United are second in the League, only behind Chelsea due to goal difference. They are unbeaten thus far in the League. These facts mask a certain amount of discontent that has slowly bubbled to the surface amongst fans. Yes, they are second in the League, but Arsenal are just two points behind them and they haven’t had a great start to the season by any means. There is increased competition between the top four but that seems to be more because these teams have either yet to kick into gear or cannot quite recapture what it was that made them so special throughout the last few seasons.
Forgetting off the pitch problems with the Glazers, Rooney and so on, what do Manchester United fans have to be worried about? There are some concerns about a lack of quality in midfield. Hargreaves now seems to be a perma-crock, destined to never make a proper return. There remain question marks over the quality of Anderson and Carrick (who admittedly was excellent against Rangers midweek) is struggling for form this season.
Then there are the strikers. Berbatov set the Premier League alight at the start of the season, but is now fading fast. Rooney’s heart doesn’t seem to be in it. Hernandez is looking great, but is he really ready to be United’s main striker?
These problems all combine to create one rather worrying fact – United don’t seem to dominate teams anymore. That’s not to say that United look weak, or there for the taking, but they also don’t look like they’re capable of taking a team apart 5-0 or 6-0. They don’t look like the force they used to be. There is a certain defensive frailty within the side (despite 11 clean sheets in 22 games) that will always worry fans even when the team is in a winning position.
Just to be clear – there are a lot of teams out there who would love to be second in the League and remain unbeaten thus far. Manchester United are in a great position, but even the most adamant fan has to admit it hasn’t been the most scintillating start to the season. One of the positives to take from it all is that despite the performances not really clicking, United’s spirit and resolve has never seem stronger. Perhaps this is because the drama with the Glazer’s and the Rooney saga has left United with a siege mentality. They are fighting back strong and keep fighting until the end of the game.
There are worries, but as long as the belief and ‘never say die’ attitude remains, United can look forward to a prosperous season.
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