Date:Tuesday September 4 2007
United collected 8 points from a possible 15 in the opening five games of the campaign. Are we in crisis?
We have won our last two games of course, two 1-0 victories at home. But the start has been disappointing, no need to deny it. However, the crisis talk is a little early.
Stan Collymore now reckons we will finish third because we do not have enough strikers. I don't really understand that. He said that Chelsea have Drogba and Shevchenko and Pizarro, Arsenal have Adebayor, Van Persie and Eduardo and Liverpool have strikers coming out of their ears.
Yet I don't think that Rooney, Tevez and Saha are any worse than the aforementioned players. I don't see this striker emergency, as I did not see it last season.
It is true that we scored only 3 goals so far, a pathetic amount I daresay. But a lot of our attacking players were missing, and the most important duo played only 45 minutes together - I'm talking about Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo of course. Louis Saha has just returned, therefore I think we'll be much better now.
And there's an even more important factor than that. Since Ronaldo's ban, our new boys had to produce most of our attacking thrust. To put it an other way: Tevez and Nani were meant to get time for settling and acclimatisation, only to be thrown into deep water early. They had to deal with a lot of pressure, added to the usual problems of getting to know their new team-mates.
For me, all these things mean that the team will get better once everyone is back and the newcomers gel (and let me add that Hargreaves is already very good). Our old boys did not fail to deliver: Rooney was outstanding against Reading in that 45 minutes, Ronaldo was a constant threat in his first two games, Giggs was his usual sharp, intelligent self and Scholes is still fantastic. The new boys did not deliver immediately but I still trust them.
And there's another thing. We have 8 points after 5 games. Last season, we had 10 points after 5 games. Not a big difference, is it? For me, Chelsea are still the biggest rivals and they are only two points ahead - and they were ahead us at this stage of last season, too. Points-wise, we're not worse off than last season. As for the performances - well, there's room for improvement but also potential for it.
Date:Tuesday September 4 2007
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