After the opening weekend of the new Premiership season, Manchester United sit top of the league with 3 points. The reason they are top is that United scored 4 goals, 1 more than Huddersfield, who sit in second place.
The very fact that Huddersfield Town is in second place should point to the fact that this is more the silly season rather than the real season. With one match played and 37 to go to every team will have its false start. Whether it was Chelsea, the champions losing to Burnley 3-2 at home or that Huddersfield result, a 3-0 win away at Crystal Palace, the silliness of the results will change.
In their 4-0 defeat of West Ham United showed an energy and enthusiasm rarely seen since the days of Sir Alec Ferguson. With Lukaku taking over the main striking role from Ibrahimovic and Matic commanding in centre midfield allowing Paul Pogba more freedom to express himself, and score, the hope is there that Jose Mourinho’s team have what it takes to be at the top of the table after another 37 games. That eventually there will be a chasm between United and Huddersfield there is no doubt, exactly how much of a chasm remains to be seen.
With goals from Lukaku (2) Martial and Pogba Manchester United achieved what they rarely achieved last season, a home win against one of the lesser powerhouses of the Premiership. It could have been more than 4 which is encouraging but perhaps that is being greedy.
One of the problems last season for United was that while Ibrahimovic managed to get 20+ goals, other members of the team did not do so well. While Lukaku is not as skilful as Ibrahimovic he has the pace to run behind the defence, stretching the play for his teammates.
There is a lot of talk about formations these days, 3-4-3, or 4-4-2 or the Chrismas Tree formation etc, etc, but in the end, the game is simple. There is modern tendency to overcomplicate the simple game, perhaps in an attempt to look more knowledgeable or just to confuse others, it is difficult to say, maybe people pretending to know more than they actually do. Perhaps it is time to boot the complex terminology out of the game, break down those complicated statistics and give more of the heart and less of the head to the game we all love.
One thing is certain there will be no fairytale ending for Huddersfield Town this season, but perhaps, after their opening match, Mourinho’s second season syndrome ( winning the title) is only 37 games away.