Time now to turn our attention to current champions Man Utd, who despite not having the star studded sides of yesteryear, are still keeping pace very well at the top and are very much in for an unprecedented 20th league title.
Gone are the days it seems, when Ronaldo would be scoring 40 odd goals a season or Becks would be the undoubted player of the season every time around. No those were the sides of the past. The new Manchester United that has come forth this season is more of a complete team, with every single member of the squad playing an equally vital role in helping the reds do what they do best, collect trophies and medals.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not suggesting the old sides weren’t complete teams. The class of 99′ that went on to win the treble was probably 1 the most complete teams in the premier league era. But that was a team of incredibly gifted individuals. The current side has apart from maybe the exception of Wayne Rooney( even he isn’t in the current top 20 of the Castrol rankings), no real recognized world class talent.
And yet despite that, United have fared incredibly well with all the set backs and injuries throughout the season. Blowing teams away at the start of the campaign with quick, crisp attacking football, epitomized by the 8-2 hammering of Arsenal, their title hopes took a hit early on by the injury to the center of everything good they were doing, Tom cleverly and the unmovable rock at the back, Captain Nemanja Vidic.
Then came probably the most humiliating moment of Sir Alex Ferguson’s career. Annihilated 1-6 at Old Trafford by rivals Manchester City. Every1 ruled United out of the title race there and then and many pundits put the blame on SAF opting to not buy a star player in the summer transfer window.
But they picked themselves right back up and got 39 points from the next possible 48 (including 1 quite humiliating defeat to bottom placed Blackburn) and have kept the pressure on Man City to keep winning each game.
And the reason behind all of that is team work and dedication to the cause all the United players have shown this time around. Much criticized midfielder Michael Carrick seems to have finally picked up where the likes of Roy Keane left off and has shown very good distribution and control on the game. Wayne Rooney has been typically brilliant in terms of service to the team and though he may not be scoring as many as he’d like, no1 can deny the work rate he puts into the cause.
The new injury to Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia has come at a very unfortunate time as he seemed to have finally regained form after that horrible fracture he suffered to his ankle left him out of form and it seemed, out of ideas. He is a great asset to have for the men in red more because though he is unplayable on his day, Luis Nani is still very very inconsistent and needs to start contributing more regularly to achieve his goal of world’s best.
So whats next for Manchester United? Though they dont have to face visits from the top teams, they still have to go to White Hart lane and the Etihad stadium where they’ll be looking to get revenge for that humiliating defeat earlier in the season. Still only 2 points off the pace, the red devils have got every bit the chance to still go on and win the league for a quite astonishing 20th time and extend the record they already hold. Having Tom Cleverly back from injury will be a major boost and with Scholes back from retirement as well, expect United to soon get back to their best and challenge City right till the very end for what they believe is rightfully theirs!
(follow on twiiter @rafeyAM_MUFC)