Manchester United are out of the woods…for now

David Moyes

Manchester United’s 1-1 draw in Ukraine against Shakhtar Donetsk in Wednesday night’s Champions League clash will come as a relief to David Moyes.

The new boss has not had it easy so far this term – the Red Devils have suffered their worst start to a season in a decade following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson after 26 years in charge at Old Trafford.

But, there are reasons to be cheerful for United fans and their manager – that point away in Ukraine will hopefully draw a line under a miserable start for Moyes who was handed one of the toughest fixture schedules imaginable.

So far, the Red Devils have won just two games in their six Premier League games, drawing with title rivals Chelsea, losing to Liverpool and Manchester City and stunned at home to West Brom last weekend ahead of their trip to Donetsk this week where no English team has ever won in the Champions League.

What looked on paper like a ‘graveyard’ fixture for David Moyes, ultimately looks now like a good point from a tough game and the Scot can now look forward to a kinder run of fixtures for his Manchester United team.

The Red Devils face the Premier League’s basement side Sunderland this weekend at the Stadium of Light, then Southampton at Old Trafford, then they’ll host Real Sociedad in the Champions League, Stoke City, Norwich in the League Cup all at Old Trafford. Apart from their trip to the North East on Saturday, they have an opportunity to make the theatre of dreams a fortress once again this October.

There are, of course, no easy game in the Premier League or Champions League but, one would imagine they are over the worst now – they’ve taken just seven points from six games in the league but they have faced three of their most bitter rivals in for the league title and taken four points from their two Champions League games against the two toughest teams in the group.

September offered little in the way of comfort to David Moyes but October promises hope, at least, the champions can collect some points this month hopefully and march their way back up the table where they belong.

They’ll play Arsenal in November, Tottenham and Everton in December, Tottenham again and Chelsea again in January by which point they may have brought in some reinforcements. They just have to rally themselves for the next month or two and then reassess and regroup as they go into the New Year.

The Red Devils might have felt more like Little Red Riding Hood so far this term but, with the Big Bad Wolf out of sight, they can breathe easier knowing they're out of the woods...for now.

image: © Jason Gulledge

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