I was chatting recently and it occurred to me that even if Robin van Persie were to go down and miss the rest of the season, he has already delivered enough to get United the title. The realization hit me hard, even though I guess we should have known for a while. I thought he could be a difference maker down the stretch in a close race. I didn’t believe he would be so decisive two-thirds through the season and sooner. I was foolish enough to think we were the better team anyway with so few players I would take from their squad. Certainly they are well coached, and yes they show up hungry for a high percentage of their matches. We sometimes show up for the second half. They sure do receive plenty of help from the establishment.
I’m not saying that they can’t blow the lead in the table, of course it’s possible, even with a fit RvP. But even if they did fall, with or without him, everyone would already know the value of what we gave to them. I’m actually surprised that it’s not highlighted more in the media. I guess it’s just what people have come to see as the natural order of things. For us to cave in to the lure of money (or the fear of losing the opportunity to make money), and certain other teams to do what it takes to get the job done.
I don’t care about the stupid articles and stats that say United would be mid table without him. There’s no way to quantify it so accurately. But I’m sure they wouldn’t be near the top of the table. The losing matches that he rescued for them early in the season would have been a huge blow to their confidence if the outcome had been different, and who knows how they could have spiraled lower. If United dropped out of the top five only, then we would be that much closer to fourth, even with no help from van Persie.
We probably wouldn’t be behind Tottenham or Everton. Most likely very close to or ahead of United. We will feel the pain much more acutely if we don’t retain our Champions league spot. Not the pride, but the financial repercussions.
I actually really like our squad, but let’s face it, we are under performing badly. I wish I knew why exactly. We all have our own gripes and opinions – where we should have strengthened, who should be playing more, or less- and in what position. Clearly there would have been less pressure and dependence on three new attackers from three different leagues if we still had the Prem’s best striker.
Someone said here brilliantly- “we are less than the sum of our parts” .. Where as I must say United are just the opposite.
I like our players and our future prospects, but we are jeopardizing it right now. I don’t feel like the answer was in the January transfer window, it’s just about playing better than we have been.
We all know we dodged a big bullet with a lot of help from the spurs choking last season. I think even more is at stake now, because I truly believe we are on the verge of a bright future, with a strong young team and real possibilities for improvement. I can only fear what a setback it will be if this one mistake becomes the difference in where we finish.
Even though it’s disheartening to look at the table now, we know other teams will drop points, if not as dramatically as last season, but will we take advantage ?
Written by johnnie nyc