After Manchester United’s narrow victory over Arsenal, many observers are claiming that the champions’ bid to retain their title is definitely ‘back on’.
However, the deficiencies which have plagued United so far this season were not eradicated by that one victory over a title rival.
The comical mantra of ‘ca’m down, ca’m down’ may belong to Harry Enfield’s famous TV scousers, but those of a red Mancunian persuasion, would do well to heed the advice from these cheeky chappies from up the road.
Just imagine for a minute, if Arsenal had prevailed at Old Trafford. Forget the knives coming out for David Moyes, Samurai swords would have been somewhere near it.
Nevertheless, that Robin van Persie goal from a corner settled the matter and now Man United’s odds to retain their title have shrunk to 19/5 from a dizzying distance of 8/1 just a week or so ago, off the back of it.
Obviously, United winning at all costs was imperative to their hopes of retaining the title, because 10/3 shots Arsenal opening an 11-point gap even at this early stage, would have been almost unassailable – so credit to Moyes’ side is deserved.
To paper over the cracks and say that they are right back in the mix at this point, however, is merely a typical overreaction, seemingly reserved only for the fickle nature of football.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson parted ways with the club, the aura surrounding the Red Devils has virtually evaporated with the Scot moving on and we’ve already seen teams like West Brom coming to Old Trafford and winning.
They still lack the right balance in midfield, where Shinji Kagawa was again marooned and ineffective off the left against Arsenal, while Michael Carrick needs someone with more guile than Phil Jones operating alongside him.
The Gunners had 60 per cent of possession at Old Trafford and could easily have escaped with at least a point.
This United team are far from firing on all cylinders and are still devoid of creativity apart from the insatiable Wayne Rooney.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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