One word defines Manchester United’s progress at midseason point – unbeaten. The football United have played has been lacklustre however Sir Alex Ferguson has encapsulated a winning mentality, the mentality which has allowed United to rescue solitary points against Fulham and Aston Villa whilst winning ugly against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal. Wayne Rooney’s form has been well below par however the form of Dimitar Berbatov and Nani has given United enough firepower to remain unbeaten. I do not think United will remain unbeaten nor do I think they will win the title. Just a comparison, after 19 games, the Invincibles of 2003–04 were 16-3-0 and United are 11-8-0.
On the blue half of Manchester, the seemingly limitless investment of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has propelled Manchester City into title contention. The signing of Edin Džeko will once again highlight the absurdity in depth of this City squad which without the doubt is the deepest squad in Europe. Roberto Mancini needs to be brave and discard his conservative mentality because he needs to attack from the front by starting Džeko, Carlos Tévez and Mario Balotelli. The prospect of having two mobile centre forwards who can dribble, create and most importantly score whilst having someone like Tévez running in from behind and defending from the front is an idea too hard to ignore. I said it at the start of the season and at midseason point my opinion has not changed. City will win the league title.
Samir Nasri’s magnificent form for Arsenal has highlighted the fool disgraced former French coach Raymond Domenech was by leaving Nasri out of the 2010 French World Cup squad. Arsène Wenger must wonder how his side can defeat Chelsea yet lose to West Bromwich Albion. Being placed in the easiest Champions League group, Arsenal somehow managed to just qualify earning them an unfortunate round of 16 clash with Barcelona. Arsenal are too hot and cold to contend for the title. Japanese prodigy Ryo Miyaichi may be given a chance to prove his worth if Arsenal’s title contention begins to derail as they usually do by season’s end.
Harry Redknapp’s decision to move from the sinking ship at Portsmouth to Tottenham Hotspur seems to be a masterful judgment made possible only by ambitious businessman Daniel Levy. His confidence to start Gareth Bale has been rewarded with some exhilarating illustrations of raw freakish athleticism. Bale’s combination with Aaron Lennon has given Tottenham threat from both flanks which the senseless Rafael Benítez ignored. The loan signing of David Beckham will give Tottenham not only added revenue but a different element of attack. Third place will be an achievable finish for Redknapp given Chelsea’s problems however if United and City slump, expect Tottenham to contend.
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Written by Allan Jiang
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