“Experience tells you what to do – confidence allows you to do it”
Six games into the new Premier League season and the league table has a different look to it for the first time in many a year. The main shock (to some) is that Manchester United sit in 12th position on the log. Now ordinarily this would not be a concern as the Old Trafford faithful would trot out that tried and tested line “the league only starts in December – let’s look again then”. But this is no ordinary time as this reincarnation of Manchester United have started the season without Alex Ferguson at the helm, and the new man David Moyes is realising what it means to take a step up into the big time.
The United team is not drastically different from that of last season – in fact, the only “major” signing made in the off-season was Marouane Fellaini from Everton. Much to the chagrin of a number of supporters and fans, David Moyes was unable to sign any of the high-profile players the club was linked with in the summer. So what’s the difference between United last season and United thus far this season? I think Manchester United were always a team (under Ferguson) that was able to grind out victories especially when they were not playing well – there was always a sense of belief that a goal would come, and that transmitted itself throughout the entire squad. This innate confidence is what good strikers always seem to have and they use it to keep scoring almost at will. When that confidence disappears you become….well…..Diego Forlan during his time at Manchester United or Fernando Torres at Chelsea.
Arsenal, and Aaron Ramsey in particular, have started the season (post the opening game) with a great deal of confidence. We have all become accustomed to Arsenal starting the season strongly only to fade as the season continues through a combination of injuries to key players and loss of form, and there is no guarantee that this season will be any different. Wenger’s squad remains paper-thin and the team remains a few injuries away from disaster. However, Ramsey has begun the season with eight goals from just ten shots on target, and allows Theo Walcott to paraphrase manager Arsene Wenger and claim that Ramsey “is like a new signing”.
Another player high on confidence at the moment is Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge who has scored five Premier League goals in six matches as well as adding in two assists for his team. The young Englishman has started to form a good understanding with his fellow striker, Luis Suarez, and if the two remain injury free it could provide a much-needed boost to Liverpool’s season. The key question, as always, for the team from the red half of Merseyside is whether or not they can maintain a consistent run of form to challenge for the remaining silverware on offer.
The season is still in its infancy and there are many more plots twists and turns to come. The only thing that is for certain is that the team with confidence shall rule the roost come end of the season.