Manchester United Riots: 2-Horse Race Emerging for the Premier League Title?
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Ok, we are only four games into the season and for many, it is too soon to be developing conclusions as where the Premier League trophy will be by May 2012.
However, going on the basis of the games so far, there is already an increasingly substantial argument to suggest that the title will not be leaving Manchester, and that it will be more of a case of where in Manchester the holy grail of the Premiership trophy will be come the end of the season. There is plenty of evidence to suggest this too.
Before the start of the season many pundits suggested that Manchester United, for this year at least, looked in ominous form in the preseason, something which should not be read too much into.
However, Alex Ferguson has shown remarkable faith in youth and that has been reflected in his summer signings.
Phil Jones raised eyebrows when he arrived from Blackburn in a deal worth a reported £17m plus. Ferguson's faith looks as though it's going to be rewarded.
A big imposing physical presence for his age, he is perfect for the rough-and-tumble of the Premier League, although the difference between him and many other defenders of his stature is that he possesses a calmness and composure on the ball, added with a turn of pace reminiscent of a younger Rio Ferdinand.
Ashley Young provides proven premier league quality, and his performances so far suggest he relishes and excels on the big stage.
Meanwhile, in the blue half of Manchester, the dark moon certainly has been rising for some time now, and with their long-suffering fans having deservedly won the FA cup they are going from strength to strength, going from potential dark horses for the title to bona fide title challengers.
Whatever your opinion or resentment on the incomparable wealth available to City, it has to be said they have certainly brought in players you could place in the world-class bracket.
Having these type of players wins you trophies. The long, protracted eventual capture of Samir Nasri, and the eye-watering capture of Sergio Aguero, has shown that City have a team capable of domestic success and respectability in the Champions League, especially when you consider the depth of talent at their disposal (although not necessarily happy talent).
Their squads on paper certainly do nothing to discourage fans of both Manchester Clubs that their season could potentially end up in league success.
The start of the season has certainly confirmed for many that both will be up at the very top of the mountain that is the Premier League. Not only have they both won all of their games this season, the style and sheer ruthlessness of the results have made everyone sit up and take notice.
With goal difference separating the two teams, it seems that it has become an intercity competition to see who can humiliate their unfortunate opponents by the highest margin, with Manchester United winning this one so far.
Either way it is difficult to see whether a team can find a solution to stopping the likes of David Silva, Wayne Rooney, Chicarito and Aguero and Co. I certainly can't think of one.
Beware of Chelsea: Yes, they have not looked terribly convincing at times, especially against Stoke City and West Brom, and Fernando Torres continues to toil and sweat to no avail, but it would be criminal to rule them out completely.
With Juan Mata they finally have that class in midfield to supplement a declining but still class Lampard, as well as a vital injection of some much-needed young blood. Chelsea teams over the past few years have made something of a habit of grinding out a result if they play badly, which is still continuing.
They are two points behind the Manchester red and blue halves. A lead four times bigger than that would still not worry Chelsea, who gave Manchester United (briefly) something to think about towards the end of last season. Provided Chelsea can largely avoid their usual Christmas slump they could well be challenging for the title.
I think personally at the end of the season the Premiership trophy will be somewhere tucked away at Old Trafford (hopefully) or in the Ethiad stadium.
Although I think the improving and enduring class of Chelsea, and the new vibrant youthful exuberance of Liverpool will give the two Manchester teams something to worry about, I think both teams are in a transitional stage and it is perhaps is a little soon for the respective clubs to expect a trophy-winning season.
One thing is for certain: The Manchester derby is fast becoming the English equal to El-Clasico, and like the El-Clasico will more than likely decide the destination of the title.
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