“New Premier League leaders Manchester United travel to Terry Conner’s Wolves this Sunday” – new leaders, same old story. Manchester City have been looking after the trophy for a while, making sure it’s polished, shining in all its glory, taking centre stage in a trophy cabinet that’s probably on pre-order – so it stands in reception, waiting for its rightful owner, the nineteen time champions Manchester United, to collect what’s rightfully theirs.
Despite United’s newly found giddiness, arrogance and ability to out gloat the noisy neighbour; they must remember nothing is won in March. Ten games left, 30 points to play for! They, the ‘experts’, say United have the easiest run-in; but, are they underestimating the fundamental nature of the Premier League? Expect the unexpected, anything can happen. Wolves, in particular, have a big part to play.
Manchester United’s away record was one of misery, anger and a lack of passion last season; one defeat in particular springs to mind against a Wolves side that were rampant in a 2-1 victory; however, this time around, Wolves are a different opposition. Terry Connor wasn’t the man for the job say the experts; ex-red Steve Bruce was “relishing the chance” of replacing Mick McCarthy and was the man the experts say should have got the job. However, Steve Morgan picked (or was just lumbered) with his man; and now he has to deal with his decision.
Wolves have something to play for, something of a hindrance to United’s title run-in, you’d rather play a mid-table side at home, they’re more likely to go down dying. Wolves aren’t just playing for three points; they’re playing for Premier League status; and, in some cases, their Premier League careers. United mustn’t be arrogant, they just have to be better. I could rummage through each fixture, analyse them the best I can and perhaps even predict a thing or two – but here’s one prediction; it’s not as easy as it makes out.
“They’ve done it before” – well, a few of them have; the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are never-ending, the talisman in Wayne Rooney, the leader in Rio Ferdinand have now been there, done that and, in last year’s case, got the stupid joker hat to prove it. However, despite the experience being a massive bonus, we must remember Manchester City have winners in their ranks; Yaya Toure in particular has a few tin pots for his collection.
We underestimated Blackburn, Basel, Benfica and, recently, Bilbao. Look what happened? We lost. I don’t want to put a downer on a fantastic run of form, I’m sorry for that. The experts also say the game will be decided on April 30th when both Manchester clubs collide. I’m not so sure, the fixtures in between will have massive significance. Are we favourites? Of course we are, and rightfully so; but ask the Manchester City board back in August about being one point behind United with ten games to go? They’d bite your hand off. And then buy you a new one.
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