Date: 29th August 2007 at 12:30pm
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I just love it when people start to doubt and write off Manchester United. Will they never learn?

It seems no. First, it was Arsene Wenger who expressed his beliefs about the problems Fergie would face this season.

‘United have spent a lot of money and again the question is how will they all click, coming into a team who are champions.

‘Logically you expect them to be stronger and I think they will be. But there will be more competition for places and sometimes that can also take something away from the players.’


That is, of course, true. He’s got a point. But his comments about Nani and Anderson – well, read them before I say anything.

‘They are players for this season. They were both regulars for their teams in Portugal. They are not teenagers so if you are a special talent, you need to play at that age.’

First, dear Arsene, Anderson was born in April 1988, so he is indeed a teenager. Secondly, who says they won’t play? Ole retired, Saha’s injuries are unbelievable and Giggs will be 34 this November. They will have plenty of chance to shine – and they know that. I’m not worried about Nani and Anderson being unhappy because of lack of playing time.

But as I said, at least the words of the Frenchman carried some of the truths, some of the problems we could face. John Terry, however, is shooting his mouth off after only four games. Typical Chelsea overconfidence? It seems.

‘I would have expected United to have started a bit better but a lot of clubs have bought really well over the summer. Five points is a hell of a gap to have this early on.,’ the Daily Mail quotes the Chelsea captain.

‘It’s going to be difficult for United.’

If I remember correctly, we were all told in January that our six-point lead will be nothing when Chelsea finally click. So having a five-point gap in August is worse than a six-point gap in January? Strange logic.

He expressed his belief that the absence of Rooney and Ronaldo was costly for us. Wow. Genius. I would never have thought of that.

‘Maybe they’re missing that spark, especially with Rooney and Ronaldo out,‘ he said.

‘They’re a great counter-attacking team, always dangerous, but they’re missing those two.’

Nothing special there but his next lines made me laugh, they were incredible.

‘What’s encouraging for me is that we’ve got this gap and we haven’t been playing at our best,’ he said.

‘Over a season, it’s not possible to play pretty football every week and do everything right. There are going to be times when you have to win the battle first.’

When they will realise that this is indeed their best? Throughout last season we’ve been hearing nothing else from Chelsea but how great they are for not performing at their best but picking up points. They DO perform at their best when they pick up lucky 1-0 wins week after week. That’s what they are best at.

It’s not possible to play pretty football every week, that’s true. But for Chelsea, it’s possible to play ugly football every week – and I meant no offence, for I believe that’s their greatest strength. They are at their very best now.

And in that sense he’s right that the win against Portsmouth showed their quality.

‘By all accounts, United should have beaten Portsmouth away but they only picked up a point. Pompey deserved something against us on Saturday but they got nothing. That shows our quality.

They played woefully at home against a team which we had absolutely outplayed on its own turf – one might say it’s a strange way to show their quality. But I repeat, Terry’s right: they win when they play badly. When they play well, they do not win, usually. It’s hard to support this argument, for it’s hard to remember Chelsea playing well at all.

Hopefully, Terry will agree that our own lucky win against Spurs shows a great quality, too. But we’ll really have to find our best form, unlike Chelsea, who have already found it.