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Manchester United: 5 things we have learned this season

The Champions are in need of a Christmas miracle, here are 5 things we have learned about them so far this season.

1) Lost the fear

One of the most commented things about Manchester United this season is the loss of fear by the opposition. Old Trafford used to be one of the hardest places to go in world football, you faced a team with a never-say-die attitude and a manager that wrote the 'playbook' and sometimes without even touching the ball, the opposition would try and play for damage limitation rather than the draw - it was that bad.

This season it's a completely different story and I think this change by the opponents has knocked Manchester United for six. They are needing to battle a bit more in games, and teams are challenging them all over the park. United currently have a worse home record than last seasons Championship runners-up Hull City. 

That's proof enough that times are changing. 

2) You can count on him - Wayne Rooney.

It's not all bad news for Manchester United fans, because if there is one player that has proved himself this season, it's Wayne Rooney and some credit has to go to Moyes for that.

The striker made no secret about his desire to leave Old Trafford in the summer as bids from both Arsenal and Chelsea were publicly known. The former Everton manager showed his stubborn side and stood by his word, even under immense pressure and made the player stay, not only that - he made the player work hard for the team. 

He has been the shining light for United this season and long may it continue, hopefully all the way through to next summer.

3) England duo not good enough? 

There have been eyebrows raised over their two academy products Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck this season, after a number of lacklustre performances. 

They are both prominent figures in Roy Hodgson's World Cup plans and for the good of both club and country, they need to improve rapidly. 

I think both players can turn it around this season, but will need to dig deep because it won't come overnight and without effort. 

4) 'The messiah, the messiah''.. no, he's not the messiah - Shinji Kagawa

The most frustrating one for me is the ineffective Shinji Kagawa, and that is what he is. 

Now, he doesn't get the same ridicule as the players around him and is often seen as untouchable in my eyes but questions need to be asked.

0 goals, and 0 assists this season and the other statistics aren't much better either. He needs to improve - whether it's Moyes playing him in the wrong position or what, I don't know. He just doesn't seem to offer a great deal in the Premier League.

5) Job at Old Trafford under-estimated. 

The managerial change at Old Trafford was always going to be a tricky one, it would have been no matter what position the club was in. He was expected to carry on 27 years of hard work almost seamlessly and that is neigh on impossible to do. 

I think most football fans knew what was around the corner for the new manager if he didn't hit the ground running, whether it be Mourinho, Moyes or even me in the hot seat. 

There is some very good squads in the Premier League now and the margins between them are so minimal, it has become a hard league to predict.It's going to be a hard fought battle for them because as it stands, they're just as close to a relegation spot than they are to first place Arsenal.

A statistic that really sheds light on this miserable season. 

images: © Howard Lake, © Marcel Sigg

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