David Moyes is dreaming if he thinks this Manchester United team can still win the Premier League this season. At the moment, qualifying for the Champions League seems beyond this squad, never mind catching Arsenal.
After losing to Everton and Newcastle, United are 12 points behind leaders Arsenal, who play Everton on Sunday.
“I stand firm we will be very close to it” Moyes said.
“I hope we are in it at the end of the season.”
When asked why he was so confident, he said:
“The players – because I am working with the champions.”
“I think the game against Everton was very similar to the one against Newcastle,” he explained. “If we had come out on top in both games I don’t think anybody would have said an awful lot about it.
“Because we have not, and because we are Manchester United, we have to do better.
“We have to play better, pass it better, make more chances and take more opportunities when they came, because they have done. But we have just not been able to do that in the last couple of games.
“We were needing something to go for us, to give us a bit of confidence.
“Their goal was a little bit unfortunate. Patrice Evra hits the ball against the back of Moussa Sissoko’s head and he goes through to cut it back for Yoan Guffran to score.”
The challenge for Moyes is that the fixture list in December was set up for United to put together a long winning streak and haul themselves into the top four.
United had always beaten Everton and Newcastle at home and were expected to take six points from those two games. United’s upcoming fixture list looks like this:
- 15 December – Aston Villa (away)
- 18 December – Stoke (away, League Cup)
- 21 December – West Ham (home)
- 26 December – Hull (away)
- 28 December – Norwich (away)
All games that in a usual season you would expect United to take maximum points from. But now, it would take a very brave man to bet on United picking up 12 points from the four league games. Which means that United will probably head into the New Year even further behind Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City.
If United are to get back into the race for a Champions League place, they need to start to score goals. This season United have scored a very unlike United 8 goals in 8 games at home. Old Trafford used to be a fortress under Fergie. Teams were beaten before the game started. But already this season United have lost 3 home games and drawn 2 others. You cannot compete for a European spot, never mind the title, if you only win 37% of your home games.