Many football fans might be surprised to learn that Piers Morgan writes a football column for the Daily Mail. He is certainly not a man one would instantly associate with the game. Indeed his latest effort is filled with outlandish predictions and lets just say unorthodox analysis. Of course Piers Morgan is a man who likes to shock people, and is not a shrinking violet, but the disdain he displays for Manchester United in his article is verging on the ridiculous. Morgan does in fact admit he detests Man United, and he predicts in his Daily Mail column that United will miss out on a top four position this season. He also makes a bold prediction about Wayne Rooney’s fortunes this season, he writes;
“Wayne Rooney will score 10 fewer goals than last season. The reason? Premier League defenders will have watched his dismal displays in the World Cup and suddenly realised he is not as unstoppable as they thought.”
These comments should be taken with a pinch of salt, but Morgan firmly states that this is his genuine belief of what will happen this season. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Piers Morgan has got his predictions totally wrong.
Firstly, Manchester United will be challenging at the top end of the table for the whole season. The quality of the manager and players will ensure this. The side is certainly no weaker than last term, so quite why Morgan is predicting such a fall from grace with such vehemence is puzzling. Okay Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are a year older, but their quality this season will not be hugely diluted by that fact. Scholes showed his class in Man Utd’s 3-1 Charity Shield victory over Chelsea on the weekend, and he and Giggs will still have big parts to play in the coming campaign. Unlike the beginning of last season, United have not lost anyone this summer, but have in fact added what looks like a very talented young striker to their ranks, in the form of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez. Manchester United only finished one point off title winners Chelsea last season, so for them to drop out of the top four is almost unforseeable.
Morgan is correct when he states that Wayne Rooney had a dismal World Cup, that is undeniable. But to predict he will have an unsuccessful Premier League season is bold and most probably unwise. Defenders will still be very wary of his ability, and he will still be Man Utd’s main goal threat, his quality has not diminished. It is by no means guaranteed that Rooney will repeat the superb form he displayed last season again, but the prediction of him scoring ten less goals this season is likely to be off the mark.
Manchester United have won three titles in four years. Last season the club were gunning for what would have been an unprecedented fourth straight title, the fact that they eventually did miss out certainly does not rule them out this time around. Although it was only the Charity Shield, Man Utd have already put in an impressive winning performance over title rivals Chelsea and it does bode well for their season. Since the leagues inception Manchester United have not failed to challenge at the top end of the table, and despite Piers Morgan’s dire predictions, there is no reason to suggest that that is likely to change this season.