Juan Mata discusses Manchester United’s title chances this season

by Leo Nieboer

Juan Mata has called on his Manchester United teammates to keep their feet on the ground after making a perfect start to the season.

The Spaniard, despite a two week injury layoff over pre-season, has been included in the starting XI for wins over West Ham United, Swansea City and Leicester.

And he has duly impressed on the right hand side, moving the ball forward with precision and linking up splendidly with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Writing in his weekly blog, the 29-year-old made it clear that Man United need to remain focused over a long, exhausting season.

“The goal of getting nine points out of nine has been achieved, and the best thing is the good vibes that the team shows on the pitch, the ability to dominate the games and the patience to end up scoring and winning,” he said.

“And the three clean sheets prove our strength so far. That’s good news because this is the consistency we’re looking for, in order to reach the last spell of the season in a good position for the final sprint.

“On Saturday, against Leicester, I think we deserved the victory. We created enough chances to win. It took some time to score, but we kept believing in our chances to win.

“We are very happy, indeed, but we keep our feet on the ground; this is just the beginning. The Premier League is long and very tough, arguably the most difficult league in Europe, and there is a very long way to go.”

The Premier League is not the best league in the world in terms of quality, but it is, without doubt, the hardest league to play in. No country in the world can even slightly replicate the theatrical drama of a Premier League season: it has farce, vitriol, goals, awful defending, touchline spats, fighting in the stands, terrible refereeing, ridiculously busy schedules, dirty money, big six-pointers, and Arsenal getting smacked by Liverpool. Everything. The lot.

Why am I mentioning this? Because the route to success in the Premier League comes in the form of understanding this very notion. This league is sapping and often absurd, and to have a chance of winning it you have to recognise this and place important emphasis on pacing yourself, focusing, and removing yourself from the camaraderie that constantly surrounds you.

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