Few minutes have passed since referee Michael Oliver closed the final chapter in Manchester derby history and Roy Keane corrected a fundamental error.
Analyzing Manchester United’s form at Old Trafford, the former United skipper hit the nail on the head, focusing on how easily Manchester City, Aston Villa, Everton and Liverpool found their way to claiming points during a visit to one of English football’s most treasured cathedrals.
Keane, speaking in November, said sky sports“United are so irrelevant, it’s unbelievable. [Phil] Foden said it was a tough place to come. It’s not.
“Ask Everton, ask Aston Villa, ask Liverpool. The teams rejoice. I know the away record in recent years has been fantastic, but it’s what you do at home that prepares you. to win trophies.”
Since United, who suffered another blow at Old Trafford on Friday night when knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round by Middlesbrough, were beaten by City on November 6, they have lost just one of their last five home games in the Premier League. . You could say that’s an improvement considering they went on a four-game home league run without a win until and including City’s defeat, but performance and results have been stellar for the very high standards. from United.
United beat Arsenal, winning 3-2. They beat Crystal Palace, despite dominating the entire contest, by just one goal. They beat Burnley 3-1 just after Christmas but were, again, far from convincing. They lost to Wolves and deservedly so, producing another lackluster performance, before beating West Ham United 1-0 with a 93rd-minute winner from Marcus Rashford.
On the face of it, 12 points from a possible 15 is a healthy comeback, although against the opposition United should beat at Old Trafford, especially with the talent at their disposal. However, once analyzed more closely, you quickly discover that United have failed to perform to the level expected of them in their own backyard, particularly when it comes to scoring goals and keeping the sheets clean. . For example, United’s two home games in the Premier League in 2022 have scored just one goal. When you remember that the Reds have a front line jam-packed with top, world-class talent, that’s not enough.
Factoring in United’s FA Cup loss to Middlesbrough, United have won just one of their last three home games and scored just twice.
Old Trafford was once a place naysayers dreaded visiting. It had a reputation as the most difficult ground for an away team in the country. This fear factor is nothing more than a distant memory.
While United, in fairness, didn’t do much harm against Middlesbrough except for wasting a whole host of chances to put Chris Wilder’s side to bed before the Old Trafford PA system failed. informs everyone that halftime pies weren’t the order of the day, they failed to get the better of a championship side with a star-studded roster. This is where it touches home.
But Boro’s defeat was not unique. United, all too often, have failed to deliver the goods at home this season, and this is a key area that the club’s next permanent manager must urgently address. As Keane escaped in November, United’s patchy and indifferent home form is what prevents them from pushing for silverware. No club can achieve its main ambitions without being strong and effective on its home turf.
United’s topsy-turvy form at Old Trafford has gone on for far too long and someone needs to stop the crisis and rebuild Old Trafford to once again be the cathedral of nightmares for opponents it once was.
The Middlesbrough defeat was the final nail in the coffin and United, with talent and quality at their mercy, must ensure they turn their fortunes round sooner rather than later. Otherwise, they run the risk of their trophy drought continuing.
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