As the top two teams currently in the Premier League, Manchester United and Manchester City both have very solid All-Star teams. With this popularity comes a lot of doubt on whether or not teams can win with this level of talent.
Both teams have their own issues that factor into their seasons' performance and finish. For Manchester United, it comes in the form of not letting this much talent go to their head, a new keeper's transition to the EPL, staying healthy and consistency from their top players.
For Manchester City, the factors include finishing with a win in big games against big opponents, mending relationships between staff and players, keeping a level head throughout the whole season, making better decisions with management and the biggest factor is to improve consistency and finishing on top.
Wayne Rooney is arguably one of the best players in soccer right now, but he can still be unreliable at times. Rooney always seems to go on hot streaks where he will do amazing things like the bicycle kick that was seen on SportCenter's top plays for weeks. But then there is the other Wayne Rooney who is streaky and fails to score when Manchester United needs a crucial goal.
Rooney is a extremely talented player, but when he hits the point in the season when he begins to put on weight and loses the much-needed speed, Rooney begins to struggle and miss opportunities that he would normally convert on.
Manchester United is currently 4-0, and and they are hopeful towards the rest of the season as they are currently blowing teams out. But the teams they are blowing out are towards the bottom of the standings. What is going to happen when Man U plays a team like Chelsea or Manchester City? They have some tough games coming up which will be the true test of United's skills.
United has ruled the EPL for a while now, but they can't get to comfortable on top. If United begins to relax and think games will come easy, they have another thing coming to them.
United Keeper David De Gea is not the best at his position. With a top-tier team like United, De Gea is going to have to adjust to this change quickly. After being sold to Manchester United from Athletico Madrid to replace star keeper Edwin van der Sar, De Gea has some very big shoes to fill.
Only two keepers in the top five European leagues conceded more times from long-range efforts than De Gea in 2010-11. For this team, that is unacceptable De Gea is going to have to adjust his style to the EPL if he wants to be successful. Both Sir Alex Ferguson and United's goalkeeper coach Eric Steele admitted that Gea needs improvement.
It has been seen time and time again, mainly with Manchester City, that a team of All-Stars is not always successful. United has the team of All-Stars for the most part, and it will be key for them to connect if they want to see long time success. If players start going for personal glory, United could find themselves losing to some weak opponents.
United needs to keep calm and play every game they are down so that they don't throw away any games that they should win.
United players need to stay healthy throughout the season. If United starts having to look to their bench for goals, United could be in trouble. There are a lot of games in the Premier League plus, with the addition of Champions League games and others, United has to be careful not to get to stretched out over the course of the season.
United's midfield is key for their production, so keeping some of their best players on the pitch is crucial towards their success. United needs to make crucial decisions throughout the season when to rest players or start them.
Manchester City has shown time and time again that no matter how good their team is they cannot finish in big games. Every year, City has a great team on paper, and they start off the season so hot, but that fire soon fizzles out, and City is left watching other teams win big matches for the cups.
City needs to prove that they can finish on top if they want people to start taking them seriously. If City does not find a way to finish on top, there could be a change in management very soon.
Players and management are not agreeing on things, and it is being shown on the pitch most notably in Carlos Tevez. Tevez was City's leading scorer last season, and after expressing a want to return to his native country to be closer to his family, he was slammed by papers, fans and management.
Tevez decided to stay but still expresses interest in returning home. City management has removed Tevez as captain, and it has affected his performance.
Tevez who was City's leading scorer last season is without a goal this season. Clearly, something is wrong, and City needs to make some adjustments before they find this affecting other players on the pitch.
Like Manchester United, Manchester City's schedule is going to get a lot harder. There are a lot of tough opponents this season such as Chelsea, Manchester United, Newcastle and Liverpool. City has to be very careful to not drop any games that should be a breeze for them to win. If they overlook opponents, they can make mistakes that could cause goals.
It is very important for City to keep this spark of starting 4-0 going throughout the entire season so that they do not fall into the same situation that has plagued them for years.
A lot of these problems fall on the coach Roberto Mancini. Mancini has proved that he can assemble a great team with top-notch players, but when you are having these top-notch players come in, and you still can't produce any hardware, there is a big problem there.
Mancini needs to figure out what is going on with his team and quick. If he can't produce big results this year, he may be in jeopardy of losing his job. Earlier this year, Mancini was in a struggle and his relationship with City personnel was showing strains along with strains in dealing with Carlos Tevez. Mancini needs to straighten things out if he wants to focus on the season and not personal issues.
As stated earlier in the article, Manchester City struggles with consistency. They need to become a more consistent team if they want to make an impact this season. City always has a solid team on the field; they just need to produce results that show the talent of their team.
This is the biggest factor facing Manchester City this season. If they find a way to overcome this, they may find themselves on top.