It’s been a smooth start for Manchester United, a hundred percent record, yet to concede a goal, it’s been all smooth sailing thus far. United, in all the three games they have played so far have looked a level above their opponents. The domination has been immense, so much so that it makes one wonder if they are in all reality too strong for the Premier League this season?
While it’s only three games in and possibly a bit too early in the season to judge any team, this seems one of the stronger Manchester United sides of the last eight years or so. The relentlessness is pretty evident in the way the team has played so far, the urge to kill off teams, to score more, pretty much everything that you see in the title winning sides and pretty much everything that’s been missing from this side for a few years now.
The argument gathers pace if one has a look at the sides in and around Manchester United. Picking up from the transfers the top six Premier League sides have made this summer, the side from Manchester would perhaps be the winners of that race. Manchester City have been the highest spenders this season and have assembled an impressive roster themselves but the visible lack of Premier League experience seems to be somewhat of a downside. Add to that the lack of suitable defensive options for manager Pep Guardiola is sure to be a headache for the team management. The likes of Bernardo Silva, Mendy, Ederson, Danilo and Walker sure aren’t bad signings but with the exception of Walker lack any sort of Premier League experience. Compare that to their local rivals’ imports of Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, Victor Lindelof and the resigning of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three of whom have had plenty of Premier League action under their belt. The impact of the likes of Matic and Lukaku in the opening three fixtures goes on to establish this very fact. United have had three wins in three, all pretty straight forward, compare that to City’s, who have struggled to break down sides and haven’t had it all their way.
As fans watching the game, we’ve been hearing it all our lives as to how great teams have their bases covered, United, from what one can see have it all covered. Three clean-sheets in three, the defense looks organized with new signing Matic screening the back four. We’re possibly entering into an era where the back three system is getting more and more popular among the Premier League managers. Mourinho, on the other hand, has so far managed to do well with a back four. Jones, Bailly, Lindelof, and Smalling provide decent options in the center at the back. Compare that with Liverpool’s strength at the back and you cannot help but feel that the Merseysiders are bound to concede, something that was evident in their opening fixture.
The fixture list is vital when comes to how a club’s season will shape up month by month. Manchester United, by all means, have a suitable start to their season, three wins out of three and their first big game of the season against Liverpool, is still a good month away. That gives the side and the manager the chance to get their signings to ease into the squad. The performances from the new signings though suggest that they’ve pretty much eased in already. Lukaku and Matic have been excellent, Mkhitaryan and Martial’s form has so far been a bonus for Mourinho’s side.
The start so far has been reminiscent of all Jose Mourinho’s sides of the past. His Chelsea sides of the past, or his Inter and Real Madrid sides, he’s a manager who likes to have a good start. Jose’s men have not been the best when it comes to playing catch-up in the points table but have time and again proved difficult to get hold off once in the driver’s seat. Add to that his record of winning leagues in his second season with different clubs, something that goes on to show that the man knows how to win titles and the start that United have had is not something unconventional but a part of the plan.
The Premier League for years now has been one of the most interesting leagues in the World and quite uniquely providing entertainment on a weekly basis. However, one thing that’s been frequent is the lack of challenge from the chasers to the side in lead. Chelsea last season, Leicester in 2016, Chelsea in 2015, United in 2013 were all pretty clinical champions and while there was some sort of pressure from the sides below, they were never really close. Myself being neutral to this league, can’t help but think something similar happening this season too. The competition may have increased but to find a side that can consistently do it week in week out it’s really tough to look past Manchester United this season. The side that does comes close as far as organization and player quality goes is probably Chelsea but a below-par transfer market which precisely means a squad thin on numbers will find it very challenging to defend their title.
We see it pretty often in the Bundesliga wherein Bayern Munich smash the league altogether and are Champions by the end of April while the three-four well-matched sides finish below them. I see the same happening in the Premier League this season. Manchester United, at this moment in time, seem superior to the others and should be comfortable league winners. This to many fans would seem a bit far- fetched and football being the game it is might surprise me as it has done on numerous occasions in the past. United after the break could well end up losing to Stoke and could well have a difficult season but that all seems too far-off for now. Manchester United remain my unassailable Premier League favorites.