Cleat Geeks

Upcoming Man Utd v Leicester City “Its Your Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To”

A remarkable football (soccer) event might just happen around 3:50pm on Sunday 1st May 2016 at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. The event; a team might just win the English Premier League Title, unfortunately for Manchester United it will not be them.

AlexFergusonUnited in their prime under Sir Alex Ferguson were very used to winning that particular prize, home or away, near the end of a season. Thirteen in fact under Ferguson’s reign with a couple of close calls finishing in second place.

Leicester City arrive remarkably on Sunday knowing they are 3 points shy of the title and what better place to win it than the home of the team that have dominated the competition since it conception. Although the Manchester United players, fans and management will not see it that way of course. United will not want to hold a Leicester City celebration party on Sunday because, once again, it will highlight their season of despair on the home front.

The remarkable story of this season 2015-2016 is that a team who were 5000/1 to win the premier league title are now stone cold certainties unless they suffer a major collapse in form. Even then second placed Tottenham would still need to win all their last remaining fixtures to collect the trophy. Despite what the so called ‘soccer pundits’ pronounced a week or so ago that they (Tottenham) without a doubt would win all their remaining matches. Soccer, like life, is rarely predictable and West Brom’s 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane earlier this week proved that home truth. It also set up the uncomfortable scenario of Leicester City winning the title at Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

The reason Leicester are on the verge of history, never having won the premier league title in their history, is their consistency, while all the other possible winning teams have shown a general inconsistency this season. The main culprit this season is the former champion’s Chelsea, who at one point before sacking Jose Mourinho, were close to a relegation spot. While Gus Hiddink has established the club Chelsea have had the worst season ever for the returning champions.Jamie-Vardy-celebrates

Other expected teams have also been remarkably impotent when challenging for the title this year leaving the hard working Leicester City in such a powerful position. Leicester is not a one man outfit but one man has stood out, Jamie Vardy with his record breaking goals tally, followed closely by Riyad Mahrez who has just won the PFA Player of the Year award.

Manchester City seemed to have declined since announcing that Pep Gaurdiola will take over from Manuel Pellegrini next season. Arsenal have also had one of their inconsistent seasons, looking at one time to be title contenders and another time happy to survive in the top four. While Liverpool are now gaining some momentum under Jurgen Klopp it is too little too late but the promise is there for next season. Other possible contenders have also failed to be more than average, with Everton being one of the chief culprits here.

So it is that Leicester City with manager Claudio Ranieri stand ready for their moment in the sun and an historic, extremely unlikly event at Old Trafford this Sunday. As Leicester City have not yet won the title there will be no guard of honor from the United team as they take to the pitch. However if in the event Leicester wins and pick up the three points needed by defeating United there will be plenty of applause from the Leicester fans no doubt and perhaps from some United fans.

In some ways should Leicester win the title on Sunday it will be a bitter sweet experience for the Manchester United faithful because Louis Van Gaal promised so much for this season and has singularly failed them. Yes United are in a Cup Final against Crystal Palace and are favourites to win it but a cup run is down to a lot of variables and the final could be lost easily on the day by the so called better team.

When the teams take the field at the weekend there might well be part of Van Gaal’s mind I suspect which will ponder on where it all went wrong for United this season. Of course one answer Van Gaal will come up with will be the amount of injuries they have sustained this season. While this is one of the factors in the teams underachievement it is not the only one.louis-van-gaal-Feature

Most United fans have complained for some time about Van Gaal’s negative style of play which has seen a more defensive approach to the ‘attack, attack, attack’ philosophy wanted by the supporters. Change in life at any time is not always welcome, change in sport when a winning team becomes a more boring, cautious and over defensive unit is not easily embraced at all.

If you add to the style of play Van Gaal’s team has adopted the number of times, for whatever reason, he has played his players out of their natural position,  it all adds up to a difficult experience for those who follow the club. The ultimate irony is that one of Van Gaal’s stated aims when he took over the management of United nearly two years ago was to win the premier league.

Even if Van Gaal survives the sack this season and completes the final year of his contract next season there is no sense that he will achieve that particular wish. As yet Manchester United have won nothing under his stewardship although they are on the verge of winning the FA Cup in May.

It will be hoped by the United faithful that the team Van Gaal picks on Sunday performs to a high level and that the Leicester City premiership party will be postponed at least for a few more days. The sight of Leicester City celebrating a title win on the pitch at Old Trafford on Sunday would be too much for many to bear. And depending on other results this weekend it might also prove a death knell to United’s slim chance of finishing in the top four and gaining a place in next seasons Champions League.OldTraffoldEmpty

As a United fan I say good luck to Leicester City, in this season of unpredictability theirs is the most unpredictable story of all. However Manchester United  need to put on a display this Sunday to reward their fans after a season of disappointing underachievement. Whether it helps Van Gaal’s quest  to remain in charge of United next season or not is irrelevant, on Sunday all United fans will expect a spirited, full bloodied approach against the prospective champions elect.

Leicester might be on the verge of history but United’s family should sing out as loud as they can (NIMBY) ‘Not In My Back Yard’, but enjoy it Leicester City if, but most probably when, the title finally arrives.

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