IF is not only one of the great works of literature by master baker Mr Kipling but it is also one of a football fans favourite words, We have all used it a number of times - IF he hadn't been sent off, IF that goal hadn't been disallowed, IF we hadn't hit the post, IF we hadn't had that pie.
In this case however I think it is justified to ask IF. IF last night's result against Reading had been replicated exactly as it was, back in August how would our season look. Coming on the back of a point and clean sheet at The Emirates, a 3-0 victory in our first home game of the season could have had a positive knock on effect on some of the following games.
You could argue that at least one of the draws against West Ham, Swansea or Liverpool might have turned into a win, or even the Derby against Newcastle, although that is maybe stretching the argument a little too far.
It's not only the confidence and momentum the win may have given us but it couldn't be ideal for match fitness to miss a game so early into the season following pre-season.
The games however which I believe were most effected by the postponement were Aston Villa & QPR. The pressure the players were under just wouldn't have been there, and the subsequent "Collymore crisis" and MON's death stare at the BBC reporter would not have happened, although the stare was priceless.
The loss to Villa and draw with QPR could have been turned into six points, added to any points picked up from an earlier draw turning into a win it could have placed us nicely in the top 10, possibly 8th.
As I said earlier IF is a huge word especially in football, but IF the season had panned out as I suggest we would be talking about the possibility of Europa League football and not the Armageddon of The Championship.
In the end these regrets may vanish if the potential effects of the Reading victory are felt now and IF we grab all three points at Old Trafford on Saturday....IF.
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