It’s an absolute given that history can never be guaranteed to repeat itself but it can certainly give some encouraging signals. Manchester United has remained unbeaten in the Premier League since that controversial 2-1 defeat against eventual champions Chelsea at Old Trafford last April and have managed to finish 2010 with that 1-1 draw at St Andrews as the only team in England yet to lose a Premiership game this season. In addition, United have lost 16 points from their eight drawn matches so far, 5 fewer than Arsenal, 6 less than Manchester City and 7 than Chelsea. Not a bad advantage to take into the New Year.
Manchester United fans have celebrated icons like Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs for two decades but spare a thought for the countless number of starry eyed kids who fall by the wayside for a variety of reasons – some through no other fault than their own. Belfast boy Gareth Macklin was one of them as Bob Cass from the MailOnline discovered. A treasured photo illustrates the ultimate schoolboy dream. A beaming 14 year old signs the paper which will open the door to a glittering football career with the world’s most famous club. There to witness the moment are two proud parents and Sir Alex Ferguson. That was 16 years ago.
21 year old Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has raised more than a few eyebrows with his unwise comments that a belief of going through the Premier League season unbeaten is starting to creep into the side. I don’t know how Sir Alex Ferguson feels about that sort of talk as he has already dismissed such a possibility. Smalling has the 2003-04 record in his sights when Arsenal went through that campaign drawing 12 times, winning all the other 26 and collecting 90 points to win the title by a margin of eleven.