For the third time in a Premier League game, Manchester United came from a losing position to snatch victory. In four of their five matches United have conceded first, and gone on to overhaul the deficit and win. This is admirably fairytale stuff, and United fans will be proud of the ‘heart’ and determination of their squad.
But this trend should be worrying, especially as Everton demonstrated in a deserved win; the red devils can be shut out of a game completely, and United will not always be able to stage their famous comebacks. It is true, yes, over the years United have had the ‘comeback’ gene imprinted in their DNA, the Champion’s League Triumph in 99, and more recently, coming back from 2-0 down against Blackpool, and Westham in United’s momentous 19th league title winning season.
Already this season, they have given us a taste of ‘fergie time’, Robin Van Persie’s spectacular hatrick coming in injury time against Southampton, United coming from a goal down, twice to win it at the death. You have to admire that from Manchester United! Going a goal down spurs them into action, and their reputation for being a second half team is enhanced every day.
The question however, is should United fans be worried? Against Wigan in a title damaging defeat, United failed to comeback from a goal down, and repeated the feat at the Etihad, relinquishing their title from a winning position. You cannot help but wonder if a team he pedigree of Bayern Munich or Real Madrid would allow United to get away with their lackluster performances? Especially considering their midfield frailties?
The red devils do not have an imposing midfield player, capable of turning a match around. Carrick when closed down has shown that he can silently fade away in a game, and Paul Scholes is not getting any younger.
A section of the Old Trafford faithful will tell you that it is the result that matters, and even though their team looks detached from a game, and can tag along at the mercy of the opponents, the fact that they get the job done at the end of the day is what matters, after all it didn’t matter in the 10/11 season, United won the league, despite going for months without winning at home.
However a circumspect section will argue that United’s poor performances will not go unpunished for long. Last season they paid the price for poor performances against Blackburn, Newcastle and Wigan, with the avoidable draw against Everton sending the title to the blue half of Manchester
And then there is the injuries to worry about, over the last couple of years, United have stolen the ‘never fit’ tag from Arsenal. Jones, Smalling, Evans, Anderson and the Da Silva twins have been slowed down in their progress by injuries. So United have unconvincing performances, defensive frailties, goalkeeping inconsistencies and injuries to worry about? And you have to admit, against a rejuvenated Chelsea and Arsenal, and Europe’s elite, United may very well fall short.
What’s your take? Should the Stretford End faithful drown in worry? Or will Ferguson drag United to a 20th title and yet another Champions league final?
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