5 Reasons Why Man United Will Win The League This Year

For some reason, everybody seems to think this year will be a terrible one for Manchester United. The Guardian writers think United will finish 3rd. Piers Morgan (yes, him!) has said United will finish outside the top 4. I think a lot of people tend to judge football incorrectly by the price of players, rather than the quality of the team. Here are 5 reasons why I think United have a great chance of winning this year’s EPL.

  1. United and Arsenal have a big benefit in the transfer market that always goes unnoticed. With the large number of young players, there is a significant improvement year on year – especially players who are 20 or under. This is why the media & pundits usually start each season by saying that they’ve gone backward because they haven’t spent any / enough money and then are perpetually surprised at how well the team are doing. All teams with good academies enjoy this – e.g. Pedro’s impact at Barcelona last year.  Nasri and Nani have the potential to have great impact for their clubs. As do half a dozen other young players at United.
  2. Antonio Valencia will be one of the stars of this season. Lots of people have spoken about how bad Ashley Cole was in the community shield. I don’t think he was as bad as the papers state – but Valencia’s speed, strength, his work rate (including coming  back to tackle) and his crossing are all excellent. He’s even started using his left leg. A modern day Jairzinho in the making. You heard it here first! Thanks to Valencia, Nani, Giggs and Obertan, Manchester United remain one of the few teams which play with proper wingers, using a 4-4-2 formation with more attacking intent than most teams.
  3. If United had bought Chicharito after the world cup, his price tag would have been in the same range as Karim Benzema’s. When United bought Hargreaves just after the world cup, they had to pay 18 million, whereas they could have had him on a free transfer before the cup. Sometimes it’s dangerous to look just at the transfer fee as it’s a factor of the stage of contract as well as the short term impact of things like the World Cup. Somehow the fact that United spent just 7m on Hernandez’s services seems to have made him less of a signing. If strikers work on confidence, then Hernandez’s goal a game for the past 5 games (including one for Mexico against Spain, on Wednesday) should provide the perfect springboard for the season.
  4. Take a look at the central defence of the contenders. Chelsea have lost Carvalho and Terry’s form (and pace) have been frequent liabilities. Ivanovic could be a useful deputy but that leaves the right back position exposed. Arsenal have had wholesale changes, jettisoning Campbell, Silvestre, Gallas and instead will be reliant on the excellent Vermaelen and new boy Koscielny. They will also need Alex Song to provide significant cover. Man City have a rich assortment of talent, but their need to gel will be a key factor. Simple things like playing the offside takes a lot of coordination and understanding.  Toure and Lescott are still likely to be the starting pair, and they definitely had their shaky moments last year. Liverpool have a more tried and tested back line – with Agger, Carrager and Skrtel. Spurs have problems with King and Woodgate’s injuries. United, meanwhile, still have Rio out, but Vidic’s new contract is massive and he has been quite brilliant at guiding Jonny Evans through games. Wes Brown is a capable enough stand in and Smalling has potential. I would expect United and Liverpool to have the best defensive record this year, and this will be a key part of winning the league, just as it has been in the past few years. 
  5. Fergie . That alone should make you believe. This is the man who can’t stop, can’t bear to be half hearted, can’t handle second place. The man who is able to get excited about finding the next exciting 18-year-old talent and grooming them into the next big stars. Ferguson has an ocean of experience in balancing his squad, timing his season, knowing when to push and when to go easy. Critically, he rarely panics and continues to learn from all his challengers. He has a good squad and a blend of youth and experience and is a past master of bringing young players into the first team effectively. If the Premier League is a marathon, Ferguson is the Abebe Bikila of football management. A proper “lambi race ka ghoda!” Only a fool would write him off.
%d bloggers like this: