Cristiano Ronaldo was named Fifa’s world player of the year last night and the nippy winger voiced his confidence over his Manchester United side successfully defending their Premier League crown.
The Portuguese playmaker has said: “In the Premier League we are in a good position and while we respect our opponents I believe we are going to win it.”
I for one, feel he could be right. If you look at United’s opponents performances over the weekend you might even have to ask yourself why does he respect them?
Liverpool were held to their second 0-0 draw with Stoke of the season and if you’re going to win the Premier League, you need to know how to break teams down that are content to just park a bus in front of you. When United played Stoke and Sunderland both these teams tried to do just that, stop United first then worry about getting forward themselves. On both occasions, despite playing below their best, United managed to grind out a result and nick the game one nil.
Arsenal did manage to break down a Bolton side who has that in mind. However, the Bolton side in question was a much depleted one. They could only name four substitutes (just three outfield players) and they were without Gary Cahill, Gretar Steinsson and Kevin Nolan – arguably their three most important players. Despite this it still took the Gunners 84 minutes before they netted and at times they looked completely bereft of ideas. Needless to say I was not impressed with the Gunners at the weekend and I can’t see them lifting any trophies at the end of the season unless reinforcements are brought in and even then it might be a step too far as they are still quite a way off the pace.
Chelsea fell apart at Old Trafford, I don’t think even the most devout of Chelsea fans would argue with that. That loss leaves them four points off the top spot, but more importantly it must have been a huge psychological blow to have been brushed aside so easily by one of their closest opponents. Another worrying thing for Blues fans was the performance of Didier Drogba. The once talismanic forward looked a shadow of his former self and questions have to be raised about his commitment to the cause.
United face Wigan and Bolton before Liverpool even kick a ball again and they could be sat at the top of the table after those two local derbies. The Wigan game is at Old Trafford and I can’t see Wigan being the first team to take anything from Old Trafford since the first day of the season – despite their recent run of good form. United lost 1-0 when they went to the Reebok Stadium last season and Bolton do up their game when they face United but I still expect United to take all the points in that encounter and take their place at the top of the league.