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Graeme Souness: Manchester United can’t win the Premier League

Following another poor performance for United in the 2-1 loss against Bournemouth, Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness has stated that he thinks the Red Devils do not stand a chance at winning the Premier League title. 

United have been out-of-for for quite some time as the last win came on Nov. 21 at Watford where an own goal clinched the three points. Old Trafford has not created much of a home-field advantage for United this season as the Red Devils have not won at Old Trafford since the 7th November when the Reds defeated West Brom 2-0. With a true lack of goals when United are not desperate for a goal, such as the make-or-break match at Wolfsburg, there is a lack of urgency and desire to get the ball in the net. To put it simply, United are not playing well, and in the big picture, Souness sees United as incapable of winning the title, saying:

“I think the title is beyond them.They could finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League again.

“It’s as much the football that they’re playing – or not playing – that the criticism is there.

“When you go into the really big games you look at your team and think ‘where are we weak, where are we vulnerable.’

“There are too many question marks hanging over too many people who are just maybe not good enough to play at a club like Manchester United in the big games.”

United are not alone in the struggle of the teams considered to be top clubs, as the Red Devils have dropped plenty of points. Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal have all failed to secure three points in every match, and United sit in the fourth spot behind City, Arsenal and Leicester City. Defending champions Chelsea are currently in the bottom half of the league in 16th with only four wins out of 16 matches, pending the Monday night match against Leicester. United finished fourth place last season, and a fourth place finish this season looks somewhat likely. Souness went on to say:  

“They’ll point to only being three points adrift, but they’re only three points adrift because the teams you really fancy to be consistent haven’t been consistent so far. I’d expect getting into the second half of the season, the likes of Manchester City will show a bit of consistency. Arsenal, if they go on a run, could open up a gap.”

United are not looking like a title-winning side, but with the Christmas period rolling around, anything can happen. United are playing with a slow pace and are not attacking with vigor that has been seen in past sides of United. United could go on a good run and gain some points, and even push on to a top two position by the end of the Christmas period. However, United’s players do not look passionate or free-flowing. Even Thierry Henry believes United players are being restricted, and blames it on Van Gaal’s Dutch style of play, saying:

“It seems those guys are not enjoying it. The fun is not there.

“It’s well structured at times but almost too much, too rigid, very predictable. In the last third of the park you have to let those guys express themselves. It seems like they are not allowed to fly at times.

“We’ve seen it with Angel di Maria. He was great when he arrived last year then suddenly it seems like he had to do some stuff that he isn’t used to do.

“I understand the Dutch way of playing the game is you have to be in certain positions at certain times but in the last third you have to let the genius and the guy that can make the difference express himself. It seems like at times, they cannot do that.”

United can win the title this season. Stranger things have happened in sport, especially football. If Leicester can be a bottom of the league team last December and top of the league this December, what is holding United back from turning its fortune around and making a run for the Premier League title. With the right adjustments in the midfield and up top to get goals on the board for the Reds, and even a possible transfer or two in January, United could easily make a surge for the title. With only 18 months under Van Gaal and his philosophy, a little patience is needed for things to fall back in place for Manchester United.

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