Though there are nine games still remaining to end the 2012-2013 English Premier League season, it’s a matter of when and not if Manchester United would be crowned champions for 20th time.
The Red Devils are now 15 points ahead of the second-placed and city rivals, Manchester City and given the vulnerability of the opposition to lose even more games, the title is United’s to lose.
United’s rivals have been so weak to mount a serious challenge for the title in a league assumed by many to be the toughest in Europe and possibly the world.
The champions Man City as well as Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal have once again showed that Sir Alex Ferguson is the master of the English game.
The quartet are fighting amongst themselves for the remaining three Champions League spot, while United have the luxury to concentrate on doing a league and FA Cup double if they can overcome Chelsea in their FA cup replay on April 1.
The difference for United over the years has been Ferguson, who enjoys unmatched coaching skills especially the ability to shape players consistently.
Many average players have come to old Trafford and Ferguson has made them top players. The likes of Tom cleverly, Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra and Danny Welbeck have all become top players at old Trafford.
Fergie’s men are the only team that has been consistent all season.
United attacking style has produced more goals than any of their rivals, and even last season when they finished as runners up, they pushed City up to the last minute.
In the lucrative Uefa Champions League, United fell to Real Madrid in the round of 16 and even though Fergie’s team were reduced to 10 men after Nani was controversially sent off, they still put on a brave fight until the final whistle.
Unlike Man United, their rivals for the EPL title seem to have problems in their technical and tactical areas.
The likes of Roberto Mancini, RAFA Benitez, Arsene Wenger and to a lesser extent, Andre-Villa Boas have underperformed all season. The four managers have been reliant on individual star players to win them so many matches and not from their game plan.
Last weekend’s home loss to Fulham showed how far AVB still has to prove himself a top manager in the Premier League. Tottenham has been flying high with successive wins against some top teams and with an impressive form in the Europa League.
Against London rivals, AVB chose to rotate his squad. Aaron Lennon did not feature for Spurs in that game for unknown reason with left back defender Essou-Ekoto replacing him in the attack.
This gave Fulham manager Martin Jol, who was sacked by Spurs not so long ago, the chance to focus on the threat from Gareth Bale. The Dutchman had his revenge with a 1-0 win.
Now Spurs seem to be losing steam in the race for third place and could even miss out on fourth and qualifying for the Champions League as Arsenal are just four points behind albeit with a game in hand on their rivals.
Another manager, who has underachieved this season, is Man City’s Machini, who has suffered consecutive early Champions’ League exit despite having probably the biggest squad in the Premier League.
City have world class good players but Manchini has failed to coordinate them well to produce the best results for the club, which sooner rather than later could cost him the job, and he knows.