Victories here, defeats there; Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Machester United are finally appearing like a team ready to challenge for the English Premier League (EPL) gong.
Their 9-0 victory over Southampton on Tuesday is yet another indication that the Red Devils cannot be ruled out of the title race, especially given the poor forms of other title contenders this season.
The victory was their sixth win across all competitions since the dawn of year 2021. In fairness, the Red Devils have recorded some positives at both ends of the pitch this season — boasting of a formidable attack, a rejuvenated midfield and a defence line striving to improve by the day.
Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford among others have continued to pull the strings and provide the needed inspiration required as the club seeks return to the glorious days under Alex Ferguson.
Solskjær’s side, however, has a major challenge to contend with so far: inconsistency. Monday’s victory had come against the backdrop of a lifeless draw against Mikel Arteta’s side and a shock 1-0 loss to Sheffield United.
For all the theories and tactics that characterised contemporary football, the underlying goal remains getting the results or be axed.
This is where Manchester United need to improve on, especially given their rival are also struggling to find their feet.
Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have all faced similar issues this season and how well United can capitalise on their struggles to open up a gap at the top of the table will remain integral to their success this season.
If not anything, such inconsistency has become the new normal in the club’s post-Ferguson era. They appear to be contenders at the beginning of each season but end up struggling for a top four finish in the end.
The Red Devils must from history. For now, though, they can best be described as title pretenders.