United had a poor start to the season, and played their opening matches without a match fit striker. Rooney hobbled off the field at half time against Reading, leaving us with Giggs and Ronaldo has our only forwards on the field. Carlos Tevez was rushed in to the starting lineup, despite going a month without football. We struggled. Despite controlling games, we were picking up just a point or no points against teams we should have been brushing aside.
John Terry was quick to stick the boot in, saying, “I would have expected United to have started a bit better but a lot of clubs have bought really well over the summer. Five points is a hell of a gap to have this early on…It’s going to be difficult for United.” Less than a month later, the not so special one had gone, and Chelsea were sinking. United went on to win the next seven games, including the win over Chelsea, whilst the blues went on to lose and draw two, putting United five points ahead.
United’s draw last weekend at the Emirates, coupled with Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Wigan, put Chelsea just three points behind. However, it was business as usual this weekend, when United got back to their winning ways against Blackburn, and for the time being at least, returned to top of the league, whilst Chelsea dropped points to Everton.
The most overused phrase we hear from footballers these days, when facing any criticism, is “I’m/we’re going to do the talking on the pitch.” A team could go twenty games without a win, but as soon as they get those vital three points, they’ll respond to any TV crew who asks, “well, we’ve faced a lot of criticism over recent weeks, and heard lots of nasty things said, but today, the lads did their talking on the pitch.” Lampard possibly uses this phrase most frequently, following victories or good performances for club and country. Maybe it’s time Lamps had a word with his skipper.
Isn’t karma a bitch?
The RoM Manchester United 2021-22 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.