Despite never really hitting top gear, Manchester United has practically coasted to the Premier League crown. However, why have they had such a weak challenge?
Analyzing the top of the league, Manchester City are clearly the natural choice for a significant and sustained title push. Yet, they’ve been let down by their top players under performing.
Despite only winning the title on goal difference last season, they thoroughly deserved it. Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and others haven’t performed to the same level this season.
Toure and Silva are less influential, Aguero isn’t the live-wire he was. Hart and Kompany have lost their consistently heroic ways.
City have looked vulnerable throughout the season and haven’t had the same fire going forward. It’s a matter of players not playing like they can.
You could argue that the indefatigable Robin Van Persie has set the sides apart. Maybe that’s true. He began the season as he finished his last with Arsenal, on fire. His form has dipped in the last few games, but he remains a constant threat.
The others are way off. Only one side hasn’t lost at Old Trafford so far, which was Tottenham in a 3-2 win. Chelsea started brightly, but cracks began to emerge. The inexplicable sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and the unpopular appointment of Rafa Benitez evaporated any chance they had at a title push.
As for next season, well, City need to strengthen to snatch the title back. It’s simple, they need a showstopper. There’s only a few of them around and Van Persie is one.
It was another resolute and professional performance today in their 1-0 win over Sunderland, and it seems like this will continue to happen if teams don’t really bring everything to the table when playing the soon-to-be champions.
Manchester United hasn’t needed to be spectacular, they’ve just been an efficient machine.