The vacuum left by Liverpool’s demise has created space for contenders; the biggest ones are Manchester City with their billions and Tottenham Hotspurs.
There is no doubt that Tottenham are on the rise, but Manchester United seem to have fallen behind as the debt of the Glazer family has been piled on the club. Recent events mean that off the pitch events are hitting the headlines.
Wayne Rooney has been the main villain in the saga that illustrates United’s problem. They cannot afford to buy big names when they are paying $80m a year in debt repayments.
We might have a situation of Wayne who? A young man called Chicharito Hernandez has stolen the heart of Man United fans who always loved Rooney, he can slot into the void left by Rooney who is still not mentally ready to play.
Flesh injuries are one thing, but how do you cure a mental breakdown? That is going to be Sir Alex’s biggest problem, getting Rooney mentally fit and clicking with a strike partner. A slightly more pressing problem is the defence, they are leaking too many goals of later and they were lucky to win at Stoke.
Spurs at last have true world class quality up and down the team, Rafael Van Der Vaart is scintillating, Modric is steady-steady, Huddleston is quality but their biggest asset of late is Gareth Bale.
Bale is just a monster, he had power, pace, dribbling ability, shooting ability and can walk through a brick wall. Spurs will struggle to keep hold of him in the summer but Spurs fans know what a moody player he can be, for 3 years he frustrated us fans with lack of commitment and sulking but in January last year he was reborn.
Man United has faltered against weaker teams, West Brom, and even Stoke so they need a clean sheet to restore confidence and believe they are actually contenders. Chelsea will be at the back of their minds because they are a ruthless machine that is just crushing opponents.
Berbatov has lost form since his early exploits, Rooney is AWOL and Owen is his usual injured self. Chichalito is the hero they have been waiting for, very small and agile, creative and instinctive. The question is whether the midfield and defence can hold up, the age of Scholes and Giggs is starting to show.
Spurs will be confident going into the game, even though they lack goals upfront with Crouch unable to score but is causing damage, Defoe is injured, Keane is off form but in Van Der Vaart they have class personified.
The spurs defence is even more fragile than Man U’s, Ledley King is out, Michael Dawson is out, and Kaboul and Gallas are not an established partnership but are doing well.
Spurs will have a good balance in the middle, Huddleston will shield the back and pass it well, Lennon will pose a threat with pace, Modric ticks it along, and Bale is the power.