EPL: Forget about retaining title

EPL: Forget about retaining title
Manchester United's Danny Welbeck (R) scores past Norwich City's John Ruddy.

Manchester United have propelled themselves into sixth place in the Premiership with the 1-0 win over Norwich City last Saturday.

While the Red Devils (34 points) are just eight points behind Arsenal, who lead the league with 42 points after beating Newcastle 1-0 on Sunday, I am still not convinced that they can retain their title this season.

Yes, David Moyes' men have won their last four league matches without injured striker Robin van Persie.

The defending champions were also without Wayne Rooney against Norwich, although he should be fit to face Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday morning (Singapore time).

But, despite their winning streak, I have not seen the trademark consistency of past United teams.

Unimpressive displays

On Boxing Day, Hull City were 2-0 up against them and enjoyed the best of the play despite allowing the visitors to equalise, before an unfortunate own goal by James Chester sealed the win for the Devils.

The same thing happened in the Norwich game last Saturday - the Canaries pounded David de Gea's goal before Danny Welbeck went on to score his fourth goal in his last five games.

It's not like United are playing well and not getting the results - in the first half against Norwich Javier Hernandez was marooned up front alone.

The likes of Ryan Giggs, Shinji Kagawa, Ashley Young, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley couldnot get the ball to the Mexican in the absence of van Persie and Rooney.

And speaking about Kagawa - I like him, but he was anonymous against Norwich out on the left.

He looks much more comfortable playing with Rooney and van Persie and, without the two strikers on the field, the Japanese looked lost.

You may say that luck often plays a big part in a champion's campaign, but United can't be riding on Lady Luck all the time.

They will need to show their mettle, with tough games coming up against Spurs (Thursday), Chelsea ( Jan 19) and Arsenal (Feb 19).

I don't think Moyes can win a Premiership title in his first season in charge at Old Trafford, but he will be happy with a top-four finish.

This is a season of transition for the Scot and he will have a clearer idea of the reinforcements he needs in May.

We may see some major changes by then - RyanGiggs and Rio Ferdinand are not getting any younger.

I have been saying for 18 months that Patrice Evra is getting found out at left back.

He is great going forward and gets important goals sometimes for his team, but his primary role is in defence and he is letting opposing attackers run rings around him.

Moyes sorely needs to buy a creative midfielder when the transfer window opens next month.

Even if Moyes gets his man, the title is beyond him and his team in transition.


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