Reasons we’re champions
Success requires many vital ingredients, but here are five key reasons why we’ve won our trophy back…
Always come back stronger Last season’s disappointment was fuel to United’s fire. Early in the campaign the Reds were intent on making a point (an entertaining one!), scoring goals for fun and taking wins in the big games. In 2013, a ruthless winning mentality kicked in. After drawing with Swansea on 23 December, United took 34 points from 36 in the next 12 matches, conceding just six goals (half of those in Boxing Day’s 4-3 thriller with Newcastle). Few respond to disappointment as emphatically as Sir Alex.
Number 20 Sir Alex described Robin van Persie’s arrival last summer as an early Christmas present and the Dutchman has certainly delivered his fair share of gifts over the course of the season. Not only has the 29-year-old inspired those around him, 21 league goals and countless assists have ensured the Reds’ no.20, and PFA Player of the Year nominee, has been a key factor behind securing title no.20.
Comeback kings Although stirring comebacks were a regular feature of the heady first half of the campaign, they were not restricted to that goal-crazy period. The Reds may have tightened up defensively but still needed to come from behind in the home win against Southampton and twice battled back at West Ham to, ultimately, enable the title to be won on Monday against Villa.
Consistency personified “The fans had Scholesy to drool over for years; Carrick has taken up the baton and done well,” says Sir Alex. The Reds’ no.16 has been a thread running through United’s season, his understated control of matches integral to both United’s style and success. A PFA Player of the Year nomination highlights his newfound status. “I don’t crave attention,” he opines. Hard to believe it’s not Scholes: does his job, brilliantly, with minimal fuss.
We are United From pre-season to the final push, Sir Alex’s squad has been united in every sense. The almost innate togetherness of the players at Old Trafford means the manager can focus on winning matches and forget having to massage egos. As Anders Lindegaard said in mid-season: “There’s a good, funny and friendly atmosphere in the dressing room. It’s a joy coming into work.”