Saturday’s FA Cup loss to derby rivals Manchester City was a bitter pill for United to swallow but not quite the catastrophe our ‘noisy neighbours’ claimed it was.
Barring a real collapse United should still win that elusive 19th title this season at least as long as certain factors are adhered to.
With a tricky trip to Newcastle today, now’s not the time for United to suddenly forget the lessons we’ve learned during the course of the season. Here’s ten things United must do to stop the season falling apart.
1. Carrick and Scholes should not play together in central midfield. The partnership clearly doesn’t work so now’s not the time to give it ‘one more go,’ either play one or the other but not both- at least not as part of a two man central midfield.
2. Don’t give up on Berbatov. Aristotle once wrote ‘one swallow does not make a Summer’ and one p*ss poor performance doesn’t make a bad season for the Bulgarian striker. Don’t forget all the games this season where the former Spurs’ man’s goals have made the difference.
3. Keep Rio Ferdinand fit. As long as Rio plays I’m always confident of a United victory, despite the top performances by Chris Smalling, it’s still obvious a defence with Rio in it is a far tougher nut to crack.
4. Use Chicharito more. Bringing on the Mexican with less than half an hour to go is asking too much. If he doesn’t start and things don’t go our way then Sir Alex Ferguson should give him at least one half.
5. Maintain the atmosphere that’s suddenly improved. Both against Chelsea at Old Trafford and at Wembley United fans showed what they can do and it may just be that kind of support that’s the difference between winning some games and drawing or losing them.
6. Remember we can win games without Wayne Rooney. Although he’s extremely important, it’s not time to think that without Wazza all hope is lost. United have won without him in the past and can do so once more should he be unavailable.
7. Ignore all the tabloid nonsense. Both Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher have been accused of extra marital affairs- or it’s at least been insinuated that they have. This sort of drivel should be treated with the contempt it deserves, United have suffered enough because of sensationalist sub-Heat magazine tripe, now’s not the time to let it affect us.
8. Repeat our previous performances against Chelsea. If we beat Chelsea at Old Trafford then for me that’s the title all but over as I think it’s a game Arsenal need us to drop points in. We’ve totally outplayed them two and three quarter games this season already, if we do it again, it should be over.
9. Let Anderson show his worth. Anderson’s been chomping at the bit for a couple of weeks now and I’ve long been championing him as the potential difference between a good and a great season. Give the lad one final chance to justify his huge fee and three year settling in period.
10. Forget about the other results and just concentrate on our own. Don’t worry if Arsenal are going to go to White Hart Lane and get anything, just focus on beating Newcastle. Don’t fret who wins ‘El Classico’ in the Champions League just worry about getting past Schalke. If we take care of our own business anything else is irrelevant.
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