Thirteen matches have now been completed, the tightest Premier League in years is only one third of the way through, yet comments like this from Truly Reds readers have been fairly common “Am I the only United fan to realise that the reason we cannot win games is because of our lack of creativity in midfield! If Fergie thinks we can win any trophy with that midfield, he is mistaken. We need to buy midfielders that are dead ball specialists. We had Becks and Ronaldo scoring how many goals from free kicks? Can anyone remember the last time we scored from a free kick? In my opinion, we need Sanchez, Hamsik and Diarra in midfield, buy Buffon at keeper and finally sell Rooney and buy either Torres, Aguerro or Pato! If we cannot get players of this calibre, I fear our dominance in English football may soon be over!”
It’s so easy to tell the most successful manager in British football what to do isn’t it? All you have to do is sit on your computer and write the first thing that comes into your head. Everyone is obviously entitled to an opinion, there is always some validity in each of them so maybe we should present a few FACTS based on pure STATISTICS rather than form opinions based on gut feelings – as we have all been so guilty of doing at times.
After a fortunate 2-2 draw at Villa Park, the table shows United to be undefeated on 25 points with a 26-15 goal tally. Top of the table Chelsea are sitting on 28 points after the hammering they got from Sunderland in West London, just three more than United, a lead that I would clearly prefer to enjoy rather than to trail by.
Now let’s have a look at the comparison at the same stage of the season last November. After the same number of games, the eventual champions were on 34 points while United were five behind on 28 with a goal tally of 26-12 having been defeated three times. Wayne Rooney had by that stage put away eight goals compared to the solitary one this season.
I have to admit that I’m struggling to bite my tongue by now – or maybe I should say my typing fingers, from giving an opinion because I promised to refrain from doing so. The FACTS do reveal however that United has managed to score precisely two goals per game this season even though their main weapon from the last campaign has virtually played no part in it. Is that not exactly the same number as they did in the last campaign?
Granted, three more goals have been conceded this season yet United are still undefeated compared to three losses at the same stage last year. Does that say something? The title was after all only conceded by one point last season. An argument can be put forward that Chelsea has not yet been faced so far but that can surely be seen in two ways.
While the current Champions took all six points in both encounters last season, United still has a chance of doing the same this season which could conceivably turn the table onto its head. Is that likely to happen? Who knows, Villa Park provided clear evidence that Manchester United are no easy beats. The longer their undefeated run continues, the more difficult United will become to defeat. Blackpool on Sunday, May 22 at Old Trafford is a hell of a long way off.
Meanwhile, it may pay to remember the ace up United’s sleeve. The name is Ferguson…Sir Alex Ferguson.
Will United turn the tables just as they very nearly did last season?