The new English Premier League season is only a week old, and as it is with every new season, the permutations have begun, to determine who has the best chance of claiming England’s ultimate prize. One team that is looming larger than the rest at the moment, is the team that looked down and out just a couple of seasons ago: Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. The Red Devils are considered the early favourites for the title and here are the reasons:
The man, Jose Mourinho. Say what you want about Mourinho, the man is a winner. He has won titles everywhere he’s been, from Portugal to England, Italy, Spain and back to England. Even last season that was considered transitional one for the Red Devils, they managed to pick up 3 trophies and found a way back into the UEFA Champions League. If anyone can instill Sir Alex Ferguson’s winning mentality back into the Manchester United team, it has to be the (arrogant) Portuguese. Now that he has had a full season under his belt, plus the pre-season he wants, this might be the season Man United kick on to the next level.
They appear to have strengthened in the right areas. Naysayers will no doubt point to the performance at the Super Cup, but no one can deny that United have done some shrewd business in the transfer window so far, and it’s not over yet. There has been much talk about Romelu Lukaku’s heavy first touch, but sixty-three goals during his time at Everton cannot be sniffed at. Then there is Nemanja Matic who was taken off Chelsea. Matic was lively against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, and was massive against West Ham United. Besides, a midfield of Matic, Pogba and Ander Herrera looks quite tasty.
The stronger squad means less likely dropped points, which should translate to a higher finish. Champion, maybe? Manchester United dropped so many points from winnable matches last season. The 15 draws they played was the most in the Premiership. Conversely, they lost only five matches; same as Champions Chelsea. Only Spurs, with four losses, lost less than both. This term, they will likely take care of that weakness.
United (look to) have unrivaled squad depth. Even with all their struggles last season, it was widely agreed that Man Utd had one of the deepest squads in the league. Aside from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they have not lost any of their main players. They have added three players of potentially awesome quality, and there is competition all over the pitch. Of the top sides in England, United look like they have the squad best equipped to effectively challenge on four fronts.
Of course, a lot of variables go into a successful campaign and a lot could change in the course of the season. Manchester United were tentative against Real, but they appear to have done the right things and at this point they look like the team to beat in England.