Manchester United 2011-12 vs 2007-08: Could We See a Repeat?
The English Premier League is underway and it should be another exciting season of football. The reigning champions, Manchester United, look to defend their title against an onslaught of teams vying for a chance at the top spot in English football.
Manchester United looks to be in fine form to start the season, rattling off three wins in its first three games in the Premier League. That includes an 8-2 dismantling of rival club Arsenal a week ago.
So how does the 2011-2012 Manchester United club look when compared to the 2007-2008 Premier League Champion Red Devil squad? Let's take a look.
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The '07-'08 Manchester United squad started its campaign dreadfully slow, with a draw to both Portsmouth and Reading followed by a loss to crosstown rival Manchester City. The team then clawed its way back with eight straight wins to take over first place in the Premier League table.
Things could not be any more different for the '11-'12 Red Devils. It appears as though Manchester United hasn't lost a step since last season's title run. This year's squad has started the season off with three wins in as many games, with a dominating 8-2 victory against Arsenal.
If the '07-'08 team can come back from a three-game slide to start the year, United must be feeling good about its title hopes, starting the year with three convincing victories.
Disappointment in Domestic Competitions
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Despite the success that the 2007-2008 Manchester United team had in the Premier League that year, the squad failed to perform well in domestic competitions such as the F.A. Cup and the Carling Cup.
That year the Red Devils were ousted from both competitions before the final match. The team lost in the sixth round of the F.A. Cup to Portsmouth, the eventual winners. They also lost to lowly Coventry City in the third round of the Carling Cup.
The 2010-2011 squad seems to be following suit. United lost in a crushing defeat at the hands of West Ham in the fifth round of the Carling Cup. They didn't win the F.A. Cup either, losing to Manchester City in a close match in the semifinal match.
Manchester United will look to redeem their disappointing effort in the domestic cups by winning the Premier League title this season.
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The '07-'08 Manchester United team had a bona fide superstar in Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star scored 31 goals in 31 games in Premier League action that season. He led the team to numerous victories and was absolutely sensational.
The '11-'12 Man U squad does not seem to have a superstar of the caliber of Ronaldo. Although Wayne Rooney does have 5 goals in 5 games for the Red Devils thus far, I do not see him keeping up this scoring rate. Rooney is not likely to score another trifecta, which he did against Arsenal.
Rooney does have the talent to score 30-plus goals in the Premier League season. If he can keep scoring like he has, Manchester United has a good chance of repeating the success of the 2007-2008 championship team.
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In 2007-2008, Manchester United narrowly won the Premier League title. They held off Chelsea by two points and were over third-place Arsenal by four points. The league leader seemed to change until the last two months of the season, when Manchester United held on firmly to the first place standing.
This year may be no different from '07-'08 in terms of competition. Man U's cross-town rivals, Manchester City, look to be in fine form, winning all of their first three games convincingly. United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has also recently said that he believes Chelsea is a threat to his team's title defense.
Liverpool may also sneak up on clubs in the Premier League this season, as they look to be improved from last season. Either way, Manchester United will need to stay focused throughout the season if they want to stave off the competition and repeat as Premier League Champions.