Patrice Evra has made light of Manchester United’s problems this season, claiming they are still the best team in the Premier League.
Having clinched a record-extending title number 20 last season, Sir Alex Ferguson finally called time on his remarkable 26-year reign at Old Trafford. His successor, fellow Scottish compatriot David Moyes, has made a sluggish start to life in Manchester, having lost five of the opening 19 Premier League matches including three at home.
However, United have picked up form in recent weeks following successive defeats to Everton and Newcastle United, and have now collected maximum points in each of their last four outings. This has left them in sixth position, just three behind the final UEFA Champions League qualifying spot and eight behind the current leaders Arsenal.
And with key players such as Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher returning to the fold this month, and with last season’s top goalscorer Robin van Persie on the brink of making his comeback, the Reds will soon be in good shape to perhaps launch a stern defence of their title. Indeed, when Moyes has a complete pool of players to select from, France international Evra believes they remain the best team in the country.
“The squad is strong, but it’s not only about one player,” he said in the Daily Mirror. “We were also without Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, and when they come back we’ll be even stronger, which is why I’m so happy. With them, we are the strongest team in the Premier League, so we have to keep winning – with or without them.”
United will resume their title charge on Wednesday when Tottenham Hotspur travel to Manchester. The Londoners recorded a memorable 3-2 win in this fixture last season, and a similar scoreline would see them leapfrog their opponents in the standings. More than this, it would also likely end any hopes the Reds have on retaining their crown.