It has been a very easy ride for Manchester United this season as they look set on winning back the Premier League title.
Manchester City are struggling due to constant tinkering of the formation from manager Roberto Mancini. This coupled with a highly unsuccessful transfer window meant their title defence was virtually non-existent.
The managerial merry-go-round at Chelsea means they are struggling and are in a transitional season, therefore have been in no state to mount a title challenge. Arsenal and their manger Arsene Wenger are undergoing an identity crisis of sorts and though Tottenham have looked good in parts of this season, their squad is just not strong enough to have a serious go at winning the league.
All this means the current 15 point lead that United hold, is in fact more down to the failings of their competitors rather than their own success.
United need to be very careful in their planning for the next season to ensure that they do not suffer the same fate as Manchester City while defending the Premier League crown. The strength of the current United squad is their defence and strikers.
With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic as the first choice centre-backs and players such as Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all showing signs of maturity United have a strong heart of their defence.
and with Rafael coming into his own this season the right back position is also in safe hands. In the striking department, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are the most potent strike force in the League. Add to it, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez and United have a quite outstanding attacking force at their disposal.
However, the rest of the areas present a problem for the side. Though Carrick has established himself as a reliable holding midfielder there is hardly any back up for him. Paul Scholes (38-years-old) and Ryan Giggs (39-years-old) cannot be expected to continue much longer.
And with Anderson proving consistently inconsistent and Tom Cleverly not yet the finished product, there is a void in the middle of the park. A quality central midfielder must be the first priority for United in the summer transfer window.
A certain Christian Eriksen from Ajax could fit within this current United side rather nicely.
Even though Patrice Evra's performances have improved this season, he is still not the beast he was in 2007-08. Fabio's season at QPR hasn't gone particularly well and Alexander Buttner has not really looked the part.
Leighton Baines has been a consistent performer for Everton over the years and United might be his chance to deliver at a big club.
The Wings have traditionally been the strength of the United sides of the past with players like Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham gliding past defenders.
But the current crop of wingers are just not good enough. Antonio Valencia has regressed at an alarming rate since winning the player of the season award last season.
Ashley Young is a consistent performer, but he just isn't the kind that can take control of a game and win it single handedly.
Of all the options Nani is the most talented, but with him entangled in a contract wrangle with United there are more and more signs that he would leave in the summer. So by signing Wifried Zaha, United have taken a step in the right direction. But he's a player for the future, what United need is a proven performer who is in the peak of his career. Porto's James Rodriguez is one such player but he might be too expensive for United. A cheaper alternative would be newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa.
If United act fast and decisively in the coming transfer window and strengthen their squad, they can set down an early gauntlet to their rivals for next season's title race.
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