In my post-match review cum pre-match preview in the aftermath of the 5-0 trashing we handed out to Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day, I had warned that the greatest danger Manchester United faced now were from themselves and of being over-confident. I had warned about the over-confidence coming from the team selection of Sir Alex Ferguson and true to cue, United were undone on Sir Alex’s 70th birthday at home at Old Trafford against strugglers, Blackburn Rovers. That is now our third home loss in the season in all competitions. Old Trafford has lost a bit of its invincibility; it isn’t much of a fortress anymore. It might be premature of me to suggest that but if FC Basel and Benfica can come to Old Trafford and play without fear and leave with a point in the Champions League, Manchester City can put 6 past us at home and Crystal Palace can knock us out at home in the Carling Cup, I might just have a point when I say that this season Old Trafford is not much of a fortress anymore.
As most people around the world, unwrapped their Christmas gifts and opened the boxes to see what is in store for them, there was a big box awaiting Manchester United at Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams. At the end of 90 minutes, United found out what Santa had given them for Christmas; 5 goals, 3 points, dropped points for our rivals and the helping hand from referee Phil Dowd in sending Wigan Athletic’s Conor Sammon off in the 40th minute. Maybe with his belly, Phil Dowd probably thought that in the spirit of Christmas, he would assume the guise of Santa for the Old Trafford faithful.
Manchester United exorcised the hoodoo of Craven Cottage in emphatic fashion yesterday with a 5-0 trashing of the home side. A very good result in the festive season that we are in, heading into Christmas. Ever since our exit from the Champions League, we have upped the ante with our performances and results. There’s no more of the laboured 1-0 wins in the aftermath of the humiliation by Manchester City but from experience of past seasons, I believe those laboured, gritty 1-0 wins are as appreciated as the 5-0 wins in the bigger picture of winning the Premier League title and they would make a return too if there is a need to because it is impossible for a team to play in the same way all the time in a league as competitive as the Premier League.