You wonder if its a case of United starting poorly and traditionally taking their time to gain momentum. The reality is, and I thin Sir Alex knows it, that Chelsea have raised the bar once again and so we cannot afford to let them so far ahead of us even before we see the better part of October. Granted, they do have an ageing squad and fatigue could play a factor but maybe they'll have built enough of a cushion to see them over the finish line if we allow them to keep pulling away.
Last week, we had the opportunity to punish their defeat at City but could only draw at Bolton. This week, we had the chance to put them under pressure ahead of their game against Arsenal, but we could only draw again away. Unlike us, they punished the error of their rivals and now sit five points ahead of us going into the second International break of the season. We've not dropped points at home, but when you drop as many as we've done over the past two months, then you'll have situations like City being above you in the league. It's disgusting.
The midweek trip to Valencia did come into play when Sir Alex was naming his team for the game at the Stadium of light---and I have to say that the difference between our first choice and second choice team was physically visible especially in that first half. I mean that was one first half that we never turned up. I f I were a Sunderland fan, I'd be gutted that they didn't make their dominance count going into the break.
The media will no doubt question Sir Alex's transfer business of the summer especially when the likes of Van der Vart are earning their sides priceless wins. All that talk can however be avoided if United snap out of the slumber they're in and start pushing for top spot in the league.
On the plus side, we remain an unbeaten team in the league and have now kept two clean sheets in a row, which is no mean feat given how many we've given away this season so far.
We take on West Brom at home after the International break---in the meantime, the manager and players need to sort out one or two things that have not gone quite well on away days in the league.
Finally congratulations to Dimitar Berbatov for winning the PFA fans' Player of the Month of October award. I thought he deserved it! More of the same Berba!