92-93: LWDW. Champions.
95-96: LWWW. Champions.
96-97: WDDD. Champions.
98-99: DDWW. Champions.
00-01: WDDW. Champions
02-03: WDDW. Champions.
07-08: DDLW. Champions.
08-09: DWLD. Champions.
09-10: WL….

In eight of our last eleven title wins we have had somewhat dodgy starts to the season, dropping points in at least two games, and in half of those the dropped points included a defeat. Losing 1-0 to Burnley is a dodgy result and this is certainly a dodgy start to another season.


So, what does Sir Alex, Mike and Rene need to do to make sure that we don't have any more dodgy results?

1) Trial midfield combinations in practice matches. Having Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson, Scholes, Giggs and Gibson as well as the hopefully soon to be available Hargreaves makes for many different combinations, with many different capabilities, suited to playing in different styles, and to varying degrees of combativeness. Trying these various combinations in League games, where each and every point is becoming more and more vital, is almost asking for trouble, we got away with it last year, as we could rely on C.Ronaldo to pull some magic out of the bag to secure the points, without him, I think United should be more aware of what is required to win games from the outset.

2) The lack of goals, and apparent lack of finishing ability, means that we either need to purchase more firepower, or find a way to coax goals out of the strikers we have. Berbatov, Rooney and Owen no doubt have the ability to score over 70 goals between them, but they require quality assistance from central midfield and wide positions to do so.

3) Defensive Stability comes from having a consistent, settled, reliable line of defense. Although last season's defensive record seemingly flies in the face of this theory, Edwin was joined by Vidic and Evra in most of the clean sheet record games. This season, we may have to reshuffle the pack again, as Neville, although experienced and still a great defender, lacks the pace required to successfully repel the threats of the Premier League's and Europes fastest and best wingers. Brown is still injury prone, and Ferdinand seems to be suffering from some form of chronic back and calf problems. Rafael, Fabio, De Laet, Chester and Cathchart seem to be progressing well to reach the required playing level, but until then, the side needs some cover for O'Shea, Evans, Evra and Vidic.

No doubt the win over Wigan will restore confidence in the attacking unit, and Foster's saves and subsequent clean sheets will restore his confidence and the return of Vidic will settle the defense, but until we successfully negotiate the game against Arsenal, the jury will still be out on whether or not this Man United squad can go on to achieve the incredible feat of a Premier League quadruple.