This time last year, Cristiano Ronaldo was out of the United team because of the red card he picked up against Portsmouth. He missed matches against City, Spurs and Sunderland, in which United picked up six points. By the end of September, Ronaldo had played in five league games, scoring just one goal.

Much has been made of Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury this season and the effect it will have on our team. In our opening two games, where we’ve had one average performance, one good performance, we have been without several players, not just Ronaldo. Still, we’ve picked up four points from a possible six, which certainly beats the two points from a possible nine at the start of last season.

“I am feeling fine,” said Ronaldo. “I am feeling really good and my recovery is going well. I am more than happy with my progress and I hope to be back playing for United by the end of September – that is my target and it is a realistic one. It has been frustrating to miss the start of the Premier League season, but I am pleased with my rehabilitation and, hopefully, I’ll be ready soon.”

If Ronaldo’s prediction is right, that means he will have only missed four league games this season, returning against Bolton. Obviously we’d like him around for the Liverpool and Chelsea matches, but a home game against Bolton, who are certainly relegation fodder this year, will be a good introduction for him.

It is going to take him time to get his fitness back as well, but essentially, we’re in a very promising position where Ronaldo is concerned. We’re already doing better than we were this time last season and Ronaldo is looking to only miss one more game than he missed at the beginning of last season.

Also, we have to consider that Ronaldo is incredibly fed up with not being able to play football, so should come back hungrier and better motivated than ever.

Now we just need to ensure we collect as many points from our next two games so we’re in the best situation possible when Ronaldo returns. I’d happily take four points from them, but even that might be rather optimistic.

At least this shuts up the ABUs who were getting giddy about Ronaldo’s absence!