Out of form or the form of Champions?

by Ben McAleer

Monday, January 17th, 2011

“I hope we can go the whole season unbeaten.” These were the words of Manchester United winger Nani as he talked about The Red Devils season so far. Currently sitting at the summit of the Premiership, Manchester United have failed to record a loss this season after twenty-one games. Yet for a team looking for their 19th Premiership title, the form of United is leaving a lot to be desired. Despite going on a twenty-one game unbeaten run, United have only managed to win twelve of those twenty-one with their ninth draw of the season coming at White Hart Lane against title outsiders Tottenham Hotspur last night (Sunday).

As a team looking to eclipse Arsenal’s ‘Invincible’ season of the 2003/04 season, they certainly aren’t playing the same free-flowing, attacking football their title rivals played seven years ago. However, that is the sign of Champions. Let’s face it – Manchester United have been playing extremely poorly this season but that is what United do, they can play badly in any game and still grind out the result they need. They were 2-0 down away to Aston Villa with minutes to play yet still picked up a point from the drink of defeat whilst victories over Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool at Old Trafford were obtained without the need for any convincing performances.

This is exactly what Manchester United do every season, written off by some as title challengers whilst defending Champions Chelsea swept aside all in front of them. The rise of Manchester City has provided competition to their Manchester rivals and, despite United having two games in hand over City, The Citizens are still well primed to take their rivals all the way. We can’t forget Arsenal, Chelsea and, to an extent, Tottenham in the five-star league yet I can only see one winner out of all five and that is The Red Devils.

Granted, the way they are performing is that of Champions but I believe Nani is wide of the mark to think they are going to repeat the success of Arsenal’s ‘Invincible’ season. Maybe if Ronaldo and Tevez were both with the club still but since both have left, Ferguson has failed to replace them with similarly quality players as good as Chicharito, Berbatov, Rooney and Nani himself all are.

“I can’t see them going the year unbeaten. There are lots of teams who could beat them on any given day.” These were the words of Spurs manager Harry Redknapp following the 0-0 draw with United yesterday (Sunday) evening and I have to echo his sentiments. United definitely looked a team below the high standards they can play yet a resolute defensive display from Ferdinand and man of the match Vidic ensured United travelled back to Manchester with at least a point.

I believe it is only a matter of time before The Red Devils succumb to defeat and that moment will come sooner rather than later so my conclusion is a short yet simple one – Unbeaten? No, Champions? Yes.

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  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    I was listening to that twit Adrian Durham on Talk Sport today, he was saying that this United team is as good as the Invincibles. Do me a favour.

    That Arsenal side were full of world class players and played free flowing football week in week out. Bergkamp, Henry, Veira, Petit, Pires, Ljunberg etc…

    What that ginger twat forget was that all these players were at their peak, where as half of Uniteds team have seen better days.

    Arsenal have played City twice, Chelsea twice, United away. I would say the hardest game they have left is Spurs away. United have got Chelsea twice, City & Arsenal away.

    After watching that game yesterday it was clear to see they lack creativity, Rooney is still struggling, Carrick plays at one pace and one pace only, Nani is hit and miss.

    Granted, they have an excellent defence, but to say they will go a whole season unbeaten is nonsense as it won’t happen. As for the Invincibles, this current United team aren’t fit to clean their socks!!

  • Ben McAleer

    I feel exactly the same way Mike. As I’ve stated, I still feel they’ll finish the season top but to say they will remain unbeaten is preposterous.

    As for the statement they are as good as the unbeaten Arsenal side of 2004? That has got to be one of the most ludicrous statements I’ve heard in a long, long time. They have got to lose eventually and I thought it was going to be Sunday against Spurs if I’m honest with you.

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