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Our Tougher Fixtures… Compared To Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool

Sir Alex Ferguson was talking about the league fixtures handicapping us this week, looking at the difficult games we’ve been forced in to playing so early on in the season.

Of course, the other side of this is that we’ll have an easier second half of the season, but by which point, we could be some way behind the league leaders.

Whilst many will dismiss what Ferguson has been saying as whinging, there is no arguing with facts. We have an away game in the league after every midweek Champions League fixture and we have played more difficult games than any of our title competitors.

When looking at away days in the league, United have played far more of the top half of the table teams than anyone else.

Manchester United

Played 6: Chelsea (1st), Liverpool (2nd), Aston Villa (4th), Arsenal (5th), Everton (7th), Portsmouth (8th).

Yet to play: Hull (6th), Fulham (9th), Middlesbrough (10th).

Liverpool

Played 3: Chelsea (1st), Aston Villa (4th), Everton (7th)

Yet to play: United (3rd), Arsenal (5th), Hull (6th), Portsmouth (8th), Fulham (9th), Middlesbrough (10th)

Chelsea

Played 2: Hull (6th), Middlesbrough (10th)

Yet to play: Liverpool (2nd), United (3rd), Aston Villa (4th), Arsenal (5th), Everton (7th), Portsmouth (8th), Fulham (9th).

Arsenal

Played 1: Fulham (9th)

Yet to play: Chelsea (1st), Liverpool (2nd), United (3rd), Aston Villa (4th), Hull (6th), Everton (7th), Portsmouth (8th), Middlesbrough (10th).

So, we’ve got these teams out of the way and we’re 8 points behind with a game in hand. That doesn’t act as an excuse for our performances, which have been lacking on too many occasions, but it does go some way to explain our league position. When Chelsea and Liverpool play the tough games we have, then we should start to see a truer league table.

We’re not out of the woods though and can’t rely on the second half of the season to boost our league placing. We need to pick up all the points we can now to enable to fight back in the second half of the season when the pressure of the most difficult games will have been lifted, whilst our title rivals all have to make the journey to Old Trafford.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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25 Comments

  1. n667 says:

    @scott
    i sure hope thts the whole deal , but we cant whine bout these fixtures all along ,can we? we had a rare occasion when both the top 2 drop points and a win was ours for the taking, utd of last season would have grabbed it with both hands by nw…

  2. Scott the Red says:

    I agree, today we should have taken advantage of other teams dropping points. But it’s not the first time we’ve missed out in this way, and it certainly won’t be the last… I still fancy us for the title though :D

  3. Failsworth Devil says:

    We were poor.. end of..

    Tevez, Giggs, Park… not good enough today unfortunately..

    I aint spoken the best words of Nani recently… but he seemed to spark us into life when he came on.

  4. Anant says:

    i’m looking at it as a point gained

  5. mauly says:

    I thought Park was our best player today…. and why is it I sit down everytime Nani gets the ball!!!

  6. OTRed says:

    I just can’t believe we’re gonna play THREE away fixtures in a row and they aren’t against cheap teams either. The fixture list this season is just insane.

  7. Ricky says:

    Did dums?

  8. Matthew says:

    It seems each season one of the big 3 is handed an extremely tough set of opening away fixtures. This season it is United – but as Liverpool found out in previous seasons the other big clubs don’t give a damn. Although if Liverpool had also had some rough results with their Villa, Chelsea and Everton (derby) away games I am sure the Reds would also be moaning.

  9. Failsworth Devil says:

    Park was shocking today… he has been for the last month… and im usually a fan of his.

  10. Red-Manc says:

    its true we’ve had tougher fixtures but its still no excuse for how bad we’ve played recently, yeh its been a tough start but we have to play these teams at some point of the season.

    Failsworth, i agree about Park i normally like him because of all the effort he puts in but his end product is shocking recently

  11. Failsworth Devil says:

    Its true though Red mate… there is about 5 players at the moment who arent playing at the level they need to be..

    We can carry 1 player when they are playing bad… but 5 …. then it needs addressing.. coz we have been shocking all season away from home.

  12. SteRDLK says:

    We will kickstart our season next week when we thrash the Blue Scum!

  13. Failsworth Devil says:

    SteRDLK…. i sooooooo hope that you are right with that buddy…

    We owe them dirty blue noses after last season…

    I want those bragging rights in work…i love to make Citeh suffer after a derby day defeat.

  14. asidfg says:

    naah, failsworth… utd’s performance away from home and city’s home form suggests u should lower your expectations significantly1

  15. Failsworth Devil says:

    City’s home form aint anything to brag about.. what have the done.. they beat an Arsenal team without Fabregas.. and half the defence missing… dont really think that accounts for much…

    “Richest club in the world aint exactly setting the league alight are they??”…

    Fuckin ell the last time Citeh won a cup…. robin hood nicked it on the way back..

    I would love to know why the hell Citeh have got a gold star on the kit.. .wtf is all that about??

    I really hope we shite all over them… coz there in fuckin cuckoo land… and wanna bring them down with a massive bump..

    Do you know that the council house.. which the blue noses call home… has our shirts in the concrete foundations… i know lads who laboured on the site when it was being built.. and buried there shirts in the cement..

    Nice to know that Citehs foundations are built upon our badge lol… blue nose cuckoo land lob on twats… fuckin hate em.

    Champions of England… Champions of Europe…

    If any Citeh are reading this… put the red carpet out for us.. as you have a real team visiting next week..

  16. Red-Manc says:

    Failsworth well said mate!
    nice to hear that about the shirts lmao

    after last season i want to fucking hammer the bitter gobshites, after missing out on closing the gap at the top against villa hopefully that will have woken us up and we’ll be fired up for this one. lets show citeh how MASSSIVEEE they really are.

    DIMITAR BERBATOV ONE LOOK AT CITEH AND HE SAID FUCK OFF!

  17. Failsworth Devil says:

    Quality Red matey… lets fuck over the blue scummy twats…

    Berba to get 2 goals… and a Robinho own goal would cap it off nicely..

    I hate them… and i mean HATE them… they are cocky twats…and the shirts come out of the wardrobe as soon as they win a game…

    I tell ya what they go on about us and our shirts… but for fucks sake have you seen how many shirts they have had and different sponsors..

    I tell ya i could go on for hours til my fingers were bleeding at how much i hate the Citeh muppets… its a fuckin roadshow.. nothing but a comedy sketch..

    They are shite… i have already had one of my neighbours tell me after there win yesterday that they can still qualify for champions league.. “YEH OK GET FUCKIN REAL”>..

    They are inside this stupid blue bubble, that has had more punctures on it than what a victim of a canibal with a fork would cause.

    I wanna deflate this bubble til it is merely a piece of tacky blue rubber ripped to shreds… coz the sooner that these blue wankers realise that they are not MASSIVE… they are not a GREAT club…. they are simply a mediocre club that hasnt achieved much in all of there history never mind the last 30+ years… lets be honest they aint achieved much in 100 years… the blue donkey shite knob twat heads.

    FUCKIN HATE CITEH… there are fuckin garbage dire wank bags.

  18. Ojijo_kenya says:

    I have a feelng those funny away kits r jinxed,have we won any match with them?that aside,saf shud start with playas in top form if we want to avoid the same embarasment the goners went through against shitty,rooney n giggs shud not be anywhere near that starting line .teva, hopefuly berba, welbeck, manucho(stoke demolition gang) to spearhead the attack.tough fixtures are nothng if we play ous cards right.how i miss carlos queroz.

  19. Stephen says:

    We did win a few trophies b4 Charlie Q.

  20. Failsworth Devil says:

    Rooney not in the team?? I cannot agree with you there mate……to me Rooney is perfect for a derby game..

    Manucho…looks like a little kid lost in Tesco’s…

    My team against Citeh would be :

    Edwin Van De Sar

    Evra

    Vidic

    Rio

    Rafael

    Nani

    Fletcher

    Carrick

    Ronaldo

    Rooney

    Berbatov

    Subs..
    Foster
    Tevez
    Anderson
    Welbeck
    Rodrigo
    O’Shea
    Giggs

    That team would destroy Citeh… if you look at the attacking pace on both flanks with CR7/Rafael and also Evra/Nani…

    Carrick to do his passing game in the middle… Fletcher playing the holding role, breaking things down..

    Berbatov up top… with Rooney dropping off…to me that would be my ideal line up and way to go at them.

  21. King Eric says:

    I like it Falsworth mate “a fucking roadshow , a comedy sketch” Agree with your line up as well although would maybe play Anderson instead of Nani for that bit of bite in midfield. Having said that we have that with Fletch.
    Can t believe people are saying not to play Rooney?

  22. Failsworth Devil says:

    King Eric mate.. its true… city have had as many sponsors as they have had managers…

    In fact Citeh have had more managers than what there is big issue sellers in dipperland.. and that is a lot..

    Anderson is one of my favourite players buddy.. be has been hit and miss this season… and Fletcherino is the midfield man on form.. thats why i would play him ahead of Ando this time.. plus he could always come off the bench..

    I would say out of all the players we have got.. Rooney is the one that i could never hack knowing that he had been dropped.. it would do my shed right in..

    If we go at Citeh with pace.. and to go for the cut throat approach and take no prisoners then i see no reason why we couldnt give these a proper pasting..

    Look at there defence.. there is no case for a defence..

    Rafael and CR7 would run rings round Michael Ball (better singer than footballer lol).. … Nani and Evra would run rings round whoever there left back is..

    Richard Dunne… well with his record.. we might have him as our first goalscorer..

    That leaves Micah RIchards.. well he will have to choose between Berba and Wazza to mark.. i hope its Wazza… coz Wazza’s strength and speed on the turn will leave Richards standing.. and if Dunne has to mark Berba.. well… Berba’s brain is a full 45 minutes ahead of Dunnes.. and i can see a hell of a lot going through Berba this weekend..

    Im excited by the prospect of this…. Our defence should be sorted against the likes of Vassell and Ireland etc.. all we have to do is contain Robinho and for me they will be screwed..

    Oh i am looking forward to this.. we owe them..

    The blue freak show is about to meet the Red Barons, as we are gonna fly into the Council house at Eastlands.. and pepper them with goals..

  23. King Eric says:

    I hope so mate, can t fucking bear a repeat of last season, like ya say we just need to go for the jugular and attack them at speed. No defence what soever, don’t know much about garrido as reckon he will be at full back. We just need to perform like we know we can and we should hammer them, especially on counter attack. Who will be marking Robinho? Fletcher I hope . Another good thing is they have only two and half days to recover and regroup to our 4 and half days after European games. Can t wait for this one, it will be a big factor in shaping our season from now on in. Is Scholes due to be back, if so wouldn t play him from start as will probably be way off pace, best to ease him back in.

  24. King Eric says:

    Failsworth, said I would play Ando rather than Nani not instead of Fletch!

  25. suhayl says:

    me auld mucker failsworth…bob on as usual

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