that our offensive have been scoring important goals (fabulous Nani) but I can’t stop thinking about leaving Berba in the bench for the important games and buy a left wing/midfielder player who can emulate Nani’s game from the left… Just an optimistic fan observation…

    Ps. I think your blog is brilliant, have you thought writing about possible Man Utd arrival players for the winter/summer transfer market ? (The press are talking a lot of Schweinsteiger and Hamsik – love to see them wearing the red T-shirt)

    • The Gaffer says :

      Cheers for the comments Zee Germans. As for the suggestion of looking at whom we should sign, I have published a blog on it reagarding the January window (thinking you might not agree!)…

  4. koketso says :

    they are in decline. Compare our squad in 07, younger gigs and scholes @their peak,and in form carrick and fletcher, christiano and tevez, our squad was as strong as any, including barca and madrid.chelsea wernt even a challenge with squad strength. We are now lacking when compared to chelsea,madrid and arsenal on ability alone. Luckily football is more than pure ability and grit and determination count. So yes on ability its a decline, not on spirit

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