Manchester United have claimed their 20th domestic title, and their 13th of the Premier League era under Sir Alex Ferguson. It was done in emphatic style, blowing Aston Villa off the park with a magnificent first half display. The score sheet read 3-0, but could quite easily have been 6 goals to the red.
Strangely, a lot of criticism has been directed at this United side. If they win their remaining 4 games, they will finish on 96 points setting a new Premier League record. Admittedly they still have to face desperate Arsenal and Chelsea sides, but with the later at Old Trafford and United’s great record at The Emirates, 4 wins is possible.
Too much negativity surrounds this campaign; The worst United team. The EPL is not competitive. City was off the pace. United got lucky with late goals.
What a cop out. The desire to win is ingrained in this squad, from old to young, Red Devil veterans to new.
People neglect to mention the influence of great recent signings. David De Gea is finding his feet, currently being ranked the 3rd best keeper in the league according to EPL player performance index. Phil Jones is a wonderful prospect, and at the age of 21 the sky is the limit. Robin Van Persie has grabbed some important goals this season and looks very comfortable at Old Trafford.
Undoubtedly, the Premier League is the hardest league to win in Europe. Ask Jose Mourinho. Ask Arsene Wenger. Ask Carlo Ancelotti. Ask Roberto Mancini.
Mancini famously implied early on in the season that the league was won before it started, referring to Robin Van Persie move to Old Trafford. Mancini has the best squad in England at his disposal, and one of the best in Europe. Perhaps one can argue Mancini’s pathetic attitude has rubbed off on to his players.
Hey Roberto, what about your trial with a 3-man defence, disrupting a fully functional City Team? What about your persistence with the ‘Mario Balotelli Saga’? What about the £230 million spent on players who have collectively dropped off in form this season? Sometimes it is possible for a manager to have a dip in form, just like it is with players.
Manchester City’s win at Old Trafford in early April proves they are good enough, but maybe they don’t have the mentality to do it for whole season.
Of the last 7 premier league campaigns, United have won 5 and placed 2nd twice. Of those second place finishes, one was on goal difference to Manchester City, while the other was by a point to the men from Stamford Bridge in 2009-10. The Red Devils have always been in the mix. In the age of Oil Tycoons and Middle-Eastern royalty, that is a remarkable accomplishment.