The Red Devils have ensconced themselves in third position…
Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-0 on Sunday to heighten their supporters’ hopes that they will launch a title challenge. However, they will not be able to keep up this form, and here is why.
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There are two reasons why the Old Trafford club won’t be able to sustain a tilt at the title for the whole of the season. The first of which is their defence. They currently have a dodgy back line, that is only getting worse as injuries take their toll on it. In their games against Arsenal, Southampton, and even Liverpool, they would have conceded far more had their opposition been able to finish their chances.
The poor play from the teams that they are facing won’t continue indefinitely, and someone will eventually take advantage of what is some very suspect defending at times. Their goals against column has also been helped by the amazing form of David De Gea in between the sticks. Whether he will keep it up is a complete unknown, but they can’t simply rely on him to carry on being brilliant to make up for everyone else’s mistakes.
The second reason why the Red Devils won’t be able to challenge for the Premier League title is because they don’t have the midfield to make sure that they can dominate games where they are the clear favourites. When they are able to play on the counter as they have been against other top teams,they can simply defend before going direct to their attackers when they have the ball.
However, when they have to control possession and cut through teams who are set up to defend against them they tend to struggle much more and find it hard to break sides down. This is because while they have great forward players such as Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, and Robin van Persie, they do not have the deeper lying players that are able to feed the ball in to the right areas for them when there is a packed defence in front of them.
Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, and Ander Herrera are all good in their own ways, but none of them have that spark that is needed to cut apart deep sitting defences. They will need a far more incisive central midfielder if they are going to really challenge the top teams. Their results against smaller teams are a testament to this. They have already dropped points against West Brom, Sunderland, and Burnley where they were unable to score as much as they should have been.
So for these reasons Manchester United will not be able to challenge Chelsea and Manchester City for the title if things stay as the are. However, next season they may well be back at the top of the Premier League if they continue to improve as they are.