Captain's blog: Smart money would be on Manchester United for next season's title (From Falmouth Packet)
Captain's blog: Smart money would be on Manchester United for next season's title
The Captain, has been accused of being anti-Manchester United in this column, following some heavy criticism of Rio Ferdinand in recent weeks.
So this week's article will come as a pleasant surprise to supporters of the Red Devils as it looks rather favourably on their club.
Considering that pre-season has kicked off in the past week, I thought I'd take a look at the title odds for the 2012/13 Premier League.
And while I have picked Manchester United as the better bet, I would point out that it hasn't been done to placate any readers. The Captain isn't anti-Manchester United. He just finds Rio Ferdinand relentlessly annoying. The fact that he has a close association with United is unfortunate, for Manchester United and me.
However, back to the Premier League season. Depending on where you look, the bookies have Manchester City as slight favourites at 6/5, with Manchester United at 9/4 and Chelsea at 9/2.
As I said before, the smart money would be on Manchester United. The club has always managed to bounce back well after losing the title. I remember when they lost the crown to Arsenal back in 1998, the following season Alex Ferguson's side went onto win the treble.
They also managed to bounce back from the 2002 title loss to win the Premier League in 2003. Admittedly, following that, the club did go on a baron run where they didn't win the Premier League crown for three seasons, but I feel they have the players and focus not to let that happen this time around.
It was only on Friday that Ferguson came out and said that he was making the Premier League title his number one priority.
It is refreshing to see Ferguson say that. I think it will stand them in good stead, because I have a feeling that Manchester City will have one eye on the Champions League and that could prove their downfall.
They will also need to keep the likes of Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez happy if they are not playing regularly. And with Robin Van Persie and others expected to arrive that could happen. Man City boss Roberto Mancini struggled to keep them happy last campaign and I see that happening once more.
As for backing Chelsea to win the title, I just can’t see it. Yes they had a good end to last season and they will definitely finish in the top four but, like City, they will have the same problems they had last season. Chelsea still have an ageing side. Didier Drogba has also gone. He was arguably their best player in the run in.
I also see the Blues coming unstuck in the big games. Yes they may have won the Champions League last season by getting men behind the ball, but that they were lucky. It is not the way to win matches.
If they adopt that policy in the games against the top four this season, they will lose more than they win against the better sides.