United Haven’t Even Got A Finger On The Title Yet

Still too early for United to start celebrating
Still too early for United to start celebrating

Another weekend, another twist in the race for the coveted prize of the Premier League. This weekend saw two different league leaders and one team slip a little off the pace. Seeing the reaction of Liverpool’s no. 1 fan Gary Neville, you would have thought they had just won the title – especially when listening to the talk of the fans after the game who sounded confident – wait, actually cocky – in their views and opinions. In fairness that is partly understandable if you have won as 11 titles in 17 seasons – wouldn’t you be?

But there is still ‘legs’ in this title race. United have tricky ties against Bolton, Man City, Tottenham and of course a right old ding-dong against Chelsea on Easter Saturday. They are in the driving seat, but if Chelsea wins their game in hand at Portsmouth on Wednesday night the gap will only be one point. With so many games to go that is little ground to make up – hardly time to be making space in the trophy cabinet.

The key for Chelsea is getting some level of fluidity back, and fast.  They look very ragged, playing with no hunger or desire to win the title. Big game players (Lampard, Ballack and Anelka to name a few) have disappeared for them over the last few games and Ancelloti’s expression after Blackburn’s equaliser served to show that behind the scenes, the garden isn’t so rosy at The Bridge – combined with the constant complaining over decisions not going their way. The Champions League defeat to Inter was a bitter pill to swallow and wasn’t watered down with the result at Blackburn, but all is not lost even if they are on the ropes.

Meanwhile across The Thames, Arsenal are proving to mount a serious challenge and for the first time since their 2003-04 success, they look like a serious outfit. If they’re going to win the title it will need to be done in a ‘smash-n-grab’ style, staying in contention like an athlete before the final bend of an 800m race. Many of their players haven’t won titles and are relatively in-experienced (in comparison to their rivals) of leading from the front, with all the expectation and pressure from being the front runner it could potentially prove tough with many games left.

The more the title race consists of all three teams the better it will suit Arsenal, as they can concentrate on applying pressure to United in the hope they’ll be in a position with a 2-3 games to overtake them. Their biggest test will be how they handle juggling Champions League and Premier League matches in quick succession.

Now who has the biggest smile of all, not Messrs Wenger, Ferguson or Ancelotti but Mr. Scudamore and providing further evidence of the excitement of the Premier League after securing a £1.3bn overseas TV rights deal last week, Ker-ching!!

21 thoughts on “United Haven’t Even Got A Finger On The Title Yet”

  1. Fulham fan. No ax to grind. I agree it is going to be exciting and certainly any of the three could win. Having said that I really don’t expect to see Man Utd blink. There just seems to be something relentless about their move into first place, mirroring Rooney’s on field presence.

  2. Now now Marshall, a yank calling Man Utd fans cocky? Now that really is priceless from the people that wrote the book on arrogance :-)

    1. Yeah, no doubt. It would be unfair to call the vast majority of Man U fans cocky or arrogant.


    2. Mate, we’re from a place that’s got a history of arrogance far greater than America’s existence.
      We sought to dominate the world, and save them from their heathen ways. If anyone wrote the book on arrogance, it was us.
      And, we get upset when our former colonials come back to follow us home, lol.

      1. Yeah but a large part of the world speaks our language, uses our numerals, dresses like us, uses our education system template and generally tries to be like us.

        We were the epitomy of arrogance but we shaped the world in our image so maybe we deserve to be arrogant unless their all going to invent their own language, numerals and dress code?!

          1. Yeah and the English alphabet is derivided from latin text that is derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs that were taken from cave paintings.

            The point is English seems to be the end of the road at least for now with everybody choosing to use a lot of what the English invented rather than invent their own. If you look around the world there were at one point thousands of languages but there are many nations around the planet that speak English as their second language and even some nations that speak English as their first language.

            Trying to say the British have had no external influence is the epitomy of stupidity.

          2. “Trying to say the British have had no external influence is the epitomy of stupidity.”

            It certainly would be, but where, oh where did anyone say or even suggest that?

  3. I think Arsenal have a really good chance this year – they seem to have appeared from nowhere and they are peaking just at the right time. 6 wins from the last 6 PL games isn’t to be sniffed at.

    Arsenal also have a much better run in than United or Chelsea. Wengers boys have a great chance to sneak the title – if the players don’t bottle it again!

  4. I agree with ovalball to an extent that I worry that United won’t blink. Well, I think they may blink, but I know we, Arsenal, probably have at least a blink left in us as well. At Birmingham this weekend will be very tricky with our current center-back situation. Really need Gallas back with all these matches coming up v. Barca and @ Tottenham before too long. I think the title race lasts into the final two weeks though regardless.


  5. I somewhat agree…but its definitely united’s to lose…its more about self belief and confidence then cockiness…but then there are a few so called ‘fans’ who keep mouthing off…thats why most of us united fans are called gloryhunters….sigh

  6. United look the part don’t they? Chelsea may very well regain their mojo and storm it. But as for my team (Arsenal) I see a fight in them that will last the entire season regardless of what happens now. They may very well get knocked out of Europe by Barca but I don’t see that derailing their title push. They will fight until the end and that is maturity that will carry them through not just this season but the seasons to come.

    I just wish, Gallas and van Persie would hurry up and help us!

  7. I think most Arsenal fans see something extra in the team this season, but at the same time we are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    If I had to place a bet today it would be on United, but I’m very proud of what Arsenal has done given their youth, injuries, and all the points they lost against Chelsea and United.

    It would be one thing for this Arsenal team to have hung around all season within touching distance, but to come back from the dead twice has really impressed me.

  8. As for the title race, I hope the Arse win it, because I’m sodding well tired of seeing United and Chelsea hoisting it at the end of the season.

    1. Hear, hear.

      I think an Arsenal victory this season would make things very interesting going into next season as well. Even the Gunner’s detractors must be tired of writing the same old “Arsenal is too young and inexperienced to win anything…Arsenal is trophyless since 2005” stories by now.

  9. Thank you all for the comments,

    1. Danny Salford Red – true not all united fans are cocky, but after watching the report after the game on Sky Sports News speaking to the fans who were there. It was like, well all we go to do is beat Chelsea and then its jobs then. I think that dangerous there is too many games and too much can still happen

    PS, I’m not a yank, I am an East London Cockney “Knees up mother brown” man. In English that means I am English.

    Perry – I knew I should have paid more attention in Geography :)

  10. Nice article. First off I do want to make clear I’m a United fan and can’t speak from an unbiased perspective but as a United fan if we were to lose the title from this point on I really would be extremely unhappy with United and consider it a big failure.

    I don’t think it is beyond us in any capacity to win every single last match from here on out. Chelsea might be testing but I think we will overcome them. I’d wager Chelsea are pretty much out of the equation if we overcome them.

    Arsenal will be an issue but we have practically the same games and a few toughies like Tottenham. I think we will fare better than Arsenal.

    Basically the way I feel is we will beat Chelsea who will go on to beat everybody else they play for the rest of the season. Arsenal will beat nearly everybody but struggle at City and Tottenham perhaps dropping points. We will beat everybody we play for the remainder of the season and come out on top.

    Should be a tight race but if we drop a 2 point lead with a few games remaining its going to really suck for us.

  11. Anyone who claims a team has it wrapped up is simply kidding themselves

    How many times have we said Chelsea has it wrapped up? Now United has it wrapped up? Arsenal has no chance, wait now they are the favorites…huh?

    Funny that 3 teams are now locks to win it per people

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