Travelling to face a direct rival knowing that they’re the ones who have got all to lose from the context can only mean two things – either the gap is so disproportionally in favour of the hosts that everybody expects them to win, or the visiting team have already run away with the league, thus they can afford to take the game lightly.
Sadly, as far as tomorrow’s clash at Stamford Bridge is concerned, the former applies to United, who travel to South West London knowing full well that the pressure will be all on Chelsea to deliver, for almost nobody expects David Moyes to get a point at a Stamford Bridge, let alone a win.
Manchester United, it seems, have a penchant for the comic as well as for the dramatic (the drama is normally induced by some staggering ineptitude, but drama remains) when it comes to the transfer window and it appears as the club and David Moyes have decided to step it up a notch this month.
The United manager clocked up enough airmiles in recent weeks to grant himself a life worth of discounted flights, as him and members of his staff flew around Europe to scout different targets which may or may not arrive (the latter is alarmingly probably than the former).
Robin Van Persie is the latest Manchester United player to publicly back David Moyes, with the Dutchman admitting that while United have been caught by surprise this season, the former Everton manager remains the right man to lead the club forward and out of the doldrums.
Van Persie has been sidelined for over a month now and has seen his team being knocked out at in the third round of the FA Cup by Swansea and losing the first leg of the Capital One Cup semifinal at Sunderland, but the Dutchman insisted that coaching staff and players are united in a bid to turn things around.
We can never have enough bad news, or so it seems.
What’s certain is that among their ineptitude and poor form this season, United have also been desperately unlucky on the injury front, with players dropping like flies, left, right and centre and unfortunately for David Moyes, things are going to get worse before they get better.
Ahead of the January transfer window, David Moyes had admitted that he was determined to shake-up his squad, by offloading players who were at margins of the first team squad, but even the Manchester United manager would have been surprised to read the comments regarding Rafael and Fabio’s future.
Cassiano Pereira, the twins’ agent,insisted that both players are likely to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, which would come as a huge surprise for United, Moyes and the fans, given the unexpected nature of the rumour, its timing and the source it arrived from.
According to German newspaper Bild, Manchester United have made an offer for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
Gundogan, whose contract expires at the end of next season, has long been on the Reds’ radar and is widely considered to be one of the best midfielders in Europe, the sort of player United have been crying out for for the past five-six seasons.
With a trip to Stamford Bridge just a few days away for Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has again indulged in one of his favourite hobbies – talking about the club many suspected he wanted to manage.
A man who loves mind games almost as much as he loves himself, Mourinho insisted that he didn’t think United were a happy bunch these days – you don’t say, Jose! – but that he believes under-fire David Moyes will retain his place in the Old Trafford dugout for the foreseeable future.
Juventus goalkeeper and World Cup winner Gianluigi Buffon has claimed that neither he nor his teammates can understand how Manchester United allowed a talent such as Paul Pogba to leave on a free transfer and claimed that United were blind to part ways with the Frenchman.
Pogba arrived in Turin in 2012 and despite being only 19 at the time, he quickly developed into a crucial figure for Juventus, ousting Claudio Marchisio – ironically, another midfielder on United’s radar – from the starting XI and becoming one of Europe’s best midfielders.