Manchester United are not what they used to be. But nobody was ever going to be able to keep doing what Sir Alex did. And they've tried. They're changing managers as often as a Club in crisis and it's only a matter of time until they get rid of the current one.
I call it the Liverpool years. Liverpool were in the wilderness for a generation and still are, despite the Champions League win last season. But they look set to win the League this season and they're not going to do a Leicester. They could be back.
And Manchester United have to get used to this, because until they get rid of that CEO things are not going to get better and even then it's a game of chance. And they also have to get rid of the manager and his team and bring in someone that has proven themselves. Not someone that used to play for the Club and hope. Hope doesn't win you anything other than the supporters and that doesn't last long.
That isn't to say that they might not go out today and spank us. They have some very good players that know how to win silverware. It's just that they don't have Sir Alex pulling the strings anymore. But if we approach this match like we did Newcastle and like we know we can, we can win.
Approaching the game any other way will mean we don't win and likely lose. It's not rocket science and I just hope the manager sends them out this way. And this will be harder than Newcastle, because Ole Gunnar Solskjær will send out his team with instructions to have a go at us. It's about who wants it more and who gives up first.
And we have to look at the table to put things into perspective. We could go above Manchester United today and we have to remember they are not what they used to be and we are actually not that bad and we have some decent players that are more than capable. Theater of dreams, theater of dreamers more like. Look at it this way, we've got a manager that has just signed a new four year contract and they have a manager that knows he's gone soon.
Nobody likes to say it, but we all know it. The reason for this is because things are working out for us and we also know it takes time, even with the right man. And we have to have them work out for us today. We have to start to move forward and that means there can be no excuses if we don't approach this game exactly like we know we must. Sit back, defend and hope to counter and we will be punished.
Match stats from the BBC
- United's solitary defeat in 24 Premier League home games against Aston Villa came a decade ago.
- That 1-0 triumph is Villa's only victory in the past 41 league meetings, home and away (D10, L30).
- The Red Devils have won the past six meetings at Old Trafford, scoring 18 goals and conceding three.
- United's tally of 17 points is their lowest after 13 matches since the 1988-89 season.
- They have only kept one clean sheet in their past 12 Premier League matches.
- No United player has scored a Premier League hat-trick since Robin van Persie's treble against Aston Villa in April 2013.
- At 25 years and 80 days, Manchester United have the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League this season.
- All of United's Premier League goalscorers this season are aged 23 or under.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjær was unbeaten in all 12 Premier League appearances as a player against Villa, winning eight and drawing four.
- Marcus Rashford has been involved in eight goals in his last five Premier League appearances against newly-promoted opponents (four goals, four assists).
- With four victories from their opening 13 games, Villa have already claimed more wins than in the entirety of their previous top-flight season in 2015-16.
- However, they have only won one of their last 24 Premier League away matches, drawing three and losing 20.
- Villa have lost 16 of their last 17 Premier League matches against established top-six opponents, the only exception being a 0-0 home draw with Manchester City in November 2015.
- Their last four Premier League goals have all come from set-pieces.
- They have conceded a joint league-high nine goals from set pieces this season.
- Conor Hourihane has been involved in 22 league goals for Villa since the start of last season - nine goals, 13 assists - more than any other player currently at the club.