Impressive run a testament to United’s progression

Dimitar Berbatov and Sir Alex Ferguson

It’s Progress. Not of the Take That kind but of something better – United have improve considerably from last season. “Really?” I hear you say with your mouse hovering over the ‘close tab’ button. Manchester United’s away form hardly suggests that, nor does yesterday’s events at Molineux where United failed to turn up show this.

Of course, the Red Devils’ travels on the road have been miserable. They’ve conceded nearly as much as they’ve scored (18 for, 16 against) and managed just 17 points from a possible 36. Yet their home form makes up for this, to an extent, acting as a welcome contrast: in thirteen games, United have only dropped points in one, winning the other 12. Is that progress (?), I hear you say, when United sit at the top comfortably (albeit less after losing to Wolves) without playing the kind of vintage stuff consistently. And that because the others haven’t played that great either, that is the only reason why United are at the summit?

It’s a mixture of a lot of things – but United should win the title this season. Get a hold of myself? I did say ‘should’, so it’s not certain of happening. But they should. As a team they have progressed, collectively (debatable) and individually (undisputedly). Going 29 games unbeaten is an achievement that you could hardly have envisaged at the start of the season.

If you want an example of such progression from individuals, look no further than Nani. That’s eight goals, twelve assists and a dozen more defenders having reccurring nightmares. This is easily his finest season at the club; the winger is fed up in playing in Ronaldo’s shadow and has applied consistency to his game that, at one point in his career, we’d have never thought. And then there’s Berbatov, flourishing in a role where he is most comfortable in. Honourable mentions must also go to Rafael da Silva and even Nemanja Vidic – the signing of a new contract in the summer looking an inspired one.

Team progression or regression? It can all be backed up with a bit of Point, Evidence and Explanation. Point – United have improved. Evidence – the following quote from Sir Alex: “The character of this team has been well established,” Fergie says. “Of course, we have young players throughout the club but the main body of players has been here a long time. They know there are some games where you have to find a solution. That has always been important to the club; it is recognised we never give in. It’s a great quality and I think their perseverance has got better as they have got older.”

Explanation – United are well set for the future. As in ‘main body of players’, Ferguson is not just talking of United’s veterans but his senior squad as a whole. Naturally, if and when a player gets better by development, the team gains from it. There has been much talk, too, of how United will replace their so-called veterans when they finally call it a day. But Sir Alex is one step ahead. His rotation policy means that more focus is on the development of his players who currently have a long-term future at the club, and so the loss of United’s old guard will not be as great a loss as first anticipated. This is progress – just have a little patience (extra marks for another Take That reference) and you’ll soon see it come May.

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6 responses to “Impressive run a testament to United’s progression”

  1. sports24x says :

    man united to roar back against city..

  2. aoliver says :

    man united have been doing preety well this season and we deserve to be top, i think the two games againts chelsea will be key. arsenal are our biggest threat was just a relieve that they bottled it. check out http://www.soundcloud.com/kneedeep, londons up and coming band . join our facebook page too.

  3. IVOR IRWIN says :

    So many draws away and yesterday’s loss to Wolves doesn’t say anything, Gaffer? If all the top teams are playing so poorly, it speaks of collective step down in quailty. No need to push any panic buttons, but we’re getting too used to smeone pulling off a last-gasp bit of magic at the death. Vidic who has been majestic throughout the season, was absolutely frantic because he had to do both his job and Evans’. The fact is that Jonny Evans is yit. He’s shitkek-scared of any opposition that’s big and black and it’s time for Chris Smalling to be first choice when Rio is hurting. When even Wolves know that Darren Fletcher can be guaranteed to give the ball away(usually after a great tackle) with a telegraphed pass or by holding too long,, we’ve got a few undeniable problems. I really think we can be P.L. champs again, but we’re made to order for the rest of the last eight in midfield. As Rio plays less and less, the more weight will be on our captain’s shoulders.

  4. Reddevil78 says :

    Fergie is undoutbably the best and we should not question him I see your point however there is a big argument that the players in the squad who we desperatly want to take the bull by the horns just do not look like doing it we have been spoilt down the years with some fantastic players and I think we unfairly compare some of the lads we have now to them my biggest worry now going forward is being able to compete it’s great to nurture and produce talent and I love that but we really badly need two world class signings and to say we don’t then I’m watching a very different utd however the likelihood of us signing them will only happen if the glazers sell up.

  5. Edward Godwin says :

    At last the un beaten run has been broken,now the world will see the very best in man utd.

  6. luckystriker says :

    I always appreciate the positive vibes of this blog but I can’t say I’m convinced by The Gaffer’s arguments this time around. Whilst Nani’s and Rafael’s massive improvements this year means that we’ll be set for a right back and winger for the best part of the next decade, Evans’ form continues to plummet. At this point in the season I frankly consider him a liability if his name appears on the team sheet.

    Our uninspired away form is also worrying from a tactical point of view. At home, our 4-4-2 setup works well as we dominate possession and create plenty of chances for our strikers. Away from home, we struggle to dominate possession, and with Berbatov leading the line we lack the devastating counter-attacks that was a hallmark of the Ronaldo era. At least we haven’t lost too many, but we still have away games against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool so we’ll see about the number of away losses at the end of the season.

    Perhaps my expectations are just too high, but I tend to compare the current United squad with our previous great teams and I don’t think we’re close to our 07-08 team. I am, however, well aware that we’re a work in progress right now and my faith in Fergie remains unshaken. A couple more players blossoming like Nani and Rafael, a few tweaks to our away tactics and everything will be right as rain again.

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