For Manchester United Fans, this season has been one of few ups and many downs. With no Champions League competition, many fans expected the team to go through the gears very quickly and perhaps make a push for the Premier League title. The team was unable to get the start fans were hoping for, as United were knocked out by MK Dons in the League Cup, while slipping down the table at an alarming pace.
However, in these last few weeks, United have begun playing like the team we all remember, and they look assured to retake their spot among the top four.
Their last match, a victory against Liverpool, highlighted several key points which have turned their season around. First off, dropping Angel Di Maria and starting Juan Mata looks to have been a stroke of genius from LVG. The Spaniard has sparkled in recent games, scoring a spectacular goal against Liverpool. It was a big call from LVG to drop Di Maria, but it seems to have been the right one with Mata proving his worth. His confidence is clearly much higher than the Argentinian’s, and his ability to pick the perfect pass makes up for the lack of creativity from Rooney up front.
The same could be said for the decision to drop Falcao. The Colombian has struggled this season with United, and the decision to keep him on the bench has allowed Wayne Rooney to return to his favored role in team. With Rooney back up front, United now look sharper and more aggressive. With the Englishman’s hunger for goals as present as ever, and with Robin van Persie still injured, Rooney looks to be seeing out the season in the striker’s role. Could this signal the end of Falcao’s United career?
The return of Michael Carrick has been, in my opinion, the most important factor of United’s revival. The Englishman has not only allowed Rooney to push up higher on the pitch, but his partnership with Herrara in the midfield brings much needed defensive stability to a fragile United back line, while also allowing the physical presence of Fellaini to push forward and cause havoc with the opposition’s defenses.
Is it too late for United to make a charge for the title? Perhaps it is. One thing is for sure, however: reclaiming their place in the top four would be an almighty prize after such an up-and-down season.
[Photo: IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images]