When Manchester United drew to Fulham, optimism was at an all-time low. 81 crosses and a last-minute equaliser to a dire Fulham side was the bottom of the barrel for many.
Defensively, things improved against Arsenal but United’s worrying lack of confidence in the final third saw us draw a blank in a game we could quite easily have won with a bit more penetration.
United’s two draws on the bounce were followed by a warm weather break to Dubai and going into the Crystal Palace game this weekend, fans knew that United simply could not afford to put in the same sort of drab performance like we did against Fulham – and the team didn’t disappoint.
Built around the pizzazz of Rooney, Van Persie, Mata and Januzaj, United played some really exciting football and at last, United fans had a genuine reason to be optimistic. We were a real threat in Crystal Palace’s half and always looked like making a goalscoring opportunity. It was the first time that front four played together and it paid dividends.
The problem with United under David Moyes is that even the most optimistic of fans struggled to find a straw to clutch. Moments of real quality on the pitch were far and few between. It wasn’t the fact that United were consistently dropping points, it was that there was no indication anything was going to change.
However, that watershed moment was found at Selhurst Park. It’s been a good week all round for United with a convincing win for United, Van Persie back among the goals and Rooney signing a new contract – a United trifecta that should help turn our fortunes around.
Confidence has been a rare commodity within United this season but we’re a wheel in motion right now and going into Olympiacos, the team finally looks like they’re ready to start playing for the badge (about time too). The players know this is the only chance of silverware this season, no matter how slim, and they are a bunch of winners – now is the time for them to show it.
Of course, United could leave Greece with egg on their face if our performance relapses but you just get the feeling that it won’t.
Optimism can be dangerous if misplaced but United need to make sure they keep that fire burning from now until the end of the season.