The pressure is telling on Manchester United
Manchester United are beginning to show signs that the pressure Chelsea are heaping on them is getting to them. That, mixed with the loss of Nemanja Vidic and the lack of a replacement for Hanrik Larsson, is starting to tell on United with unforced errors costing them badly.
While the Londoners seem to be growing in strength as the season goes on, Man U are beginning to look tired. The free-flowing attacking football so in evidence earlier this season is now only showing in fits and starts. With Chelsea still to face and Roma ahead in the Champions League, talk of a repeat of 1999's treble has become muted.
The likes of Kieran Richardson and Darren Fletcher have shown themselves to be nowhere near good enough for a title-chasing side. United clearly need to strengthen a number of areas - right back, left wing, central midfield and striker being the obvious ones. After the last couple of games you also have to question whether Edwin van der Sar is still good enough to be the first choice goalkeeper. Maybe it is time for Ben Foster to take over next season.
In defence I think Ferguson could sort out a lot of problems by bringing Evra back and moving Heinze over to centre back and dropping John O'Shea back to the bench where he belongs. The trouble with O'Shea is not a lack of ability, but a problem with his attitude, he is too laid back. That would be fine if Man United did not already have one laid-back defender in Rio Ferdinand. Rio needs aggressive players around him to make up for his lack of aggression, to allow him to just play his game to the full.
United do have a couple of things very firmly in their favour in the title race, games are fast running out and they have a massively superior goal difference. Whether that is enough to break Chelsea's stranglehold on the Premier League is a different matter.
Article written by Tris Burke