Can we get our title back?

21 Jul

It’s over two months since Sergio Aguero rifled in his last minute winner against QPR to send the title to Eastlands. But still, few of us can bare to talk about it at all. It was the cruelest way to lose a title, especially to your inner city rivals. However, I think that we can all agree that over the course of the season, Manchester City deserved it. They played some amazing football at times, as did we. They just had that strength in depth that we sometimes lacked, in particular the midfield. They had the money to splash in the summer beforehand, and boy did they splash it. We also splashed the cash a bit, signing David De Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young. But we didn’t address our biggest problem, midfield. We can only imagine how last season could have gone for us, both domestically and in Europe, if we had signed Wesley Sneijder or Luka Modric. It was a hinder throughout last season, even following Paul Scholes’ return in early January, and something Manchester City exploited in both Premier League derbies. Thankfully, Sir Alex has finally recognized the problem, signing Japanese international Shinji Kagawa and Crewe wonderkid Nick Powell. With constant reports linking us with the likes of Modric, Moutinho and Lucas, it seems Sir Alex wants to improve our midfield further. I believe any one of those three could make our midfield match Manchester City’s and Chelsea’s, therefore giving us a much better chance at winning back the Premier League. Without signing another midfielder, which is also very likely, I still think that we would have a better chance this time around, but would still be lacking enough quality in the middle of the park. Compare Michael Carrick, a good, holding midfielder that can’t get a game for England, to the power and pace of Yaya Toure or the skill and creativity of Eden Hazard. He just doesn’t match up.

I do think that Shinji Kagawa is going to be huge for us this year, though. He was very impressive against Ajax Cape Town in pre-season recently, and he will make a massive difference going forward this season. The problem last season was scoring goals, however, it was keeping them out at the other end. We missed our skipper, Nemanja Vidic, beyong belief last season. It is no coincidence that we were playing such amazing football at the start of the season when he was fighting fit. Him returning will strengthen the side on on whole instantly, and make us much more secure at the back. Our chances next season do not just relay on us, though. A huge factor will be how Manchester City and Chelsea strengthen also. City will undoubtedly buy players. They have been linked with last season’s top scorer Robin Van Persie and Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel so far this summer. Surprisingly, it is not Manchester City who worry me, it’s Chelsea. Coming off the back of a Champions League and FA Cup win last season, they will be brimming with confidence. After a fantastic showing at EURO 2012, Fernando Torres will also be ready to score some goals too. With a rock solid defence, creative midfield and top class attack including the EURO 2012 golden boot winner, only a fool would begrudge Chelsea the chance to be seen as title contenders. Coupled with the fact that they have already signed two of Europe’s hottest properties in Eden Hazard and Marko Marin, as well as Brazilian wonderkid Oscar, they will certainly not be lacking up front.Perhaps my biggest worry is that our current side lacks confidence. Shinji Kagawa, despite a successful time in Germany, has never played in the Premier League and will surely take time to reach his full potential in our game. But Nick Powell, who Sir Alex has confirmed will be part of his first team plans for the upcoming season, has only ever played in League Two. No matter how much the boy gets compared with Cristiano Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney, they both came from respectable leagues and teams, Nick hasn’t. I feel that he will take a lot longer to develop in his first year than most people realise.

Overall, I think that we should probably be classed as joint favourites for the league this season, along with Manchester City. If we can keep Vidic fit for the majority, then I don’t believe there’s a team in the country better than us. With a Wayne Rooney at his peak, Antonio Valencia’s speed and power down the right, Shinji Kagawa’s creativity and skill in the middle, and Nemanja Vidic’s no nonsense defending at the back, I think that we can not only challenge for the Premier League, but the Champions League and FA Cup too! #GGMU

    

      

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