Sunday 22 October 2017

United must end malaise quickly to reignite season

The defeat at Huddersfield was bad and unacceptable, but the result should be put into context.

We're only nine games in and this was our first defeat, so it's hardly reason to panic and say we're in crisis.
It's still early days and we're five points behind City at the top of the league with Spurs breathing down our necks.

Second in the league and on the brink of qualification to the knockout stages in Europe, the overall bigger picture doesn't look too bad. 

Pep Guardiola's side look nailed on for the title at present, but it's hard to envisage that they will maintain this blistering, relentless pace for the rest of the season. 

Like every team, there will surely be a blip on the horizon somewhere and we need to be in a position to capitalise when it comes. 

United face Mauricio Pochettino's high-flying side next at Old Trafford on Saturday, in a game that already looked hugely important for both sides respective ambitions this season.

Now, it's even more vital as the Reds must get their season back on track.

You can lose games in this league but potential champions are measured by the ability and strength of character to respond to setbacks.

The fixtures are coming thick and fast and, starting with Swansea on Tuesday, that's exactly what we must do - pick ourselves up and roll again. 

Ander Herrera's comments that the team lacked passion and stomach for the fight at Huddersfield were brutally honest, but also worrying.

Some have said that the fact we played newly-promoted Huddersfield, straight after a European excursion, may have been the reason why the players struggled for to 'get up' for the match. 

There may be an element of truth in that, but these are players at Manchester United and that should be motivation enough.

Putting on the United shirt should be all the inspiration you need, no matter what the game or occasion.

For any professional football team - let alone one fighting for the Premier League title - to lack the passion and desire to win any given match is an embarrassment.

It's a shocking, unforgivable admission that would be unthinkable during the days of Sir Alex.

Mourinho appeared as baffled as anyone afterwards but he should not escape criticism.

Jose said in his press conference that the players would not underestimate Huddersfield and would be ready, but, quite frankly, they weren't.

The players let their manager, club and fans down but Mourinho needs to look himself too and question why the players showed no effort or commitment. 

United's season depends on how we recover.. 

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