Football Special Report: Previewing Manchester United before the start of the season

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Football Special Report: Previewing Manchester United before the start of the season
Manchester United blew up a golden chance last season to win the Premier League for the fourth time in a row; a feat that no other team has ever achieved. Along with that, one more Premier League title will see them become the most successful team in English football history, as currently they are tied on 18 titles with Liverpool.
This season, United are going into the season with a new belief and determination, as this will surely be the last season for the golden generation of Manchester United and the likes of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
Sir Alex Ferguson has not made any stellar statements throughout the transfer season and all he has bought is 2 strikers in Bebe and Chicarito for 7 million pounds and a central defender Cris Smalling from Fulham for the same amount of money.
On the looks of things, United may have undiscovered a goldmine in Javier Hernandez, since signing for the Red Devils; the ‘little pea’ just cannot stop scoring. He scored a magnificent goal for his country in the round of 16 match at the world cup against Argentina and so far in 5 appearances for United has already scored 4 times and also scored for his country against Spain in the midweek international friendly.
So with Wellbeck and Mame Biram Diouf out on loan, Chicharito will be the 8th striker in United’s ranks and will form a the part of a young trio with Macheda and Bebe.
United’s attack should be self sufficient this season in terms of goals but the Community Shield last weekend once again gave the world a glaring reminder that there is still some football left in the old legs of Paul Scholes. At the age of 35 and in a midfield of players 10 years younger than him, he was still able to boss the game for United and win the man of the match.
How much can Sir Alex extract out of his veterans like Scholes and Giggs, will be the deciding factor of whether United will win their 19th Premier League title this season or not.
Ryan Giggs has had a glittering career and is the premier League player with most assists in the 19 year history of the competition with 91 assists. Only Lampard with 81 and Gerrard with 79, are close but Giggs can go on and become the only Player in the Premier League history to give 100 assists this season and for that, his manager needs him to utilize him in very shrewdly.
Other than Giggs and Scholes, the United midfield is looking the same old with Carrick, Fletcher and Park, the usual suspects in the centre of the midfield.  While Nani and Valencia showed, signs last season that they have true potential and can blossom into sublime talents under the tutelage of Alex Ferguson.
Nani still have to make the final step from being a good player in patches to a world class performer day in and day out and if he does so, United will be unstoppable this season.
Ferguson has time and again said this season that he has faith in his current players and there is not much room for doubt there, as there is no department in his team that is in desperate need of reinforcements.
United will have however; pay some attention to their back four. Neville is old now and cannot be banked upon giving spectacular performances day after day. Rafael is still inexperienced and although he is mesmeric to watch when going forward but still has to learn to tackle. Vidic and Rio will be as good as any in the world, if Rio somehow stays fit, while Evra will again be his marauding best on the left flank.
Whether United can take the title back from Chelsea or not, will entirely depend on the strength of their back 4 and to some extent on Berba pulling through. If Rio stays fit and Berbatov converts half the chances that he missed last season, there will be no stopping United.



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