By Rasmus Lukunka
With Two months left in the 2011/2012 Premier League season, Manchester United and Manchester City are battling for the crown. Man Utd lead City by a point at the summit. Arsenal recently powered their way to Third, overtaking their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspurs. Spurs, unlike Arsenal seem to be on a landslide, failing to register in victory in Five consecutive league games.
Each team has less than 10 Premier League fixtures left. We’ll certainly witness more twists and turns in the table standings between now and the end of the season.
Utd and City each have an opportunity to finish top of the league. Their crucial head-to-head match scheduled on the last day of April may be the title decider.
With Robin Van Persie in scintillating form, Arsenal should secure Third with little difficulty.
As far as the league table is concerned, Spurs and Chelsea are fighting for the lucrative Fourth spot. With only one of the two able to qualify for the final Champions League spot, there’s a lot more at stake, aside from revenue and prestige.
As for Man Utd, their goal is to control their destiny by wrapping up the title before the end of the season. The Old Trafford camp will maintain keen interest in the race for who takes Fourth spot in the table.
So, exactly why would this matter to Man Utd?
Recent history shows that Man Utd and Chelsea have been the most dominant teams in the Premier League over the past Seven years; Man Utd 4 – 3 Chelsea in titles. So high are the expectations that both camps will consider this season a disappointment, regardless of how they finish in the league standings. United and Chelsea want to contend for every piece of silverware. Chelsea are in contention in the FA Cup and Champions League while Man Utd’s only hope of silverware is the Premier League title.
Chelsea’s failure to secure a Top Four position will be almost as sweet as silverware to Man United because both clubs attract some of the best talents in the world. Unfortunately for Chelsea, the best players in the world want to play Champions League football.
Both clubs have been linked with world-class midfielders like Luka Modric from Spurs, Mario Goltz from Dortmond, Eden Hazard from Lille, and Ncolas Gaitan from Benfica. With perhaps Barcelona the only exception, these players would feature in the starting XI of any team in the world. Man City will be an unlikely destination for most players because of the depth in talent of the City squad; which requires a lot rotation in order to keep the stars happy. Arsenal will also be unlikely destination because of the club’s tight wage policy; leaving Chelsea and Man Utd to pick from the lot.
With that said, should Chelsea fail to secure a Top Four position their hopes of attracting top talents will be significantly reduced. Unless of course they end-up winning the Champions League this season to obtain automatic qualification in the 2012/2013 competition; which is highly unlikely considering Barcelona and Real Madrid are still in it.
In addition to Champions League football, Man Utd has a bigger advantage in terms of history and managerial stability.
There are less than 10 games left. Until then, stay tuned.
About the Author
Rasmus was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia and has been living in the United States since 1996. He’s been a keen follower of the English Premier League since its inception.Rasmus has been a contributor to OldTrafford.com since November, 2011. He has also worked with several local newspapers and sports affiliate websites to promote the game of Football(Soccer) in the United States. As a Banker for one of the largest financial institutions in the United States, Rasmus is passionate about helping individuals achieve their financial goals.