Sir Alex Ferguson still believes Manchester United can retain the title this season, despite their current standing in the table.
The Reds eased to a record-extending 20th crown last term, at the end of which Ferguson stepped down after 26 years in charge. David Moyes was almost immediately announced as his successor, due to his impressive record at Everton, but the new man at the helm has found life at Old Trafford a struggle.
Although United are in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, they were eliminated from the FA Cup at the first hurdle when Swansea City knocked them out at the third round stage. And on Wednesday night, they failed to get past Sunderland in the League Cup semi-final, with the Black Cats progressing on penalties.
Of course, it is the league title which means the most to all at the club. But their 3-1 defeat at Chelsea last Sunday was their seventh reverse of the campaign, meaning they currently occupy seventh position, some 14 points behind leaders Arsenal. This has placed huge question marks over their credentials to finish in the top four, something they have achieved in every season since 1991-92.
But whilst the common consensus amongst pundits and supporters alike is that the title will be heading to either the Gunners, Manchester City or to Stamford Bridge, Ferguson is refusing to rule United out. Indeed, the Scot believes as many as six sides could be crowned Premier League champions at the end of the season.
“This year for the first time it really looks as if five or six could be involved, so it’s a great Premier League,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s still not an easy league to win. I think the English game is the most honest and is the hardest league to win in terms of the competition you face. You can lose to anyone.
“The teams at the top at the minute must have a big chance. United always do well in the second half of the season. United can do anything. They have got that great philosophy and history, they will always do well. I’m going as a supporter now and instead of suffering with the team, I’m suffering or enjoying it with the fans. I’m really enjoying watching the team play.”