It has been almost six month since David Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson and if you listened to the naysayers you would think that Moyes has turned the Premier League champions into a middle of the table side.
As is usually the case, the situation at Old Trafford is not as dire as the media makes it out to be.
As we enter the New Year, United are into the knockout stages of the Champions League, the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and are sixth place in the league, three points behind Everton in fourth. Not bad for a disastrous season!
Keep in mind that a year ago, United were out of the League Cup after losing to Chelsea and were facing a Champions League Round of 16 encounter with Real Madrid. Greek side Olympiacos should be a much better match-up for United than the Spanish giants were last season.
So Moyes has an opportunity to take United to a cup final at Wembley and further than Fergie went in the Champions League last season. That is not too bad!
The big difference between last season and this season is obviously United’s league form. A year ago at this time, United were 7 points clear at the top of the table, after picking up 49 points from 20 games (2.45 points a game), while scoring 50 goals (2.5 per game).
This season United have 34 points from 19 games (1.79 points a game) and have only scored 32 goals (1.68 per game).
That is a huge difference in goals scored, and a big reason for the almost a goal a game decline from a year ago are the injuries to Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. Van Persie has started just over half of United’s league games this season (10) while Rooney has started 15. Yet despite battling injuries all season the two have combined to score 16 goals in the league, exactly half of United’s total.
While a lot of attention will be focused on who United do or do not buy in the January transfer window, the best move they might make is to find a way to keep Rooney and van Persie healthy for the second half of the season. If they can do that, then keep in mind that United are only six points behind third place Chelsea and eight points behind leaders Arsenal. Two gaps that United have overcome in the past.