1) Injuries have hampered their season
Although Louis van Gaal has had the luxury of picking from a fully fit squad in recent weeks, the start to his tenure was littered with injuries. Whether it is down to the new training methods or purely rotten luck, United have had to deal with numerous changes to their side, particularly in defence. The Dutchman has been forced to be pragmatic and use various systems, meaning performances have suffered much more than the results.
2) Their rivals are in much better form
Although long-time rivals for the top four places, Southampton, appear to be fading, Arsenal and Liverpool continue to pick up positive results whilst United’s performances don’t seem to improve. The Reds defeated Manchester City on Sunday to pile the pressure on United ahead of their mid-week fixture away to Newcastle.
The results meant they stayed in fourth but Brendan Rodgers’ men continue to breathe down their necks. The game at Anfield between the two sides later this month looks extremely tasty.
3) The re-building is only half complete
Last summer saw van Gaal get rid of countless players and bring in six new signings for a combined £150 million. Although that is a huge sum of money, the re-building was only half completed. There is sure to be a similar summer ahead for United as they go in search of a new central defender, right back, central midfielder and winger to bolster their squad even further.
4) The fixtures are not very kind
A quick glance at all the top four contenders’ schedules shows us that United have by far the trickiest run-in on paper. The Red Devils still have to play Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham at Old Trafford and face trips to Everton, Chelsea and Liverpool in their final 11 games. However, although the fixtures have not been kind to them, they do have the best record out of the top six teams against fellow top six sides this season.