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Europa pressure is all on Manchester United

Following the hugely disappointing Europa semi-final exit against Frankfurt I attempted to find some crumbs of comfort from our league position.

The Hammers were some distance behind Manchester United with Wolves  breathing down our necks  and there was even talk of Brighton and Newcastle overhauling us.

However it has never escaped me that David Moyes has a group of players with incredible team spirit who retain the ability to recover from defeat rapidly.

Whilst none of us would have chosen to depart the Europa League before the final it did have the silver lining of allowing the squad rest days between matches.

These two factors gave me confidence that not only could we keep Wolves at arms length but there was the potential to catch Manchester United and claim sixth position in the league (thus yielding Europa League football again).

I produced a video (linked below) following the defeat to Frankfurt and said as much. There was far too much talk of UEFA Conference League for my liking and it was everywhere.

Even David Moyes had to succumb to the acceptance of the consolation prize when assessing the run-in during his press duties.

West Ham are a magnificent team and I was always confident of taking points once freed from the shackles of Thursday/Sunday/Thursday football.

With a fit and rested team training all week for a singular game we’re a match for anyone. It could be argued that Manchester United will be well rested and prepared ahead of their final game against Crystal Palace but I’m not so sure.

I’m far from convinced that the Red Devils Carrington training ground is a healthy environment to prepare for a crucial season defining game.

Clearly Man U have some very talented players but they’re a club in turmoil and their problems may well supersede any individual talent.

Manager Ralf Rangnick is unwanted, his successor has a huge task and has hinted that Ronaldo is surplus to requirements.

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The enigmatic Paul Pogba is about to leave for free, Harry Maguire is playing like a startled novice and neither Rashford or Sancho seem to be able to impact games with any level of consistency.

I also wonder quite how motivated the players will be to make one final push to qualify for a tournament they probably feel is beneath them?

Add into the equation a pacey, vibrant and rejuvenated Crystal Palace team who’ll be trying to sign off in style in front of a raucous crowd and you have the recipe for an upset.

We have to do our job and beat Brighton but if Manchester United either lose or draw at Selhurst Park we’ll take the Europa spot and relegate them to the conference league.

That eventuality really would stop any Declan to Old Trafford talk dead in its tracks.

 

 

 

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About Gonzo

ST holder, West Ham video blogger, www.hammerschat.com @Gonzobignose

One comment on “Europa pressure is all on Manchester United

  1. Agree with most of what you say Gonzo and hope Utd don’t turn up or more importantly don’t get the usual favourable decisions from refs that enable them to consistently win games that if decisions had been correct they would have lost. We still have a very tough ask to beat an excellent Brighton team, we are due a result against them but life doesn’t play by those rules so we will have to go out there and earn the win, wishing for a positive one, it would be nice if Liverpool have lost the league by that point then there may be a chance they will show our game on the box, lets put another shift in like the City game COYI !!!

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