There is genuine opportunity in March for Sir Alex’s impressive squad to take maximum advantage of four consecutive home fixtures and cement a push for success on three fronts.
Should Manchester United win the next four games, the momentum gained could be crucial in galvanising the belief of both players and fans that this season could well be a memorable one.
Sir Alex Ferguson has already spoken about the increasing positivity oozing from the Old Trafford dressing room recently (via The Independent):
The players sense it could be a big year for them. At this club, in this situation, anything can happen on the run-in. Players can all of a sudden find themselves playing in a final or an important league game because that is the kind of squad I have.
By the time Manchester United’s players break for FIFA World Cup qualifying games in three weeks time, they could amass a record amount of Premiership points for this stage of the season (74 from 29 fixtures) and be well on their way to securing a historic 20th League title.
United could also qualify for the semifinal of the FA Cup and the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League—if this transpires, undoubtedly all the talk would be of a treble.
The players are also mindful that opportunity knocks. Danny Welbeck told ManUtd.com:
It will be good not to have to travel anywhere for the next four matches in a row and we can try to get wins in every single game. I think the whole squad has got that into their heads and we've all got the same mentality of going into the next game and needing to win to gain momentum.
The four games come within 14 days of one another, so we should expect Sir Alex Ferguson to continue to rotate his players.
The versatility of the squad has been Manchester United’s strength this season, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s ability to select the correct players to carve out a result could well be the season’s big story (should it end in glory for United).
Historically, too much tinkering with the starting XI has been stigmatized by fans and pundits alike—particularly if the team went on to lose as a result.
But this season, despite some consequent disjointed performances, Sir Alex Ferguson has ramped up the squad game to record highs.
It has become more difficult than ever to predict the starting line up or even the tactical formation United trots out, but the fans are finally beginning to believe in the merits of constant rotation.
The unpredictability has resulted in strategic advantages for United, while simultaneously blooding younger talents and keeping key players fresh for the growing challenges ahead.
Sir Alex told ManUtd.com: “We’re hopeful that we can take full advantage of this spell [in March]”. Well there is no one better to ensure that Manchester United does just that.
Should we allow ourselves to dream of a treble if United successfully navigate the next four fixtures? Let me know your thoughts below or hit me up on Twitter @jonathanbeever.