It seems that the general consensus is that the current Premier League champions (Manchester City, in case you’d forgotten) are going to retain the crown with ease next season. They’re currently 5-4 favourites to take the title, and even the most fervent United supporter would be hard pushed to argue with that.
However, former City player and director Dennis Tueart has been getting somewhat overexcited about the upcoming campaign, claiming that Roberto Mancini signing a new five-year contract has provided Manchester City with stability, which will apparently give them an edge over their rivals.
He said: “You look around at the other clubs that will competing against Manchester City next season, they’re all in transit: Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and even Manchester United to a degree. We’ve got that stability, and they haven’t.”
I have no idea what he’s talking about. I can see his point about Liverpool, they have a brand new manager and no realistic hopes of challenging for the title. Chelsea too; the rate they have got through managers in recent seasons, despite somehow capturing the Champions League I don’t expect Roberto Di Matteo to still be in the job come May.
However, to claim Arsenal and Manchester United do not have stability is demented. These are the two clubs with the two longest-serving and most successful managers in the entire football league. And to claim that a club that boasts both Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli in its ranks possesses stability is at best hopeful and at worst wholly delusional.
Of course, Tueart is a City man through and through, so you have to expect a certain amount of bias. But until City have won the league by more than goal difference, until Mancini has been around longer than two-and-a-bit years, until they learn to not sign players who think bonfire night celebrations take place in the bathroom: only then can they be considered stable, let alone the pre-eminent force in English football.
Tueart and the rest of City’s fans would do well to remember that no matter what the financial gulf between the two sides may be, as long as Sir Alex Ferguson is at the helm, Manchester United should be considered legitimate title contenders.
Quite what happens when Sir Alex isn’t at the helm is a question for another day, but for any City fans already planning what derogatory banners they can pass to Carlos Tevez on the open top bus parade next season, the message is clear: United are stable and up for the scrap.