Despite Alex Ferguson's admission this weekend, after his side's 3-0 defeat against Chelsea, that his Manchester United team cannot win the title this season, many true football fans will not be taken in by the master of mind games latest comments.
Is Ferguson up to his old tricks again? It would seem so.
It's certainly true that United are not firing on all cylinders this season, despite some fantastic pre season purchases in Ruud van Nilsterooy and Sebastian Veron, but to claim that the Manchester club cannot win the title is ridiculous, especially as we have yet to reach christmas.
For anyone who thinks I am a Manchester United fan, defending the team, I can assure you I am anything but that. But I've seen far too many comebacks in football to do anything but write off United just yet.
Who can remember 4 or 5 seasons ago when Newcastle led the Premier league by 13 or 14 points AFTER CHRISTMAS!!? United eventually came back to snatch the title from Newcastle, after putting together a long unbeaten run after the new year.
Ferguson is renown for his mind games, and I see this as just another ploy from Ferguson to soften up his opponents. Although I must admit that I don't think that United will be able to turn things around this season.
They are not playing well at the moment, and unless Ferguson changes his formation, and reverts back to his tried and tested 4-4-2, I cannot see his side picking up any trophies this season.
United's situation reminds me of Liverpool's just a couple of season's ago. They had the players to win the title, but too many key players were under performing.
This is certainly the case with United this season. The sale of Jaap Stam ( For whatever reason ) was a terrible one, and even though Ferguson will never admit it, deep down he will know that he never should have sold the reliable Dutchman.
Wes Brown, although a fine player, just isn't experienced enough yet to cope with other players around him under performing.
Roy Keane has already admitted that other team mates have been carrying him this season, whilst Fabian Barthez is currently suffering the worst drop in form of his career.
Despite the problems though, I would be the last person to write off the champions, despite the fact that I would like nothing more than to see United's dominence crushed.
In the past United have been able to afford a drop in form at some point in the season, quite simply because there hasn't been a side good enough to challenge them and make them pay for their mistakes. But this season we have Liverpool, Leeds United and Arsenal, who all look as though they could maintain a serious challenge to United's crown this season.
As a Liverpool fan I would love to see the reds lift the title for the first time in 11 years, although the sale of Robbie Fowler may put a huge dent to their title challenge. Especially if Owen or Heskey are injured later in the season.
Leeds on the other hand have a magnificent squad in my opinion, and as the team gains experience together, the bigger threat they will become.
United's other major title rivals this season are Arsenal, who have a great squad but seem to be lacking that cutting edge which may bring the title back to Highbury.
In closing, I think that this season's title race is far from over, and I certainly expect Manchester United to have a say in what happens at the end of the season.
Can they get back on track and win it? Personally I don't think so, mainly because they have three quality sides to match them this season. But I certainly won't rule United out of the title race until it is mathematically impossible.
Altough utd have lost afew games, we haven't drawn many - and you have to remember that three drawn games drops you as many points as two lost ones.
Shows how a month is a long time in football.
Liverpool were 9 points ahead with 2-3 games in hand wernt they?
Oh well...poor Liverpool.
Come on the Seagulls!!
Wouldn't that be slightly messy?
> YES!!! It's over for us this season!! We can't win the league, we'll soon get
> knocked out of Europe, and we'll lose in round 3 of the FA Cup to Brighton 4-0,
> or someone lke that!!
And what's wrong with losing to Brighton? Come on the Seagulls!!
Now what exactly does this mean for or defence? Does this mean Blanc will not be dropped now?! how many natural central defenders have we got left?! I suppose Gary Neville could move back into the centre, but he has never really been reliable in that position. Keane could move back into defence, but thee were reports that he was unhappy playing in that position against Chelsea.
I dunno, but it just seems to go from bad to worse...I just hope Davind may doesnt get called back into the team...
It'll get better over the summer. Blanc will have retireed, a new manager (PLEASE!!! NOT SVEN!!!) will be incharge, and in the World Cup there'll be talent on show to splash out on for the defence.
I mean no critisism on Sir Alex, he's one of the greatest managers of all time!! He's having a bad season and I think he'll still do well away from the management side of the club.