We are about one third into the Premier League season, with the hectic December schedule fast approaching, and the situation regarding favourites for the title and relegation seems more clear than just a few weeks ago.
Of course, there are still many matches to be played, but the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool have not only accumulated the points but also shown displays that indicate they have what it takes to win the trophy.
Only one club can do so in the end, but the title contenders are now quite clear, with one team that was speculated as one of the title favourites in the early season now barely being talked about when spots in European competitions are concerned. That team, of course, is Manchester United.
After a solid start to the season that saw the Red Devils win four of their five opening games, things started turning around for the worse for the Manchester outfit. While the recent win against Tottenham brought some hope that United may be bouncing back, the abysmal performance against Watford exposed all the weaknesses of United’s back line, and in turn got Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally sacked.
As things stand, the major PA betting sites are not ranking Manchester United among the title contenders and it would be a true upset if they were to turn the season around and close the gap that already stands at 12 points just 12 weeks into the season.
What Went Wrong for United?
Pinpointing the exact cause of Man United’s fall this season is quite difficult, as a number of factors were at play to put one of the most decorated teams in the whole world on the back heel.
Ronaldo’s arrival was greatly celebrated in Manchester back in early season, and his goals in the opening games made it seem like he would be a massive contribution to the team. Yet, something changed at United since he arrived and the lack of team cohesion is never a good thing in a league as competitive as the EPL.
Hailed by all as a true legend of a club both before his arrival and after his departure, Solskjaer was not blamed by the players, but the media put the majority of the blame on his shoulders as he was the one who should make sure that things work well both on and off the pitch.
Finally, brash behaviour of the likes of Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire to earn red cards in matches where such a thing was not necessary simply show the lack of team spirit and desire to succeed as a collective.
Can United Still Turn it Around?
From a sports betting point of view, Manchester United have all bust lost hopes of winning the title, with bookies not even looking at them as one of the real title contenders.
For the fans, of course, the hope is always there that whoever comes after Solskjaer will do miracles and change the team from the ground up to catch up with the title contenders and at least win a spot in the Champions League next year.
All of that, however, could be just wishful thinking as the likes of West Ham, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Wolves will all be trying to win those spots and with the exception of the Spurs have all shown a true desire to fight for it to their dying breath.
Perhaps the best United fans can hope for is that the new manager will put things in their place and prepare the team to fight from day one next year and perhaps manage to go a few rounds in the Champions League to save face in an otherwise poor season for the Red Devils.