Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has suggested that Manchester United may have a better chance of challenging Liverpool and Manchester City than Chelsea this season.
Despite the Blues shelling out over £200m on new signings, Carragher thinks the fact that the Red Devils are a more settled team under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could give them the advantage heading into the new campaign:
“I actually believe, even if Manchester United don’t bring in the players Chelsea have done, they’ll still be the closest challenger to the top two. Bruno Fernandes is going to be there for a full season and he made a huge difference when he came in January, he was outstanding. If he continues that this season, they could go a lot closer.”
“I think the thing we should mention, with Chelsea bringing all those players in, is the most difficult thing in management – and this is something I remember Alex Ferguson saying – is managing change. Frank Lampard is managing change after 12 months, normally a manager manages change after having a cycle of four or five years and a team needs to evolve and move on. Frank’s brought six or seven players in and that’s not easy so Chelsea could easily go backwards.”
His fellow Monday Night Football colleague Gary Neville also mentioned something similar about the two clubs earlier this week. While Chelsea are undoubtedly spending big in order to bridge the gap to the top of the table, it comes with inevitable risks.
Will the signings bed in quickly and gel together so they can sustain a title challenge this season? Even after the 3-1 win against Brighton last night, that is still up for debate.
While nobody would say United are in a better position for not signing more players over the summer, it is not necessarily a bad thing either, as Carragher points put.