Who remembers the bleak days of October, November and early December?
A time period which saw United hammered 6-1 at home to their bitter rivals from across town, stutter in the league, and find themselves knocked out of the Champions League, while losing their captain and leader, a man that I personally believe is the best centre-back in world football: Nemanja Vidic.
What annoyed me most about this period of the season, though, was that as Manchester City racked up victory after victory in the Premier League, it was quite a regular occurrence to log onto Twitter and read tweets from fellow United fans along the lines of: “We’ve got no chance, City will win the league, can we skip to next season”. What happened to BEL19VE? What happened to trusting the players and Sir Alex, who time and time again over his 25 years has demonstrated his ability to drag United back from the edge of a precipice, back towards the road to victory?
This is not a club or manager on which it is advisable to give up. Cast your minds back to January 2003; United were nine points behind a rampant Arsenal side, double winner the previous season, yet went on a huge unbeaten run from New Year’s Day right through to May, reclaiming the Premier League title. Think even further back; United were 16 points behind Newcastle in March 1996, yet went on to win the double. Or, more recently, United ruthlessly chased down a Liverpool side which was seven points clear at the end of January, to claim title number eighteen, bringing them level with their rivals from down the East Lancs Road (“Are you watching Merseyside?”).United are now just two points behind Manchester City, after Chelsea’s victory over the league leaders at Stamford Bridge, and arguably have an easier series of fixtures ahead of them over the tough winter period.
The lead is far from insurmountable. Who can say what will happen over the months ahead? The truth is, nobody can, but I for one cannot understand why so many United fans were in such a bleak mood, and were so ready to surrender the title with more than half the season remaining. United as a club never give up, and it is sad to see that a small section of their fans seem so prepared to do so.