Date:Monday March 22 2010
Disclaimer: I do not wish to suggest that United are going to win the league. We might do that, we might not.
OK, I made fun of pundits predicting Liverpool to win the league - and I stand by that as I was one of those who thought Liverpool would be lucky to make third this season - but I have to admit that my foresight failed me when it came to United.
After the Burnley game I wrote down what I had been feeling ever since Ronaldo's departure: that the squad is not good enough to win the Premier League. The reasons? Our players are too injury-prone, Scholes and Giggs are getting older, Nani and Anderson did not deliver the way we expected them to and because it's awfully, impossibly hard to win four in a row.
Now, after 31 games we are top of the league once again and we'll stay there even if Chelsea win their game in hand on Wednesday. And I must admit I stand corrected: this squad, with all its flaws, is capable of delivering the fourth consecutive league crown.
Again, I have to stress it does not mean that we're going to. We have the toughest run-in of the three contenders and we might easily end up third. My point is, though, that it will not be because of some systematic failure, it will be because it can happen, because football is a funny old game. Everyone expected us to be vastly inferior to Chelsea but we are up here, competing, matched them in points and performance levels as well and we have a better goals-per-games ratio than in any season since 1999/2000.
So, I have to eat some humble pie and admit that Fergie deserves all the credit, yet again. He was right about having faith in this squad and though it has obvious flaws this season is going much, much better than most of us anticipated. If we win the league (and it's a big if) I believe that will be our greatest and sweetest title success of the Ferguson era.
Date:Monday March 22 2010
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