"Chelsea and City will provide a real measure of where this United team is at."
SkySports Pundit Gary Neville has been speaking this week about the next three fixtures for Louis...
SkySports Pundit Gary Neville has been speaking this week about the next three fixtures for Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United side and believes that after games against Chelsea and City, we will be in a place to judge exactly where they are at.
For me, despite their obvious attacking talent, United are lop-sided and have major defensive problems which are likely to be exposed by the two of us for sure. It's whether or not United and cope should be the question Neville is asking.
My personal opinion is that United could ill afford to lose Evra, Ferdinand and Vidic who are three quarters of the foundation that United had built their successes over recent years on, without replacing them with World Class replacements rather than try and "make do".
Chelsea and City are in a different world at the moment and I just wonder what happens if United lose both games? What would happen to Van Gaal who has spent over £150m in the previous transfer window?
"It’s going to be an important few weeks but exciting as well," he said. "We’ll find out in the next few weeks, as the West Brom, Chelsea and City games are all massive ones, and my thought is we’ll find out exactly where the team is at this season.
It’s going to be tough for United to get into the Champions League and that would be a big achievement. At this moment in time, we’re in the places in fourth spot but we’ll find out where we’re at in the next few weeks.
We’ve not really played anybody really strong yet. I know Everton at home could be classed as being a tough game but, in terms of really tough matches, Chelsea and City will provide a real measure of where this team is at.
I’ve watched a lot of City and Chelsea, and Chelsea are the best team by a long way.
Make no mistake about that. But I’d like to think United are always the club that can beat a big team.
Even in seasons when we weren’t great, like in the mid-2000s, I always felt we could upset Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ and Chelsea - I think Darren Fletcher scored one year when Mourinho was manager. I look at the game in two weeks’ time and United will be up for it.
Chelsea will have been in Europe that week and, for me, United will cause Chelsea big problems. It’ll be their toughest game and Jose Mourinho would know that."
I have no doubts that it will be a hard game for both us to face United, especially if their attacking talent are playing and all on song. But I still believe that we have a strong enough defensive unit coupled with hard work from everyone off of the ball to cope with what United could throw at us.
The problem for most people and United fans if they are honest, is that I look at Van Gaal's set up and the players deployed in the final third and I just do not see the same.
On Sunday 26th October we will find out!