Several Manchester United players may feel as though they have something to prove this weekend.
David Moyes is under a bit of pressure as Manchester United prepare to host Crystal Palace this weekend but it’s important the squad stays relaxed and doesn’t focus too much on the senseless criticism which has been directed at them over the last couple of weeks.
United are looking for a reaction after taking just one point from their last six available but they were competitive in the matches against Chelsea and Liverpool, not really being played off the park.
The home match against Chelsea is a fixture the champions should have won or at least gained a point from, with Liverpool playing very well against them defensively in that 1-0 defeat at Anfield.
The result is all that matters this weekend. As long as United get the three points and get back on track, the context of everything else is irrelevant.
Collectively the team doesn’t have anything to prove. It all boils down to individuals who will have small ambitions and aims, which they will be hoping can power United to a solid win.
David Moyes will want to show that his team selections have been correct so far this season, despite mounting pressure for him to get Shinji Kagawa back into the side.
It’s also another chance for him to see clarification through the team that his tactics and style of play can work at Old Trafford.
Robin van Persie will want to prove that he is still the main man in terms of Premier League strikers. Chelsea and Liverpool used some good tactics to keep him quiet and he’ll want to reignite his form.
Marouane Fellaini will want to prove that he’s worthy of the huge fee the club paid for him and that he’s good enough to mix it in the United midfield, whichever role he is asked to play.
I could go on but the point is that it’s individuals who may have a little niggle they want to address, which they can only do through match day.
It would be naïve to say the team has a point to prove in winning and getting back in the title race because we’re only three games into the season and United can’t decline so badly that they are only competing for a top four spot by the end of the campaign.
Everyone knows the quality that United have in their team and in their squad, it’s down to the players to prove those points and to simply get on with the job.
Collectively it all bodes very well for United because it looks like there are going to be fired up players all over the pitch and plenty of passion on the sidelines which can only mean very bad news for Ian Holloway and his London based side.
What do you think? Do United have anything to prove?
image: © Jason Gulledge