The goals of Robin van Persie have hidden away Manchester Uniteds defensicve issues, however in recent weeks, Van Persie has struggled to find the net and United have suffered.
Statistics show that the current Manchester United defence is the worst in over a decade. In the first 19 games of the current 2012/2013 season, United conceded 28 goals. The last time United had a worse defensive record was in 2001 when they conceded the same number of goals in their first 19 matches.
But one begins to wonder, if United have been so bad defensively, how come they are 12 points clear in the race for the Premier league title and except for a controversial defeat to Real Madrid, would have still been eyeing a treble? The major reason for that has been United’s striking department and in particular- Robin van Persie.
RVP has rescued United on innumerable occasions from the claws of defeat this season: His last minute equalizer against West Ham in the FA Cup earned United a replay that soiled Joe Cole’s debut at Upton Park. United’s neighbours, Manchester City had their hopes of an astonishing comeback dashed by a last gasp Van Persie free kick after they had fought back from a 2-0 deficit in the Manchester derby a few months ago.
Even City coach, Roberto Mancini conceded that he “lost” the premier league title to Manchester United when he missed out on the signature of the 29-year-old to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sir Alex Ferguson has preferred to take the more you score us, the more we score you” approach rather than find a solution to his team’s defensive frailties.This Strategy has turned most of Manchester United’s matches this season into a goal feast with United coming out tops most of the time mainly because of RVP’s terrific form.
It is therefore no wonder that RVP’s dip in form has resulted in that strategy backfiring on Manchester United in recent weeks. Van Persie has failed to score in Manchester United’s last seven games and within that period, United have had their hopes of a treble cut down to a double by Real Madrid and they only have David De Gea to thank for that double not reduced to a single as Chelsea came to within whiskers of sending Manchester United out of the FA Cup after an unbelievable second half performance at Old Trafford last Sunday.
Sir Alex would have considered himself to be truly lucky to have earned a replay in that match and as his team go into the remaining matches of this season, he must have realized two facts: One, RVP is not untouchable and two, tightening his back four is the only strategy that can prevent United from a having disappointing end to the season.
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