Just over half way through the season and the question mark of consistency remains a talking point for most who analyse the Red Devils’ performances so far.
The echoes of ‘United haven’t hit top form yet’, ‘United will throw it away’, ‘United won’t win anything without a Ronaldo or Tevez’ can still be heard - but United’s performances have been under-rated and have not been given the credit they deserve…especially when you look at the unpredictable form of some of United’s closest rivals.
Tricky away games against West Brom, Aston Villa and Everton have seen United come away with at least a point. It might not seem like much but with last season still fresh in the minds of United fans, a point or two would have come in very handy.
Chelsea have lost six, Arsenal have lost five while Man City and Tottenham Hotspur have both lost four so far in the league this season while United remain unbeaten and top of the table. So what does that tell us?
The Premier League is changing and United are the only club to have reacted appropriately and that has gone under the radar of most. Gone are the days when you could look at a ‘relaxing’ United match where they clock up three goals, give a few subs a run and play the game out for the last 30 minutes.
Teams are getting stronger in the Premier League while the likes of Fulham, Birmingham, Everton and even Wolves have made their home ground something of a fortress to the so called bigger teams. The emergence of City and Spurs has added pressure to the league and points will be few and far between for everybody.
United’s only problem has been not killing off games when they had the opportunity to do so. Against Fulham, Everton and Birmingham, United frustrated themselves by not collecting all three points but time will only tell how vital they will come to be.
Wayne Rooney’s form coupled with the reliance the team had put on the number 10 effected United’s form in general but the way United have dealt with it has been a credit to the team.
Nani continued his staggering form from last season and has become a regular on the first team sheet. Ji Sung Park had work to do in order to improve his performances and he did just that to become one of United’s strongest players and the ease of which Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez has slotted into the squad has been absolutely vital.
The defensive paring of Vidic and Ferdinand has been the key to United’s attacking confidence. The duo have already completed more appearances together this season than the entire previous season while the likes of Carrick, Anderson and Rafael have come good at an important part of the season.
United will also hope to welcome back Paul Scholes from injury also Antonio Valencia will be due back to offer further threat to the United attack. If the Red Devils can stay relatively injury free then fans are in for another successful chapter in the Manchester United history books.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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