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United Will Finish 2nd, Chelsea Will Finish 1st

Last season, United were some way short of what I’d expect of a team filled with the ability it has. Despite adding Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tevez, Anderson and Nani to what was already a Championship winning side, we finished 2 points behind our total from the season before. Even with all the goals Ronaldo scored, we were still a few short of our goals tally from the previous season.

When I watched Chelsea, looked at their players, looked at how they were playing, I couldn’t believe we were toe-to-toe with them for the closing weeks of the season, particularly when considering the tactical ineptness their manager possessed.

Of course, we won the league title and the European Cup, making 2007-2008 the second most successful season in our club’s entire history. I’m not going to slate them because of points or goals, certainly not. However, I felt like there was so much more for our team to give. Losing to the likes of City (twice), West Ham and Bolton isn’t good enough. Not that I expect us to go through the season unbeaten, or feel like we should even strive for that, but we had shoddy performances too many times last season and it’s something I think we can definitely improve on. And I don’t believe that it’s reliant on us signing a new striker.

However, some people are already writing us off, believing Scolari has what it takes to lead Chelsea to the title, but I just can’t get my head around why!

For starters, our most effective players last season weren’t older than 23-years-old. Next season, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Anderson and Nani will all be a year further in to their careers. They’ll have a year’s more experience, a year’s more confidence, and for some of them, a year more of acclimatising themselves to Premiership football. I expect most if not all of these players to improve on their form last season.

Secondly, United have won consecutive league titles, won the European Cup and made the FA Cup final without buying a replacement for Ruud van Nistelrooy. For some reason though, this is forgotten. Louis Saha contributed next to nothing last season, getting just a couple of 90 minute stints under his belt, meaning Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez were our only traditional forwards, with Ronaldo contributing more than his fair share of goals. For two seasons we’ve managed to outscore every other team in the league without having an out and out striker fit for the duration of the season, so even if we don’t sign Berbatov/Santa Cruz/Huntelaar/(Henry), I don’t see why there should be a problem.

Barnay Ronay, who writes for The Guardian and When Saturday Comes, seems to believe that United’s glory days are temporarily over, and has penned us in for a 2nd place finish this season. (Although, it must point out that this is the man who was left cold by United’s 7-1 battering of Roma).

1. He [Ferguson] would also have liked to hold on to Carlos Queiroz, who became Portugal manager this summer. In addition to his considerable tactical input, Queiroz offered important language skills, with Nani, Carlos Tevez and Anderson still “adjusting to the English language”.

Queiroz leaving was certainly a massive blow to United. He brought with him new tactics and new methods for how things were to be run. He was organised differently to Ferguson and introduced things that otherwise would have been overlooked. However, just because he’s gone, it doesn’t mean that all the positives he implemented will suddenly be forgotten. The improvements he brought in behind the scenes will all still be ticking over nicely.

With the language skills being referred to, if it’s such a problem, we’ll hire a bloody translator! Christ, it’s not rocket science is it?

2. There are problems on the pitch too. The absence of an orthodox central striker, which seemed like an oddity or even a tactical innovation last season, could be a real problem this time around – it was certainly dreadfully apparent during the Community Shield. The team that kicks off against Newcastle on Saturday will be without Ronaldo, Louis Saha and possibly also Wayne Rooney. Fraizer Campbell was terrific in the Championship for Hull last season, but Ferguson won’t be comfortable relying exclusively on him, especially with imminent trips to Liverpool and Chelsea. Given how strong the latter look, this is not a season in which to make a slow start.

I have already addressed above why not having a new striker is not the ‘problem’ people would make out it is. We have shown ourselves to be the best team in England, as well as winning the European Cup, without an out-and-out striker. The fact that we still don’t have one isn’t a sudden drastic problem than desperately needs resolving.

However, Ronay seems to think that Chelsea and Liverpool are looking strong ahead of the new season. So, because Chelsea have signed another 30-year-old midfielder and have employed a coach who has no experience of European domestic football, they now look stronger than the second placed team they were of last season?

Liverpool have added Robbie Keane to their squad and if he replicates his form from Spurs, he will certainly improve their chances. However, let’s not forget they finished 4th last season and to think that the introduction of one striker is going to improve them to the degree they need improving is naive. Benitez has brought in a few other unknowns from around Europe, but Liverpool’s aim this season will have to be closing the gap of 11 points between them and number 1 last season, not pushing for the title.

3. United were rescued in numerous matches last season by timely and inspired interventions from their roving winger and leading scorer. It seems almost inconceivable Ronaldo could be so influential on so many occasions this time around. Ferguson has talked about giving Rooney more attacking responsibility this season. If United are to maintain last season’s standards, Rooney will need to rise to it.

Now Ronaldo has confirmed his future is at United, for the time being at least, people are having to backtrack on all their previous claims that United were screwed next season. I’ve already highlighted how ridiculous the argument is. However, now he’s staying the press have to rely on Ronaldo not being able to repeat his brilliance of last season.

To think that a team containing talent like that of Rooney, Tevez, Scholes, Carrick, Nani, Anderson etc. will struggle is terribly ignorant or terribly stupid. Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy, to name a few, were not perfect and all endured bad, as well as good, periods of form. United didn’t fall to pieces because one player wasn’t performing out of his skin though!

Paolo Bandini writes up The Guardian‘s report for Chelsea, predicting a 1st placed finish. Bandini reported on the events of Wimbledon for the same newspaper and maybe writing about tennis is where his true talent lies, if this example of his football journalism is much to go by.

1. Last season the Blues came within two points of the title and one shanked penalty of winning the Champions League with a manager whose methods were “25 years behind the times”. How, then, might they fare under the guidance of a World Cup winning manager?

I can only assume that ol Paolo hasn’t spent much time looking at the careers of World Cup winning managers.

When looking at this rare breed of manager, more often than not, if they go in to managing domestic clubs, they stick with what they know in their home nation. Beckenbauer returned to Bayern Munich after leading West Germany to World Cup success, Vicente Feola returned to manage his home town of Sao Paulo after winning the World Cup with Brazil, just as Aymoré Moreira returned to Brazil.

There are a few South American managers who braved the shores of Europe though, taking on clubs across the continent. Carlos Bilardo won the World Cup with his homeland, Argentina, before joining Spanish side, Sevilla. Within the next year, Bilardo returned to Argentina to manage Boca Juniors.

After winning the World Cup with Argentina, César Luis Menotti spent some years in Europe, managing teams including Barcelona and Sampdoria. Carlos Alberto Parreira won the World Cup with Brazil, then went on to manage Valencia and Fenerbahce. However, both had extremely limited success (ie. they didn’t get their teams relegated, but didn’t achieve anything of note), spending not much longer than a year or two at any of these European clubs.

Scolari has won the World Cup and that is an achievement most managers can only dream of, however, to think that correlates with success in Europe quite simply isn’t true. Of all the World Cup winning managers, not one of them has made a success of their managerial career in Europe, if not already residing from that part of the World. The odds are stacked against him, rather than in favour of him, for making a success out of a managerial career in Europe.

2. Their back four is formidable, and will be all the more so following the signing of José Bosingwa – not only a more accomplished defender than Juliano Belletti, but quicker and more energetic going forward.

By this definition, Chelsea’s defence should cause us to fear them because they are impressive, powerful or difficult. Now, whilst I am not questioning that they have a fairly decent defence, I wouldn’t call them scary.

It’s all a matter of opinion I suppose, but I’d argue all the players in our back four are superior to those in Chelsea’s. I’d rather Evra in my team than A Cole, I’d rather Vidic and Ferdinand over Carvalho and Terry, and I’d rather Brown/Neville starting ahead of Beletti/Ferreira. (Bosingwa’s form in the Premiership is yet to be proven).

But if we look at this statistically, to see whether we would be right to fear Chelsea’s defence as is suggested, maybe it can surpass my mere opinion.

In 38 league games, Chelsea conceded 26 goals (0.68 goals per game) in contrast to United’s 22 goals (0.58 goals per game). If we look at all the games the two sides played in, taking in to consideration the European Cup, as well as the FA and League Cups, the point is emphasised all the more. Chelsea conceded a further 19 goals in other competitions, a total of 45 goals in 61 games (0.74 goals per game). United conceded a further 10 goals, a total of 32 goals in 56 games (0.57 goals per game).

So, pretty simply, United’s defence is better than Chelsea’s, but that is not the point I’m arguing here. For Chelsea to instil fear in the opposition, it means they need to be exhibiting something other teams don’t have.

If you look at Liverpool’s record in the league, they conceded 28 goals (0.74 goals per game) and in all competitions, 50 goals in 59 games (0.85 goals per game). Therefore, Chelsea’s defence is more alike to that of Liverpool’s, the side which finished 4th in the league, some 11 points off the top spot. Or are we supposed to believe that the inclusion of right-back Bosingwa, who I concede is a good player, will revolutionise the Chelsea defence?

3. The bookies make Manchester United favourites for the title but Chelsea have a more talented squad and were undone last year only by a United team elevated by Ferguson and the league’s best player in Cristiano Ronaldo. This season, Chelsea have a canny manager of their own, while Ronaldo looks set to miss the first two months of the season for United. With the margins at the top as slim as they have been in nearly a decade, Chelsea don’t hope to win the league, they expect it.

If you thought it was just moronic WUMs on football forums that preached the ‘United are a one man team’ bollocks, then it looks like you were wrong.

There is no way to work out where United would have been last season without Ronaldo, because to take away his goals would suggest that if Ronaldo wasn’t scoring for us, no one would be, which doesn’t make sense. However, if we look at the top scorers last season, striking Ronaldo’s name from the list, then you’ll see two Manchester United players feature in the top 10 scorers in the Premiership, Tevez and Rooney. In contrast, if you look at Chelsea’s top scorers, the highest was Frank Lampard, who scraped in the table at 17th.

Wayne Rooney was one short of assisting as many goals in the league last season as Frank Lampard and Joe Cole put together.

To suggest that Chelsea have ‘a more talented squad’ is quite a strange one, and sadly, is not backed up with any evidence, opinion or otherwise. If Chelsea’s squad were more talented though, you imagine they wouldn’t have come 2nd to United in the league and wouldn’t have lost to United in the European Cup final.

Next season is less predictable than most Premiership seasons, it has to be said, with Scolari coming with the potential to be a superstar or a flop. However, it shouldn’t matter much what Scolari does with Chelsea if Sir Alex Ferguson continues to work his magic with United.




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33 Comments

  1. james f says:

    Of course Chelsea will win the Premiership AND the Champions League this year, of course this will be Liverpool’s year, of course Arsenal will play the most beautiful football (again) and blah, blah, blah…
    These people never learn. Let them hope. As long as we have Sir Alex as manager, we will be the ones dictating English football.

  2. Liam says:

    You fail to realise that Chelsea were short Ballack for half of last season plus Lampard,Cech,Terry,Essien and Drogba for one third
    of the league games.At last Chelsea have signed a fantastic attacking right back and added Deco(30
    year old)as you say.I seem too remember Zola was
    also 30 when he joined Chelsea.
    I reckon Chelsea will finish well ahead of Utd as
    they would have easily done last season without
    all there top players injured but then again Gary
    was missing forUtd.

  3. jsos says:

    well researched article… and it further exemplifies the point that the ABU’s are just talking bollocks. the press will always have something to say, and if they’re earning their keep, that will include ridiculous claims against United. Guess we just keep winning to make them look the mug :D

  4. Scott the Red says:

    Sorry Liam, but that’s a shit argument. All teams have injuries. Scholes played in 24 out of 38 games because of injury, Rooney played in 27 out of 38 games because of injury, Neville, our captain, missed the whole season because of injury. I could go on, looking on Hargreaves, Vidic, Saha etc. who all missed large chunks of the season.

  5. Sam says:

    Fantastic article. I think Chelsea will be better in how they play this season; last season they had a lot of mediocre to poor performances (as opposed to our mainly very good combined with a few shoddy ones) and they are bound to improve on those. Also, they had a really injury hit season last time around, and there is no African Cup of Nations this year. However, people don’t realise that just because Chelsea’s performances will probably improve, their points tally may not, because they ground out/ fluked a number of points in their bad games. So even if they were to play much better in those games, they would still get the same 3 points (with maybe an extra goal or two; I do think Chelsea will be more attacking this year, and we may not be able to say 4 months before the end of the season that goal difference will basically count as an extra point!).

    Also, you are completely right about our team. They are just bound to improve, and I am extremely excited about players such as Anderson (who will start scoring) and Nani, and also the opportunity to blood some real talents at some points, to rest the more senior players, or fill in in injury crises; the da Silvas, Possebon, Campbell. Whilst Ronaldo will probably not score another 42 goals, the point is that we don’t need him to. He can go back to his playing more like in the 2006-07 season, contributing more to assists and overall team play, while still scoring 20-odd important goals (like the one against Fulham that season) as long as we get a striker.

    This is where I divulge very slightly with what you’re saying. We don’t absolutely need a striker, because, as you say, we’ve coped well enough without. However, I think considering we have a significant budget (ignore talk about Glazers’ debt, we have enough money to wrap up a quality striker and the Tevez deal) a striker should be the top priority. It would mean that Ronaldo doesn’t have to score all the goals. It would free Rooney up, from being the bloke who works like a donkey to that prestigious talent always facing towards the goal of 2 years ago. It would free Tevez up (in a formation which I haven’t decided on yet, but would maybe be 4-2-3-1) and we saw in pre-season that Tevez prefers playing in behind too. As long as the striker is mobile (i.e. not another van Nistelrooy who actually detracts from the overall team play) I think someone to regularly tuck in the chances, such as those against Portsmouth, would ensure that, like Chelsea, our poor displays often yield three points.

    Treble, anyone?

  6. Not so sure on this says:

    I quite liked the first part of this article………BUT it slowly slipped into being totally biased, the stats that you show are not balanced off by the fact that on a high number of occasions Chelsea were without between 2 and 4 of their first choice back 4, also the fact that only one of the top CFC players played more than 30 games all season. I also think you have written off Scolari too quickly, he may not have european pedigree but a unified Chelsea squad is a dangerous animal.

    I agree that it is too close to call though it should be an awesome season.

  7. n667 says:

    @ALL

    i love when united are counted out of winning it , we do a hell a lot better

  8. albeeee says:

    And i bet Gary’s injury was the reason united didnt win the f.a. cup, carling cup and the uefa and intertoto cups

  9. Scott the Red says:

    Add up the amount of games Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic were missing last season, and then tell me if the stats don’t balance out against Chelsea’s injuries.

    John Terry missed just one league game last season. The measure of having your captain playing all season certainly gives you advantages over a team whose captain was missing for the ENTIRE season. Even Rio Ferdinand, who usually manages to go the season injury free, played fewer games than Terry.

    And I haven’t written off Scolari. I’ve simply said no South American World Cup winning manager has ever been successful in Europe.

  10. Chris says:

    This is the biggest load of subjective crap I have ever read.

    Points: Scolari and the World Cup winning non european coaches: How could winning a world cup be a negative, and surely it’s a slightly better record that that of Avram, who only lost the european cup on one kick and the premiership on 1 game’s results.

    Utd vs Chelsea Defense: Utd had three of their back 4 available for more than 30 games last season, chelsea had none, that is the reason why those stats paint a false picture that your defense is better.

    Either way it’s going to be a great year and if you get pushed by another team in transition you may start to realise the shortcomings of an overrated team that is overreliant on one payer to get you through games.

  11. Not so sure on this says:

    “Utd vs Chelsea Defense: Utd had three of their back 4 available for more than 30 games last season, chelsea had none, that is the reason why those stats paint a false picture that your defense is better.”

    On top of that how many games did MU play without Ferdinand, Vidic, VDS Ronaldo and Scholes?

    This can be directly compared to Chelsea playing without Cech, Terry, Carvalho, Essien, Lampard and Drogba. Which happened quite a few times.

  12. Billy says:

    I’d also like to point out the fact that Ronaldo had three goals for manchester united in the beginning of november last season. Of course Man utd will miss him but it’s way to dramatised.

  13. jahful says:

    ITS GOING TO BE TOUGH BUT MAN UTD …….BUT MAN UTD WILL ALWAYS WIN.SAY WHAT U WANNA SAY BUT U KNOW THE REALITY SO FUCK CHEALSEA. LIVERPOOL N ….BLA BLA BLA

  14. Arsene wanker says:

    it’s really funny to see all the chelsea fans in here arguing that there team is the best,for god’s sake we won the double,in contrast chelsea won nothing.nuff said

  15. Chris says:

    Maybe the best at getting lucky, limited injuries, lucky in penalties, lucky their main rivals were in transition. Carry on being happy with what you had and you’ll stand still (well Ronney gets worse year on year) . Chelsea and the rest are getting better.

  16. Not so sure on this says:

    Whats funny is that Utd had there best season in a decade and only just scraped past a Chelsea side that was widely reported to be in turmoil and was never at full strength and you have now written of CFC all together, I thought you were UTD fans not BinDippers.

  17. Prasac says:

    I’m pleased somebody share my opinion about Scolari.
    He won the World cup,but with players at his disposal at that time,I could do that.
    He is one dimensional coach,with no ability to prepare his team against certain tactics.
    Greece defeated Portugal twice 4 yrs ago,and Germany humiliated them few months ago doing the same tactics.
    He is just overrated and will finish at the same manner as Keegan,Wenger and Mourinho….destroyed by The Great Sir Alex Ferguson

  18. Scott the Red says:

    Nssot – Our second best season in a decade. We won the Treble 9 years ago, lest you forget.

    I have already highlighted in the comments how many players we were without and for how long, and it’s pretty weak to try and argue that Chelsea were considerably worse off in that department. I wish our captain had only missed one league last season, for example!

    I’m not sure why you’re bringing the dippers in to this though. Are United fans well known for not writing Chelsea off, whereas the scousers usually do?

    Come back here next season and we’ll reflect. Although, I said the same to plenty of Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool fans throughout the course of last season, yet strangely, none of them returned at the end of May…

  19. Unknown says:

    I’m still not convinced by some of the arguments, specifically defensively and:

    “If Chelsea’s squad were more talented though, you imagine they wouldn’t have come 2nd to United in the league and wouldn’t have lost to United in the European Cup final.”

    The margin of defeat was 1 penalty kick owing to a slip in the Champions League final. We were tied on points going in to the last game of the season. To me (on the basis of the came second in the Champions League notion especially) this implies the squads were as equally matched as is possible, rather than 1 (substantially) better than the other.

    You come up with some statistics for the defences that although are valid, Chelsea had 2 very odd 4-4 results that will skew the stats when you are using a mean to find the average. Having watched preseason I would suspect we will leak more goals if anything this year, although that is somewhat negated by the sale of Ben Haim(!) as the full backs have been playing a far more attacking role. The biggest thing that cost us last season was ironically our home record. Too many draws when a more positive outlook could have turned more of these in to wins (and some in to defeats), with for example 2 wins and 3 defeats being better than 5 draws.

    Where has this John Terry missed just one league game fact come from in your comments? I’m aware he plays with injuries (Champions League final), but he broke 3 bones in his foot on the 16th December and didn’t return until the Carling Cup final at the end of February I believe. I’m assuming there was more than 1 league game in that period?

    I suspect it will be very close again, but Chelsea have definitely improved on last year and we shall see what the outcome of this is. We may lose out on penalties in every cup final we reach, but such is life!

  20. Drew Vader says:

    One thing is for certain, if Scolari’s portuguese teams are anything to go by, Chelski will be the biggest bunch of diving cheating twats to ever disgrace the name of football. I am well aware two of our starters are in that same Portuguese team and to be honest, I cant fucking stand it when they dive and fuck around. But seriously, watching portugal in these last tournaments has been absolutely shocking. And I’m not saying Scolari teaches or encourages it, but he sure as fuck doesnt take measures to put an end to it. So, that will be fun.

  21. Scott the Red says:

    “Unknown” – I got JT’s appearances from his wiki page, you’d know more about it than me though. Still, I can safely say your captain played in more games than our captain last season, eh.

    The final wouldn’t have even gone to penalties had VDS not slipped, allowing Lampard to score.

    At no point did I say Chelsea are shit and United will absolutely batter them next season, I just don’t see on what foundation Chelsea suddenly elevating above United can be based on. We were the better team on two fronts last season, both sides had considerable injuries, so what’s changed? An unproven manager in Europe and a past it midfielder? We’ll see won’t we, but I’m starting this season more confident than either of the past two. Chelsea’s best players are getting on whereas United’s best players haven’t even reached their peak yet.

  22. Anant says:

    we’ll win everything….again . and they’ll still say they are the better team .
    Fact : a few years down the line , no one will look at which team was better , they’ll just look at their trophy cabinets !

    and please can people who do not watch uniteds every single game stop saying that rooney is getting worse year after year . you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about . he is our most influential player and his absence affects us more than cristiano’s . just look at our stats last season both with and without him .
    oh , and even if you want to keep slating him , go on , we dont mind as long as he keeps serving up blinding performances against you all to shove in your faces !

  23. TheLizard says:

    Scott the Red, Here are the facts, taken 4rom Setanta sports, opta stats section

    John Terry played 23(23 starts) league Games(1898mins)

    Ricardo Carvalho played 21(21 starts) league games(1749mins)

    Ashley cole played 27(27 starts) League games(2415 mins)

    Julliano Belletti played 23(20 starts) League games (1916mins)

    Manchester United

    Rio Ferdinand played 35(35 starts) League games (3052 mins)

    Nemanja Vidic played 32(32 starts) League Games (2673 mins)

    Patrice Evra played 33(33 starts) League Games (2823 mins)

    Wes Brown played 36(34 starts) League Games (3034 mins)

    This evidence can b found in this webpage (Manchester United squad page)
    http://sports.setanta.com/en/Sport/Football/Team/?facets/sport-space/football/great-britain-locale/Man-Utd/Barclays-Premier-League/&section=squad

    4 da Chelsea page, the evidence is here (Chelsea Squad page)
    http://sports.setanta.com/en/Sport/Football/Team/?facets/sport-space/football/great-britain-locale/Chelsea/Barclays-Premier-League/&section=squad

    This clearly Shows up ur trying 2 make up a load of Bullshi* 2 support ur facts, ur only comeback can b is that you can argue that you was missing Gary Neville and that Brown is the weakpoint in your argument

    Fact is all ur First team defence played over 30 Games last season whilst Chelsea had bad luck with injuries that prevented them to win the title

  24. Scott the Red says:

    TheLizard – And Gary Neville played 0 league games. Why haven’t you included that in your little rant? You may call it a weak point, but if John Terry played in 0 league games last season, would you also say that should be overlooked?

    You are kindof missing the point though. Chelsea’s defence was described as “formidable” which is why I looked at the goals they had conceded. Injuries or no injuries, there is little to support that Chelsea have a fear inducing defence.

    Losers tend to blame injuries though. I know I probably was when United went a season without winning anything. All teams have injuries, but the better teams win in spite of them. That’s why Chelsea didn’t win the league last season and United did.

  25. Mr United! says:

    To :albeeee,
    You said
    “And i bet Gary’s injury was the reason united didnt win the f.a. cup, carling cup and the uefa and intertoto cups”

    Unfortunately our captain’s injury couldn’t prevent us from winning the Uefa and Intertoto Cups as we weren’t in either of those competitions to start with. I don’t know about you but as far as I’m conferenced you can only win competitions that you partake in.

    Nice article by the way. I predict the top 4 in this order:
    1. Manchester United
    2. Arsenal
    3. Chelsea
    4. Liverpool
    It will be very tight in my humble opinion but this is just how I think the top of the table will look at the season’s end.

  26. Kings says:

    According to ‘cry baby’ Terry, we are past our best. Silly cunt!

  27. shingadiaFC says:

    For once, I actually agree with ‘Scotty the Red’….:o

    Although, with Chelsea gettin drogba, cech, terry etc all fit, and with the additions of bosingwa and deco – its obvious to admit that Chelsea do look a formidable force.

    But lets not forget that the ‘wanker’ Ronaldo is still a United player, and even though he may not put all his heart into utd this season, a half decent Ronaldo will still anyday wipe the smug look of any chelsea player.

    (ps. rooney n tevez will run the ‘united show’ this season…expect big things from them ;) )

  28. brisbanefan says:

    The Chelsea fans still haven’t understood the full extent of Fergie’s comment that Chelsea are an ‘old team’, but they allude to it now and then. What I’m talking about is the injury situation at Stamford Bridge. The reason why some Chelsea players spent a long time out injured is because they’re getting on in years. Older players take longer to recover from injury than younger players.
    It happened last season for Chelsea and will happen this coming season. And come May we’ll hear the expected moans from the Blues’ fans that ‘injuries cost us’. To solve the problem just get some younger players.

  29. jacko says:

    bulls**t!! u don’t know what you’re talking about!

  30. TinManUnited says:

    OK, OK, lets forget about the 07/08 season. What about 06/07? Surely you Chelscum didn’t have so many injuries then, but what was the result. We beat you then. What’s your point. And it’s gonna be subjective (@Chris) its a bloody United blog.

  31. zack880 says:

    CHELSEA IS ABSOLUTELY RUBBISH. I strongly think that man utd still the best next season although sir alex does not yet sign any new player until now. TOP 4:-
    1 MAN UTD
    2 ARSENAL
    3 LIVERPOOL
    4 CHELSEA
    i think deco is to old…

  32. Patrik says:

    Don’t forget that our third choice keeper played 9 league games and a few in europe last season, did chelseas third choice play any game? And no-one has commented on the fact the Ji-Sung “haven’t lost a game in two years” Park was missing more then half the season. Then of course Silvestre was out for several months, Scholes missed three months, Hargreaves at least a couple of months, Neville the whole season, Saha more or less the whole season, Rooney a couple of months, and Fletcher, O’Shea and Carrick all missed games due to injury. I’m sure I’ve missed someone as well. You seriously can’t say that we were lucky.

  33. jesse says:

    Quieroz loss is the only thing that worries me for the season. Sure the players may not unlearn their defensive qualities, but it remains to be seen how we will fare on broader scale without him.
    Especially in Europe a lot will depend on who comes in as assistant by September and how well he can complement the Sirs attacking tendencies and tactical insecurities.

    But overall I see our squad better and deeper as Chelsea’s and considering that we underperformed for almost the complete second half of last season, we will definitely be the team to beat.

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