Date: 6th November 2006 at 5:01pm
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Sir Alex Ferguson has raised a point about our title capabilities which I still doubt despite our fine start (I’m a born pessimist, that’s all). The Scot thinks our experienced trio can be vital to our challenge. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville share 1701 appearances and 20 titles between them and begun the season in fantastic form. They can make the difference this time, Fergie insists.

‘They’re great players and they’ve done it all,’ he told MUTV. ‘I think, when the bit comes to the bit, if we’re in a challenging position next April, these are the players that have been there before and they’ll guide us through.’

It’s an interesting thought and one thing is certainly true. No other players from the top-four teams contributed to winning a proper title race. Arsenal’s Ljungberg, Henry, Lauren, TourĂ© and Gilberto Silva came closest to it but they’ve collapsed under pressure in 2003 – the year of the last real contest for the Premiership crown. In the 3 subsequent years, the eventual winners were allowed to walk away with it.

So this really could be an advantage, knowing how resolutely this trio persevered in 1996, 1999 or 2003 when they’ve reserved their finest displays of the respective seasons for the most important games. But to be honest, I still fear that we might collapse once again and thus Chelsea would be allowed to run away into the distance.

Lads, please, keep up the good work, it will reap huge benefits to be in a challenging position at the end. After all, we all saw how Frank Lampard had performed under pressure this summer…