Former Manchester United assistant coach Mike Phelan believes that Jose Mourinho‘s men can win the Premier League title this season.
Wins over West Ham United, Swansea City and Leicester, during which Man United scored ten goals and conceded none, have rendered Mourinho’s side as the early pacesetters in the Premier League.
They will take on Stoke City, Everton, Southampton and Crystal Palace over September alongside taking on FC Basel and CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.
And Phelan, when asked to assess United’s title chances, noted that they had bought well over the summer and laid a very convincing platform for success so far this season.
“It’s been a very good start,” he said.
“I think the fixture list has been kind in a way, but the preparation has been good and that’s showing in the results they’ve got.
“They bought well in the summer. They look physically stronger and mentally more attuned to the job now so it looks as though progress has been made.
“It’s a squad that has definitely got credentials now. The Premier League is a difficult league to win and there a lot of other clubs who have invested heavily. I think they have given themselves a real opportunity to be successful.
“The competition has strengthened in the Premier League because most teams now can afford to spend £50 million on a player whereas in the past only a few could do that. United are certainly in the contest, probably a lot more in the contest than they have in the previous few years.”
Perhaps United’s biggest advantage heading into the 2017/18 season is that, unlike with other sides, the waters have been decidedly calm.
Arsenal have had to deal with the Alexis Sanchez saga and, well, being Arsenal; Jurgen Klopp has been forced to endure similar ruminations over Philipe Coutinho; Antonio Conte has kicked and screamed through the transfer window with various targets turning him down; Tottenham Hotspur have the Wembley curse and Danny Rose’s harsh but fair words hanging over their heads.
Mourinho, in contrast, hasn’t had to worry about any of this: no big players looking for an exit door, no internal discomfort, no mitigating circumstances. Only time will tell how valuable this current absence of strife will be.