Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph Football Correspondent and columnist for the Sunday Telegraph, has shared his thoughts on United ahead of the 2012-2013 season. Bear in mind, these answers came before yesterday’s news about Robin van Persie…

Scott the Red: United never implode at the end of the season but we dropped eight points in the last few weeks of 2011-2012. What do you think happened?

Henry Winter: They failed to get to grips with Fellaini at Old Trafford. That was a huge day in shaping the title run-in. Defence and midfield did not communicate enough to deal with him. Vidic was clearly missed too. But you also have to acknowledge City’s resilience and rich resources. Sergio Aguero reminded everyone again why he cost so much.

STR: If it had been Kompany and not Vidic injured since December, who do you think would have won the league?

HW: Probably United. Kompany was brilliant as leader and centre-half. But City would probably have gone out and bought a top centre-half.

STR: Probably. We’ve brought in a few players this summer but is our current squad capable of winning the league?

HW: I still think City will just narrowly win another two-horse race but Ferguson has bought well. Still need a new Keano.

STR: No Keano, again, so who do you expect to be United’s most important player this season?

HW: Rooney. Always Rooney. He’s United’s best player. He scores, creates, works hard, tracks back, has a huge will to win. He’ll be in the top 4 all-time Premier League scorers by Christmas (unless Lampard goes on a spree).

STR: Ha, not too shabby. Finally, what would you say is the best Manchester XI?

HW: 4231. Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Vidic (or Lescott if one whole season), Nobody (Clichy at a push at lb but neither he nor Evra great last year); Yaya Toure, Carrick; Valencia, Rooney, Silva; Aguero.

Follow Henry Winter on Twitter