Last month, I commented on how our fixtures may play a big part in what we win this season, considering we have no played all of the top teams away from home, and will have taken on all of the top half of the table on away from home by the halfway point of the season.
Ths is then coupled with the fact all of our matches following European games fall away from home, which sees us at a disadvantage where Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are concerned, who all have at least one match at home following an away trip in the Champions League.
Ferguson has claimed we are handicapped because of this today, but is he right?
“They say the league’s not handicapped but it is handicapped,” said Ferguson. “Every game after a European tie is away from home. We’ve got the top 10 teams from last year’s league all away from home in the first half of the season. So you can see it’s been a big challenge to us. But hopefully, if we can get in among the top ones come the turn of the year, we’ll have a big chance next year.”
It is undeniable that the Champions League fixtures could have been kinder to us, but I’d personally rather us get the more difficult games out of the way first. We’re typically stronger in the second half of the season anyway, so who knows how many games we might win from January onwards, considering Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all have to come to Old Trafford, as well as Everton, Aston Villa, Blackburn, Portsmouth and City.
The league table might not paint United in a favourable light come December, but hopefully once the fixtures have started to even out, we will be able to claw ourselves back up the table.