Are Man United in a genuine title race? I know at the start of the season this would have seemed like a silly questionand to be honest, even now, some football fans would still say it’s a silly question but with the lack of consistency from all teams so far this season, I feel this is a valid question and not just for this Man Utd team.
It seems a long way away since Tottenham spanked them 6-1, not really a game that I want to talk about however since then, United have been in decent form and have got themselves into a serious question being, are they in a title race?
With fifteen games into the Premier League season, the league is taking its shape. Although it’s a very tight league where a couple of good results can take you 3 or 4 places up the table we still have to look at teams in their current position and start to take them with some seriousness.
For example, the current top 4 teams stand at Liverpool, Everton, Leicester & Man Utd now, I’m not saying these are going to complete the top 4 teams come the end of the season but what I am saying is, these teams have to now be taken seriously for a top 4 finish given the amount games played.
A Good Point or 2 Points Dropped At Leicester?
Man Utd’s last game was away to Leicester City who you could also say is a team that’s in a title race. This was our game in hand over Liverpool which would have put us 2 points behind them playing the same amount of games if we had won.
Now, we might look back at the end of the season and say this was a good point away from home but the truth is, it’s 2 points dropped in my opinion. After leading the game 2-1 with ten minutes left to play you expect to see the game out and take all 3 points. Instead, Leicester equalised at 85 minutes and walk away with a draw.
Now, we are 4 points off Liverpool with Liverpool’s next couple of games being West Brom & Newcastle. Two games which you expect them to take all 6 points.Are Manchester United in a genuine title race? Click To Tweet
Defence Letting us down?
This is somewhat true because we are joint second with Chelsea for goals for (30) and our goals against is (23) which is the 7th highest in the league. So it might not be relegation battle defence but it is definitely a defence that would be at the lower end of the table.
Goal difference is very important, especially when a league is tight like this one. I’m saying this because when you look at the top of the league, Liverpool’s goal difference is 18, while ours (Man Utd’s) is 7.
Ole Gunnar’s Inconsistent Line-Up & Formation
Our constant changing of the starting eleven and formations is down to the manager. I know it takes a squad to win a trophy but I genuinely believe Ole Gunnar doesn’t 100% know his best starting eleven or the best formation for the team.
If we knew our best starting eleven and formation but we changed it every now and again for tactic purposes that would be fine but that’s not the case. You’re making life harder for yourself, to be title race whilst the players are not sure who they are going to be playing with from game to game, and what formation they’re going to set up in. This doesn’t inject a team with confidence.
Now, we’re fortunate enough to be in a title race I think Ole Gunnar has got to find his best starting eleven and formation as soon as possible. Achieving this will help build a sustained consistency, failing to do this will be met with more up and downs than there need to be.Are Manchester United in a genuine title race? Click To Tweet
No Champions League Football
I hate the fact that having no Champions League football comes with some benefits but it does, especially when you’re challenging for the league.
Champions League is a competition you have no choice but to prioritise. This has a knock-on effect, it means you have tojuggle your squad so that you have a strong enough team to compete on all fronts. Meaning, if you are challenging in more than one competition the starting eleven may be slightly weaker than usual. You see this a lot when teams get further and further into the Champions League.
Man Utd not having Champions League football will mean they’re less likely to suffer from fatigue and less likely to pick up injuries. These are major when factors coming towards the back end of the season where you need to grind out results more than anything.
As it stands, whether you like it or not this Manchester United team are in a genuine title race, not because we’re in great form and playing great football all the time, because that’s not entirely true. We’re in a title race because all the other title contenders including the leaders Liverpool are not being consistent, Ole’s said it himself.
I’d be shocked if Ole Gunnar wasn’t saying to his team that they have a great chance to win the Premier League this year. What an opportunity it is for them and what an opportunity it is for him. If Solskjaer bought the Premier League trophy back to Manchester it would soon put the ‘PE teacher’ and sarcastic ‘Ole at the wheel‘ comments to bed.Are Manchester United in a genuine title race? Click To Tweet
The defence definitely needs to improve and quickly, in just our last 3 games we have conceded 2 in each of the games. Not to state the obvious, but to win them games we would need to be scoring 3 goals which is a big task from game to game.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to do his part and find his best 11 and formation. He doesn’t know it, pundits don’t know, fans don’t know, no one knows which is worrying at this stage.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m gutted to not be playing Champions League football but not being in the competition allows you to focus more. Early Champions League exit will also prevent players from being fatigued, less likelihood of injuries, and more options for rotation.
This Manchester United team is most definitely in a title race along with some other teams. We have some things to work on which can be a major turning point if addressed but if I was Ole Gunnar at this stage of the season, I would a hundred per cent have my eyes set on winning the league.