The Christmas period is a one that for relaxation and enjoyment for masses all around the world and even for football players in some places. But England is one such country that doesn’t fall under the of that ‘some places’, fortunately for fans and unfortunately for players. We watch them play three games a week, risking injuries just for the sake of entertaining us.
And while we expect something out of what they do for us, this being the Christmas period, fulfilling our wishes is actually something of a necessity. And every club fan demands something or the other from their club, not just struggling Manchester United. The Red Devils have come under fierce scrutiny, much like their gaffer and have failed to win a game in their past five games.
But, despite of the doom and gloom that currently surrounds Old Trafford, United fans can only hope that the Christmas period brings in new hope and a new cheer to the floundering club. And here’s what they expect:
If United defend, they can’t attack- that’s been the problem for them throughout this season. Although, it’s quite undoubted that the rock solid defense deserves each bit of credit for taking where they are, but football is also about scoring. And that’s what United aren’t doing.
Apart from Anthony Martial, no other United player has looked ambitious and threatening enough to find the back of the net. And it’s sad to see this from a side that is known for it’s attacking prowess, or was known for it. Wayne Rooney has been bang out of form, Memphis Depay has been a disappointment, Juan Mata has struggled to rediscover his early season form, while Marouane Fellaini has been just okay-okay.
And rightly so, goals are something that United would need to cheer up the crowd, come Christmas.
Bring back the Swagger!
It’s been a long time since United played with some kind of a swagger, or the confidence that seems to define a club as big as them. The momentum has been flat as things have rock bottom and the confidence has been found wanting big time.
A fear of failure has crept in the players’ passing and United have registered the least amount of shots at home this season, which is disappointing. The audacity to pick out passes, despite of there being the ability to do so is lacking and more so, there is a deficiency of courage to take the opposition players on. Only players like Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard have shown intent in whizzing past the opposition but otherwise, it’s been rather dull. And shoulders have dropped.
A restoration of that swagger that the side had attained after beating Spurs, Liverpool and City on the trot would do United a whole lot of good.
Beat the hell out of Chelsea
When Chelsea visit Old Trafford on the 28th of December, the Theatre of Dreams would be like a cauldron and more so if Louis van Gaal ends up cheering up the crowd before it. The fans would not expect anything less than a win, let alone the idea of a defeat to a so-called mid table side.
Chelsea fans were among those who mocked the Old Trafford faithful during the forgettable and forgotten David Moyes phase and it’d be game in which United fans would jump onto any opportunity to laugh at the Blues. It’d be revenge time more than anything else.
Not a team that wins, a team that fights
“We can turn this situation around. This is Manchester United. A club which is known around the world or never being beaten.” Louis van Gaal has claimed, as per Craig Norwood. And his recent, controversial press conference acted as something that shows that Louis van Gaal won’t go down without a fight at all.
And the fans would demand a fighting spirit from their side, which has shown no signs of it. The press conference will act as something that can spur on the players and get the fans back on Louis van Gaal’s side, such that they can cheer for them once again, in a united manner.
Before anything else and I being a United fan, won’t necessarily want a team that wins every game, but gives its everything to defy the odds and prove people wrong. They would desire to support a team that play their hearts out to get the result and make them proud, even if they don’t end up winning. As Gary Weaver once famously said “It’s in the figment of this football club, it’s in the soul of this football club that they never ever give up”, United fans would have some similar demands too.