IT is not an easy task but let us look at the positives for Manchester United.
‘What?’ I hear you cry. ‘They are having a shocker, surely’.
Opposition fans are relishing the chance to have a go with a new chant among visitors to Old Trafford about the place falling down.
The club have become close to a figure of ridicule rather than a monster of the sport that used to be feared.
The bigger you are, the harder you fall which is why the search for negatives is a hunt more wildly embarked upon.
To be fair there have been many — but let us treat them like a normal club for a moment.
Goalkeeper Andre Onana has had to get used to life in the Premier League — remember David de Gea had to do that.
Up front, 20-year-old Rasmus Hojlund is just finding his way, and even he has had to pull out of the Denmark squad with a knock.
There have been the unwanted sideshows Erik ten Hag has had to deal with.
Mason Greenwood dominated headlines when he had not played for 18 months, while Antony had to be given time off to fight allegations of domestic abuse.
Then Jadon Sancho went in a major strop and now trains separately from the first team.
All the time in the background, the uncertainty over the club’s ownership rumbles on.
And question marks started to hang over Ten Hag himself.
He has had to handle all that, put on a brave face, defend his squad and keep it all together.
Yet they are still there, hanging in.
Yes, they have exited the Carabao Cup and Champions League qualification is hanging by a thread.
But a quick look at the table tells you the top four is not out of the question.
They have lost five games but only the five teams above them have won more than their seven games.Erik ten Hag’s side are the Prem’s in-form team over the last five matches[/caption]
Just over a week ago they had made their worst start to a season since 1962.
Yet victory over Fulham last week made Ten Hag the joint-quickest United boss to 50 wins — along with Ernest Mangnall in 1905 — having done it in his first 79 games.
A better record than Jurgen Klopp, too.
No United boss has previously won more than 30 of his first 50 Premier League matches.
You are only as good as your last game — and the win over Luton was not pretty.
Nobody has taken more points than United over the last five games — with their four wins and one defeat.
Think what could happen if Hojlund starts firing in the league, Marcus Rashford finds his shooting boots again, Luke Shaw gets back from injury, Antony discovers his form and Alejandro Garnacho continues his rise.
You’ve seen him score goals in the Champions League – I’m sure it is a matter of time before he bangs a few in the PremHarry Maguire on Rasmus Hojlund
There is much anxiety over the lack of goals from the forwards — only Rashford has one in the Prem this term.
Ten Hag will point to the fact Victor Lindelof’s 59th-minute winner made him United’s 13th different scorer this season.
Harry Maguire has been one of those but remains convinced the United attack will soon start firing.
He said: “In the past you’ve seen our attackers are top-quality players and can do it.
“Maybe a bit of luck will turn and they’ll get the first one and the goals will follow.”
Hojlund has five in Europe but missed chances to break his Prem duck on Saturday.Rasmus Hojlund has been backed to start scoring in the Premier League[/caption]
But Maguire added: “You’ve seen him score goals in the Champions League. I am sure it is a matter of time before he bangs a few in the Prem as well.”
So, while all seems doom and gloom there is still light at the end of the never-ending tunnel.
It is just sometimes hard to find.
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