It’s easy sitting on top of the league by a comfortable margin, still in with a great shout in the Champions League and through to the last eight of the FA Cup, to smile smugly and reflect on how wonderful everything is.
While I’m not about to pour dandelion and burdock all over the chip barm that is the prospect of “the treble” – there I’ve said it- it would be a bit silly to pretend United are looking likely to repeat the feat of ’99, especially with so many strong European sides.
United’s home form is pretty awesome, especially in the league, with twelve wins and one loss from thirteen, but the elephant in the room is becoming more and more difficult to ignore. The pitch at Old Trafford is veering towards unplayable and causing so many issues with some of United’s players that it’s even becoming a tad dangerous.
The short-sighted argument is that “both sides have to play on it” yet United are more often than not the side controlling the tempo, passing the ball around nicely, where as many other sides are simply hoping for a counter or a long ball.
Sir Alex noted on the 1st February “We have to hope for better weather and a bit more sun,”
“We’ve got artificial lights on it all the time which really helps but the more light we get the better it is for the pitch.
“We’re changing the whole pitch in the summer but at the moment it’s not good.”
United have the players to beat practically anyone, but sometimes the pitch stops it being a game of football and turns it into something of a scrap which gives the opposition an advantage of sorts as they’re no longer facing a side playing to it’s full capabilities.
There’s also the fact that pitches such as the one at Old Trafford are hardly helpful in preventing injuries.
Apparently relaying the turf costs £200,000 although you can’t do it now as it takes time for the grass to join and the pitch become playable, so it will have to be the Summer.
With Chelsea, Madrid and City all to visit Old Trafford this season I only hope that it’s the football and not the playing surface we’re talking about.