Man Utd fine English trio to cap terrible season for club
Manchester United’s England international trio of Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young will all be fined by the club, after being seen partying the night after their Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.
This follows fellow World Cup squad hopeful Chris Smalling’s sanction the previous month for a similar offence. It is this lack of discipline from players who have not produced consistently on the field that will rile Red Devils fans.
Cleverley (2/1 to make the World Cup squad) and Young (9/1) have once again failed to live up to high expectations at Old Trafford this season so far. Between the two, they have managed just four goals and six assists in 58 appearances in all competitions.
Welbeck (somehow heavily odds-on at 1/6 for Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad) has done well to improve on his tally last term of scoring two in 40 games, by netting 10 in 32 this time around, but those statistics are still not up to usual United standards.
The 23-year-old has played the majority of matches this season as a striker, although started the campaign mainly out on the left. Despite a fantastic spell of six goals in as many games over the Christmas period, either side of that prolific month, Welbeck managed just three goals and an assist from 15.
This terrible form from the trio has coincided with United’s failure in all competitions this season. A third round FA Cup exit to Swansea City, disappointing Capital One Cup semi-final defeat to basement Premier League side Sunderland and Champions League quarters loss to Bayern Munich, have been coupled with poor league performance this term.
Moyes’ men are in seventh place in the table, with just five games to go, and, being nine points off Everton in fourth, are set to miss out on the top four (33/1) for the first time since the 1990/91 season – when they at least won the Cup Winners’ Cup. Only twice in the last 25 years have United not won a trophy (2001/02 and 2004/05).
Coral already offer special bets for the Red Devils to qualify for the 2015/16 Champions League. They are odds-on to achieve that feat at 4/7, or 5/4 to miss out. They are fourth-favourites, meanwhile, to win the Premier League next season at 8/1.
Understandably, United were always going to find it difficult under a new manager, following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, but Moyes would still expect respect and discipline at the most successful top-flight club in English history.
Scotsman Moyes is still priced odds-on at 1/5 to be in the Old Trafford dugout at the start of next term, and 10/3 not to be, but the large shadow still looms over his predecessor, who is incidentally joint-favourite with Coral at 6/1 to be next permanent manager.