Man United can adopt a siege mindset to muster a spectacular performance, even if they come away meaningless. There will be a lot of anxiety from those back home.
For Manchester United supporters, the anticipation for their Champions League match against Bayern Munich on Wednesday should have been palpable. Instead, fear is the dominant feeling.
Harry Kane, who has adapted to life in Munich like a duck to water, was signed by Bayern. The captain of England has four goals in as many Bundesliga games, and he will try to keep it up against Erik ten Hag’s team.
With only two victories in five games, both of which were by a single goal, the United boss is coming under increasing pressure. Although the loss to Brighton was expected, it was still quite upsetting.
There is no excuse for lack of effort, and United’s injury woes did not help. With Jadon Sancho and Antony not now on the roster, the Reds are prepared to go to Munich with a full XI of unavailable players.
Tensions at home are increasing, so perhaps a vacation is just what everyone needs. After all, no one should be surprised that United is back in the spotlight playing the big fish.
In fact, United has played their best this season when they weren’t the favorites. Although the way they lost against Arsenal was heartbreaking, United might have come out on top if not for a questionable offside ruling and an unlucky deflection. Although not a dominant performance, it was their best performance so far this year.
Bayern Munich could be a more difficult opponent. Under the spotlight of the Allianz, United may easily lose, or they could take advantage of the situation. Ten Hag might instill a siege mindset in his squad. Those who are not on the squad are possibly out of sight and out of mind.
On home turf, United would be expected to challenge the opposition, but away from the Reds’ stadium, they are more free to be practical. Regardless of the outcome, the game is an opportunity for the team to rebuild some confidence with a heartfelt performance and something to build on before a trip to Burnley on Saturday.
Wilt, and the trip to Turf Moor quickly turns into a nightmare. Panic stations will be set off by a defeat. However, a reasonable result following a ferocious, and maybe ugly, performance will restore confidence and serve as a reminder of what brought them there in the first place.
After that, things become simpler. In what appears to be a solid run of fixtures to gain momentum, players return from injury with Burnley, a doubleheader in the League Cup and Premier League against Crystal Palace, and a home match against Galatasaray.
Even if United lose, using that siege mindset to energize the soldiers in a hostile environment should be seen as a chance and a springboard.