Manchester United couldn’t win the English Premier League this season before the kick-off of 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This bad luck in world cup year has continued for the third time since the competition formed on 20 February 1992. The last time United won the league in a world cup year was in 1993-1994. The King Eric Cantona was in the team and United made the double that year.
After the king departure in 1997, Sir Alex Ferguson faced a bad luck in world cup years and saw the trophy went to Arsenal (1997-98 and 2001-02) and Chelsea(2005-2007) hands:
Season 1997-1998: United played their first season without Eric Cantona after the Frenchman retirement. Until March United were 11 points on top. Arsenal had three games in hand, they defeated us 1-0 at Old Trafford in mid-March to cut the gap to 3 points. On April they went top and ended the league with 78 points…United were runner-up with 77 points.
Season 2001-2002: The race to win the league was between four clubs Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United. Again Arsenal stood against United’ hope to win the league in four consecutive seasons. United were third of the table with 10 points different between them and Arsenal. The £45 million United spent on players such as Juan Sebastián Verón and Ruud van Nistelrooy resulted a trophyless season for the first time since 1998.
Season 2005-2006: Before 2006 World Cup in Germany, Jose Mourinho had the better side to keep the trophy at Stamford Bridge for the 2nd year in row. Chelsea were on top with 18 points different. United had a massive ten-match winning streak and could cut the different to 7 points but a sudden home draw with bottom of the table Sunderland (Their Goal-keeper had one of the best game in his life!) ended United’s title hopes.
Yesterday was the final day of 2009-2010, we needed a miracle to win the league. The players did their job and defeated Stoke City with a four goals but Chelsea made sure they win the title and smashed Wigan with eight goals.
The good news here that Manchester United always bounce back and win the league after the Mundial. Sir Alex Ferguson will have a busy summer to rebuild the team and make sure we have the better squad before the kick-off of 2010-2011 season.
Will we get our trophy back?