Manchester United has long been one of the most successful and popular soccer clubs in the entire world. However, the last few years have been troublesome and the 2013-2014 season may be one of the most disappointing in recent memory. The team currently sits in 7th place in the Barclays Premier League Table, with 15 wins, 6 draws and 10 losses. However, their loss on Tuesday to cross-town foe Manchester City may have been the peak of troubles for the Red Devils.
Not only did Manchester United lose on Tuesday, but they also lost on their home pitch at Old Trafford. In a place that used to strike fear into opposing teams, the Reds have hardly had the same type of home success that they’ve had in previous seasons, which was made a point by Wayne Rooney in an interview this past week. Part of the allure of Manchester United was their dominance throughout England, and that reputation is quickly evaporating among squads throughout the rest of the league.
To add to the frustrations of the loss, this wasn’t a 1-0 or 2-0 struggle where both teams put on their best effort. Instead, this was a 3-0 dismantling from a Manchester City team that used to be the joke of the city. But after Edin Dzeko scored just 42-seconds into the game, the emotion was pulled out of Old Trafford and the beating continued when he scored again just after the second half started. And when Yaya Toure scored in the final minute, United Fans took it out on yelling at Sir Alex Ferguson.
The World Cup is just a few months away and luckily this could be enough to distract United fans from their struggles this season. However, depending on how England does in their grouping, the distractions may not last for long.
The way things sit right now, United is sitting behind Tottenham Hotspur for the sixth place in the league, which is the last qualifying position for Europa League qualifying. The Reds are a full 12 points behind fourth place Arsenal, who qualify for Champions League qualifying. And they are 14 points back from Liverpool, who currently hold 3rd place in the Premiere League. The way things sit now, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool would automatically make the Champions League; Arsenal would get a chance to qualify; and Everton and Tottenham Hotspur would get their shot at Europea League. And on the outs of it all would be Manchester United, in all their pride and glory.
Right now you can bet on Manchester United at 26.00 to win the UEFA Champions League. For bettors that feel like the Reds can shake off the cobwebs, this could be a great place to put some money. However, another prop bet currently running is whether or not Manchester United will even finish in the Top 4, with a 51.00 return for bettors that think they will.
One thing is for sure. If Manchester United wants to get its way back into the good graces of its adoring fans around the world and at least back into competition for its own league title, they have to start turning things around immediately.