If you believe all the football pundits and even the market – the title race is all but over after just four games. The media are already talking about Louis van Gaal’s hopes for a top three finish and it seems most fans would be happy with that outcome – along with a Champions League campaign next year.
But it’s surely too early to rule Manchester United out for a decent run at winning the title – for three major reasons:
The first is obvious; as much as we don’t like it, we don’t have a Champions League campaign to contend with and all our rivals do.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly of all, Louis van Gaal always starts badly before turning things round as the players get used to his ideas and his preferred 3-5-2 system. Now OK, the 4-0 win over QPR doesn’t exactly mean we’re definitely through the woods yet, but there were certainly signs of a returning confidence and some excellent performances by the new boys who’ve barely had chance to get settled in yet.
And thirdly, remember that United have spent more cash this time for many a long year and broken the club’s transfer record.
So when you put all this together and remember there are still 34 games to go and that we’re still to play both Chelsea and Man City twice – then anything is possible. So why are United as much as 8/1 with some of the big name bookies like 32Red, Unibet and others, whist Man City are around the 3/1 mark and Chelsea are already odds-on at around 8/11 without having played any of their rivals nor having kicked a ball in the Champions League yet, at the time of writing?
That 8/1 looks like good value for those prepared to take an optimistic approach to the current season which has hardly got started yet. Chelsea may have enjoyed the perfect start with 12 points from 12, but they’ve so far played Swansea, Everton, Leicester and Burnley; all difficult to beat on their day, no doubt, but none of whom are likely to be in the top few come May.
What’s more, there may be a good way of having a bet to nothing if you play your cards right. Most major bookies offer free bets to new customers, of course, but the online casinos tend to offer even bigger bonuses. If you go to 888.com or Skyvegas, or many others, you’ll see what we mean. But some, like 32Red, also offer sports-book betting as well as their online casinos yet still make the dame introductory offers. So if you click here for the 32Red mobile casino, for example, you’ll see that you qualify for an immediate free tenner as a new customer along with a further £32 for each £10 deposited. If you then play through a number of games as carefully as you can, you should have some left over to have a value-based punt on United for this year’s Premier League title race at 8/1 – because that’s just too long.
If you look at Louis van Gaal’s track record, you’ll see what we mean. When he was appointed as Bayern Munich Head Coach in July 2009, he got off to an awful start. They were very near to being ignominiously dumped out of the Champions League at the group stage and were lying eighth in the Bundesliga during November.
But he turned it round as the players started to gel, won the Bundesliga by a comfortable margin and steered Bayern to the Champions League final. There, they found one team too strong and worryingly – that was Inter Milan, managed by one José Mourinho at the time.
But perhaps this will steel Van Gaal’s resolve to set the record straight with the so-called Portuguese “special one”? After all – without a Champions League or Capital One Cup campaign to worry about – everything now is about the league and none of our rivals can say the same. Come on United, it’s nowhere near too late yet!