Can Manchester United Beat Everyone

Posted on April 23, 2011

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Manchester United lack a creative player in the centre of the field. Their defines lacks depth and the backup players lack consistency. They are over-reliant on agony players and, especially in the case of Edwin Van Der Sar, they have no clear replacement. They have only 5 away league wins, and, if they win it, will do so with the fewest victories away from home since the sixties. That they are leading the Premier League and remain the only English team in the Champions League is more the sign of weakened competitors than any commanding presence.

That is the case against United. And while there are some valid points to be made, the argument doesn’t stack up. In particular, the claim that it is the hard-fought draws, like the one against Newcastle, that have typified their season. The stats don’t lie, say the detractors. I agree, but the fastest way to come to a bad conclusion is to look at one stat to the exclusion of the others. So here’s my counter:

Man Utd can beat everyone this year. A win against Everton today and they will have beaten every Premier League team at least once. They’ve also beaten teams like Crawley, Scunthorpe and Southampton in the cups and at least one victory in the CL against each of Rangers, Valencia, Bursaspor and Marseille.

It’s far from an inevitable statistic. To keep it up until the end of the season they’d need to firstly beat Everton, and then either lose on aggregate but win a leg of the semi final against Schalke or go on to win against whichever of the Spanish behemoths makes it to the final. But, even more so then the ‘undefeated’ tag being bandied around earlier this season, achieving this would show that, for all their faults, this is not a team that gets draws.

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Posted in: Man Utd