Giggs: 'The gap is bridgeable' - But does he truly believe so?

At this point in Manchester United’s season, it’s questionable whether Ryan Giggs truly believes his side can climb out of the hole they’re in.

After the Red Devils disappointing last-gasp draw with Cardiff nearly a fortnight ago, the 40-year-old legend bemoaned a lack of consistency at Old Trafford that had plagued their season to date.

He opined that Arsenal deserved their position at the top of the table due to a unique ability to sustain runs of good form, further proffering that the side that is able to maintain evenness to the highest degree throughout the course of the campaign will be rewarded with the title.

The Welshman had called for what was needed. He had pointed out so simply the fundamental flaw in David Moyes’ side.

Yet after two more Premier League matches the champions are only one point better off, coming off of an historic loss to Everton at home and languishing in an unthinkable ninth place.

Still, however, Giggs claims to believe he and his teammates can make up a considerable amount of lost ground, with Arsenal 12 points in the ascendancy of United.

“The gap is bridgeable,” he said of the current circumstances.

“Hopefully we can start picking up points again but we will get a better idea come the new year. We have had a few disappointing results over the last couple of weeks.

“The performances haven’t been that bad. Maybe we are just not getting the rub of the green or taking our chances when we should.

“It is the story of a few games this season. When we have been on top we have not taken our chances.

“If you do that in this league you are going to get punished.”

But does Giggs, a man who has won 13 Premier League titles in his storied career to define the word ‘experience’, actually see this United squad making a charge for the summit?

In all likelihood, no. The fact of the matter is that the league is so jammed with quality sides at present that there doesn’t even seem to be space for the faltering Red Devils to push themselves back into.

Even if the famed Manchester outfit are able to go on a successful run, what is to say that Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea will let up enough to open the door for a comeback?

Strictly speaking, the top three have already achieved a degree of cohesiveness far in advance of where Moyes’ men are currently, and such unity on the pitch seems bound to only grow stronger with time as United continue to search for a reference point to go forth from.

Attention has invariably turned to the winter transfer window as the side look to be lacking several key components in defence and midfield, with a sordid summer market campaign highlighted by Marouane Fellaini’s poor display against his former employers, who walked away £27.5 million richer due to his sale as he crossed the divide alongside Moyes, on Wednesday evening.

Teams are almost never adequately reinforced in January, and if they are it is only generally a case of a single part being needed, and so it seems a massive turnaround just isn’t on the cards at Old Trafford with over a third of the season gone.

The Mancunians aren’t too far behind to make a run at the top four, the final Champions League place indeed probably representing their ceiling this term, though even reaching such a height would be an accomplishment at this point.

Fourth place was taken by Arsenal with 73 points last year – United are currently on pace to come away with just 60 in 2013-14 – whilst it’s distinctly possible that the club that nabs the final entry in Europe’s elite competition will come away with an even higher points total than in the previous edition.

All told, it doesn’t look good for Giggs and company. Sure, the veteran must outwardly maintain faith in him and his teammates’ ability to replicate the heroics of the previous campaign, but in reality the Welshman knows the score.

Champions League football from here on out is undoubtedly the goal, with the title out of reach. It’s time for United to focus on what positives can be taken from a poor defence of their title, rather than maintain an expectation that without a drastic change in fortunes is well out of reach.

image: © apasciuto

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