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Manchester United Will Struggle To Retain Their EPL Title

Contributor:
Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino
Manchester United Will Struggle To Retain Their EPL Title

Two games into the new EPL season and Manchester United have registered an unconvincing 1-0 home victory and an away loss, both to newly promoted teams. While United remain title favourites for many, the reality is they may struggle to keep pace with their opponents.

How Manchester United recovered from the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo was going to go a long way in determining their title credentials, and based on their performances in the opening two matches, his departure has cost them dearly.

While some claimed it would be up to the likes of Wayne Rooney, Nani, Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov and new signings Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen to lift in the absence of Ronaldo, the reality is they are not capable of replacing a player who contributed 68 goals from the midfield in all competitions in his last two seasons and created so much spark. 

His ability to score from dead balls, his ability to attack defences with his pace from the flanks, his ability to hammer weaker EPL opponents made him formidable and makes him irreplaceable. 

How important he was to United was blatantly obvious in what they lacked in the defeat at Burnley. 

While Rooney and Berbatov need to cover Ronaldo’s scoring quota, especially with the absence of Carlos Tevez, they need the service from a midfield that at present lacks a shining light like Ronaldo, despite its impressive depth.  

As for Michael Owen, he hasn’t played at the upper echelon of European football for some years now and his history of injuries means he isn’t the striker he once was. 

With gossip increasingly linking Nemanja Vidic to Barcelona and fellow defensive stalwart Rio Ferdinand currently out injured, United’s concerns aren’t just higher up the park.  

United’s depth is being tested early. 

In fact, it is their depth that made them, for some, title favourites. 

In the middle of the park for example, there is no denying the quality of the likes of Scholes, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Anderson and Valencia, but is this combination of youth and experience able to cover Ronaldo?

Sir Alex Ferguson will be experimenting with this midfield to find the best combination as quickly as possible. 

How he must lament the inability to snap up Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema.

If their current form continues, he will have to dip into the transfer market. 

In the meantime, the 29th of August clash with the red hot Arsenal is already looming as a huge litmus test for the post-Ronaldo Manchester United.
 

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