Although many of us did not expect to see the league table shaping up with United lagging behind Chelsea and Liverpool, with hull breaking briefly into the top 4, it has still been a season full of highs and lows for the reigning champions of Europe and England.
With sporadic injuries, and widespread transfer speculation, United’s season has not had the best of starts with a nervy win in the community shield against Pompey, a draw at home to Newcastle, and a bitter defeat at Anfield, ending with United near the relegation zone, United have seen better days.
However, a 10 match unbeaten streak seeing United picking up points at Stamford bridge and Goodison park, saw the champions regain there former swagger, with Cristiano Ronaldo back from injury, and former spurs striker, Dimitar Berbatov, winding his way to Old Trafford, the reds were soon back in the top 4.
Apart from the Bulgarian superstar signing a four-year contract, not a lot is the answer. The theatre of dreams however can be compared to a dormant volcano, one minute there is nothing, then an explosion arrives, and this year it is in the form of young Brazilian wing back, Rafael Pereira da Silva, bought from Fluminense along with his brother Fabio.
Rafael made his full premier league debut against Newcastle, where he was, to say the least, “sensational” – (Sir Alex Ferguson). Rafael’s agility down the wing, superb timing and shooting, and his Brazilian flair make him a star find, and one to look for in the future.
“It was a real eye opener for us,” said a beaming Sir Alex. “He hadn’t played for a year but he’s played a full 90 minutes today. You know what football is like. Sometimes it turns up some star, a little nugget maybe. On the evidence of tonight I think we’ve got a good player here.”
United are going through a hard spell of injuries at the moment with many of our experienced international players watching the games on the sidelines. The list Includes Paul Scholes, Owen Hargreaves, and Wes Brown, who will be out for some considerable time yet due to a reoccurrence of old injuries.
However, more recently, Dimitar Berbatov is expected to be out for a couple of days after recovering from a hamstring injury picked up on international duty. Although he will not be fit to play against city, but with a return to training just this week, he should be back for carling cup action against Blackburn. Rio Ferdinand is also recovering from a reoccurring back injury, which he is trying to shrug off before the City game, and hopefully he will be fully fit to maintain our defence against a somewhat fortunate City.
Luckily, these problems do not extend to the pitch, however our lack of attacking potency against a strong villa side, seems to suggest that the return of the Bulgarian international might be a welcome change, and reinforcement to the squad.
This year, I believe we have the team that could not only rival 1999, but is the strongest United side in history. With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, and Carlos Tevez, goals should come thick and fast, with assistance from a very prominent midfield who’s passing football is simply sublime, and who’s pace on the wings is better than any in the premier league. Plus with the defensive core like a rock, United can go nowhere this season but up. Get ready for another nail-biting year, with expectations sky high, but with skill even higher. Treble here we come!
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