Earlier this week on Football FanCast Neil Ruddock spoke up the London teams and about cycles in the game with the north west being the major power then London.
Whilst it can’t be denied that Spurs emergence as top 4 challengers has spiced things up I feel that the north west, specifically Manchester United, are being taken a bit too lightly.
You’ll be lead to believe that Arsenal are in a strong position to take the league with our tough run in, it seems our four point advantage and superior goal difference seems to count for nothing as United are again overlooked. If it was United that had surrendered a 4 goal lead I’m pretty sure you would be hearing how it’s over at Old Trafford and a mass clear out is needed but it was an event swept under the carpet when Arsenal did it a few weeks ago.
In recent times I have found United are rarely made favourites for the title. Chelsea are blindly picked as the bookie’s favourites as United’s downfall is foretold by the seers down on Fleet Street in August but it never happens. Last season we were meant to suffer in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. We didn’t win the league but it is rarely remembered that the all powerful Chelsea only managed to beat our destitute team to the title by a solitary point (and some dodgy decisions both times we played them).
This week in The Telegraph Alan Hansen stated:
I believe Sir Alex Ferguson’s team will be found out as soon as they come up against a very good side.
Having spectacularly had his mouth shut but United before you would think he would have learned his lesson when it come to writing us off. We have all heard the claims that we are as weak as ever, we lack class players and we are over reliant on players like Giggs and Scholes but despite this we are top of the table are in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Players like Hernandez and Smalling have taken to their roles as United players quicker than expected and the likes of Nani and Rafael are coming into their own too. Of course we will miss players like Giggs, Scholes, Neville and Van der Sar when they retire but the information they are imparting on the dressing room now as well as David Gill and Sir Alex’s efforts to soften the blow of their departure means that it may be of bigger concern to our rivals than it is to us.
Looking at it, Chelsea are the team on the wane not us. For me they are no longer in the title race and may even struggle to obtain 4th place. This is the all conquering side that were picked to knock us out of our stride at the start of the season. Now that they look like they aren’t quite up to the task it appears Arsenal are the team to whom the mantle has been passed.
United are limping towards the title and are ready to implode at any time whilst Arsenal will be waiting in the wings to take the title when it happens – makes good reading if you’re a Gooner or believe the spurious claims of some of the country’s ‘top’ journalists and pundits. United haven’t got to the stage we are at by slacking off whilst those around us are putting in hard graft, we work hard on and off field to maintain our position at the top of the game and just because the teams in London are looking good it doesn’t mean we are suddenly about to be pushed out of the picture.
United are still the team to beat and if David Gill is to be believed doing so may be made even harder after summer spending so don’t hold your breath on Arsene, Harry or any one else for that matter taking our position at the top of English football.