Arsene Wenger doesn’t often say things that opposing fans agree with. He has said for many years that his Arsenal team are title contenders, only for them to fall away at crucial parts of the season. He even went as far as labelling Paul Scholes as a ‘Dirty player’ when his own team have a dreadful disciplinary record. However today he said something that many United fans would agree with. He stated that the title race is wide open and that there are many teams in with a chance.
And who could argue with him? The top four teams are separated by just three points, whilst the top twelve teams have just ten points between them. Chelsea, who many pundits and fans alike stated that they would run away with the league, have already lost four games. Leagues have been won in previous years with fewer losses than that. United, who still remain unbeaten, have drawn half our games so far. Arsenal, who at times this season have looked top class, have at other times looked like a bunch of semi-pro’s (see Saturday’s north London derby, second half). Even the billionaire playboy club, Manchester City, have spluttered and stumbled into fourth place. My point is that with the league throwing up many bizarre results on numerous occasions so far, the title race is arguably at its most exciting point in recent history.
Now before I get bombarded with comments from fans stating that I’m talking out of my wazoo, I don’t believe that this will remain the case. Eventually I see the top four breaking away from the pack (and maybe Spurs too), with it probably going down to Chelsea and United in the last couple of weeks. But how exciting is it to have a league where after a third of the season has been completed, there are still so many teams in with a realistic chance. Do you think they have this excitement in Spain where the fourth place team last season was closer to relegation than winning the title? Do you think there are many Scottish football fans who would say their league is as exciting? Not a chance.
All this should be taken as good news by United fans. We are always capable of putting a good run together over New Year and into the later stages of the Champions League. Even though we haven’t seen the team exit second gear for the majority of the season, we are still in second place, with equal points as Chelsea, and with a fighting chance of that 19th league title. Whatever happens, we are in for one hell of a ride.