United have won the league. A lot of celebrations will be taking place all around. They deserved to win it, no one can deny that. But the question is, can they sustain this immense form and push for a second consecutive title?
There has been a lot of talk lately of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Third Reich. All the players he has bought have been touted as “for the long term” meaning of course, that United are building for the next five or six seasons. I don’t doubt this, but I am not sure if the current members of the Third Reich are good enough for next season, let alone the next six or seven.
Many of the Reds’ fans might lynch me for this, calling it paranoid and, more vehemently, BS. But I have a vague feeling that next season’s title race is not going to be a two horse one like this season.
Chelsea have a good squad that will last them atleast five to six seasons. They are a formidable force even if they don’t add to their squad over the summer. Anyway, even if changes are needed, I am sure their billionaire Fairy Godfather will dish out enough dough to make them quickly and smoothly enough.
Arsenal are a young team of learners. Fabregas is going to play a key role in their next generation team. They have proven good enough for the top four (though barely) and I am sure that their title challenge beginning september will carry a little more weight than it did this time.
Liverpool, forever tinkering, might pull some rabbits out of the hat and come up with a good attacking tactic, but that could prove far-fetched with Rafa Benitez at the helm. Good as he may be, his defensive mentality cripples the Liverpudlians and leaves them wanting crucial points in grinding mid-season games. The rest of the pack though, notwithstanding Obafemi Martins’ trumpeting, still has a long way to go.
The top four, as I see it, would have made their transitions by next season and would be in a close fight to the finish. Of those, the Gooners are the ones to watch. They have finished their tinkering and Wenger, after coming fourth twice, will want to win something desperately.
This brings me to my original point, which is that United may have pulled off a brilliant victory this season. But can they sustain this newfound momentum with all the other teams showing signs of resurgence? And that with Fergie’s impending retirement?
I don’t quite know the answer. But I certainly wouldn’t put it beyond the wily Scot who had the foresight to put his team in the operating theatre first and fastest to have thought about all this.
And while that may be, I for one am able to smile from ear to ear after a long, long three years.