Monday, 14 September 2009

Five reasons why Manchester United's season is clicking into place

Manchester United have proved their defeat to Burnley was merely a blip with victories over Arsenal and Tottenham. How has their season moved into top gear?


Despite the predictions that Rooney would have to fill the Cristiano Ronaldo role at United this season, the England forward has always been much more than merely the next best thing to Ronaldo.

The 23-year-old is his own man and his early season performances have underlined his determination to make that point emphatically.

Rooney has been peerless so far this campaign and his goal at Spurs on Sunday took his league tally to five in five games.


When Fletcher was singled out as one of the main victims of Roy Keane's alleged rant about his under-performing team-mates on MUTV four years ago, the Scot's Old Trafford future appeared bleak.

The United supporters had already started to give him stick from the terraces and his captain had seemingly joined in.

But Fletcher has emerged as United's number one midfielder in recent months. Missing out on the Champions League final last season highlighted his value to the team.

Against Arsenal recently, Fletcher was immense and he is almost now doing what Keane used to in the engine room.


Scholes is 35 in November and he has already suggested that this will be his last season as a player.

But the form he has displayed so far this season has been his best for years. Anderson's arrival two years ago was supposed to signal the end for Scholes, but he continues to retain his place in the team.

His experience, wonderful passing ability and winning mentality have been key factors in United's resurgence following the defeat at Turf Moor.


United have a habit of steeling themselves in adversity following an unexpected defeat.

If nothing else, it gives Sir Alex Ferguson the opportunity to wield the big stick and dust off the hairdryer.

But losing at Turf Moor was a real low-point. Nothing went right on the night for United as Owen Coyle's promoted team out-fought, out-ran and ultimately defeated the champions.

Ferguson has admitted to questioning the commitment of his players after that defeat, but results since suggest that there are no problems in that department.


United always keep an eye on the results of Chelsea and Liverpool, but the emergence of Manchester City on their doorstep is providing added motivation.

In Ferguson's 23 years at Old Trafford, City have never held the whip-hand on United and the Scot has no intention of that changing.

Key figures such as Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney have spoken of the extra motivation brought about by City's attempt to crack the Big Four and, ironically, City's big ambitions are helping fuel United's own desire.

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