Good and bad for United heading into the New Year

Good of course that United are chasing down Liverpool at the top of the table … but bad that we’re playing so poorly.

The narrow win against Wolves was the worst I have seen us play under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

We were frankly boring – and that’s not something anyone should be saying about the Reds, who have become famous worldwide for our exciting counter-attacking style.

Paul Pogba for once wasn’t the worst United player for he did try to be creative – even if  it didn’t always come off.

No, for me, it was Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, and yes even man-of-the-moment Marcus Rashford who need to take a good look at themselves and think about doing better in 2021.

I’m sure we’re all united in at least one thing as we look towards the New Year – and that’s getting to grips with the coronavirus that continues to plague all of our lives.

Even Premier League football now, despite all the precautions in place, has been hit, with Everton’s home fixture against City on Monday cancelled at the eleventh hour.

Even in the best case scenario whereby City’s next game against Chelsea goes ahead, they could potentially still have 39 games left to play in the 148 days from this weekend to the Champions League Final on May 29, which works out at a game every 3.8 days.

It’s a good job that Pep Guardiola has so many top players to call upon and an academy that’s second to none as the club attempts to progress in all four competitions – namely the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

It has been, despite all the problems, a fascinating season – it’s the tightest battle at the top of the Premier League involving lots of runners and riders that I can remember.

Liverpool are, like City, struggling for consistency, summed up by their disappointing draws to West Brom and Newcastle.

However, Betfred have Jurgen Klopp’s men still favourites at 11/8 to retain the title, ahead of City at 13/8, United 13/2, Tottenham 14/1, Chelsea 25/1, Leicester 40/1, Everton 50/1 and Jack Grealish-inspired Aston Villa at 80/1.

Rashford may reckon it is stupid to talk about United as title contenders but the facts speak for themselves. We are right in the mix and I have always thought the Betfred odds back in the summer when the Reds were 20/1 to knock Liverpool off their perch (again) were on the generous side.

Turning to the Betfred Super League, and although Salford have lost coach Ian Watson to Huddersfield, my hometown club have made a statement of intent with the eye-catching signing of New Zealand international Elijah Taylor on a two-year deal.

The 30-year-old, who has made more than 180 NRL appearances, has said how he has always wanted to play in Super League – and with his experience I’m sure he will play a key role in helping develop some of the younger players at the club.

Salford are now 50/1 at Betfred to win the 2021 Grand Final, while Saints and Wigan remain joint 5/2 favourites – while the Wire are handily-placed at 7/1.

I wish all our customers a happy, safe and positive New Year. Fingers crossed that we see our lives returning to something approaching normal in 2021.

Take care.

Fred.

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