100 days in 6th. Wow!. So much for breaking records…Have things really changed? Or are we just in the Special One’s illusion?
You’ve seen the stats, i know. We are more or less in the same position we finished last season; we’ve ‘stagnated’ at position 6 for over 3 months. But does that really mean we are still the same? Watch the games, forget the stats for a minute. What do you see? I’ll tell you what you DON’T see: you don’t see sterile domination; you don’t see flat, dull football, you don’t see the ball mostly in Manchester United’s half. So what DO you see? You see an improvement in forward passes, more quick passing combinations(though not as quick as it should be); you see more shots on target; you also see domination in the opposition half.
But then again you see some pretty profligate finishing. Which brings us to the main question: Why are we 5th in the table? And where we do we stand with regards to the other teams? Is it just the finishing, or does it go deeper than that. Consider the fact that, Zlatan has wasted some clear-cut chances, and yet he is still among the top scorers in the EPL. So the problem isn’t just missing chances…BUT…it’s part of it; include Mikhitaryan, Rashford, Martial missing clear-cut chances, now we have an issue. We cannot depend on one player in the scoring department, everybody needs to pitch in. And since we have an abundance of attacking players, we really shouldn’t be in position 5.
What about the rest of the EPL? Can’t we say the same about them? Well, yes and no. Of course no team is 100% efficient, but there is a difference in the number of chances Manchester United has wasted and the chances other teams have wasted.
Stoke, Burnley, Bournemouth, Hull City: teams Manchester United should have very easily won but drew. Profligate finishing. 4 games, 4/12 points – that’s 8 points lost. 8 points! 5th place, 52 points, 23 goals conceded. That’s where Manchester United are. Add 8 points, they get to 60 points. From the current EPL league standings that’s 2nd place with a game in hand. I had said earlier that we really shouldn’t be at number 5. We should be, at the very least in 2nd place. Add Everton, West Ham, and Arsenal to the list – we should have won these too – and we are talking about a title challenge. Which coincidentally is what Mourinho said at the beginning of the season, after landing Zlatan, Mikhi and Pogba.
So where do we stand vs the rest of the EPL? what do you think?