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Ferguson’s Red Devils to rule once more?

sports Updated: Aug 13, 2011 02:07 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times
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Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool’s build-up to the Premier League has been promising but it could be Manchester United yet again.

According to Betfair, one of the biggest gambling agencies in Great Britain, Manchester United winning their 20th league title is the safest tip in the upcoming 20th season of the Premier League, starting Saturday.

And Alex Ferguson seems to be the only reason behind this.

Decorated as the best manager in the first decade of the Premier League, Ferguson has hardly put a foot wrong in his 24-year stint at Old Trafford. The 69-year-old didn’t twitch at fears that Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure for Real Madrid in 2009 could trigger an implosion.

The Scot’s ruthless but effective my-way-or-the-highway policy also put to rest fears that Wayne Rooney could follow suit.

Then, he inspired Rooney, an ageing Dimitri Berbatov and an injury-prone Nani to help the club win their 12th Premier League title last year.

Arsenal and Chelsea are next bets with three titles each while Blackburn Rovers have won once.

It finally took a world-beating Barcelona to stop United in the Champions League final, who till then had not lost a match. But when it comes to England, the Red Devils still very much look eventual winners in the upcoming nine-month long edition, despite the retirements of Edwin van der Sar, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville. Ferguson has been quick in filling the holes with the potential of David De Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones. Wesley Sneijder too has been sending feelers lately.

It’s this sense of calm and stability at Old Trafford that separates them from the rest.

Ask Arsene Wenger who spent the entire window trying to dissuade Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri from looking elsewhere.

Or maybe Roberto Mancini who has had a hard time dealing with Carlos Tevez unwilling to extend his stay at Manchester City.

Mario Balotelli has only incensed him further. Ask Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley who has been exasperated by Joey Barton quoting George Washington in his Twitter escapades.

Only the legendary Kenny Dalglish has quietly gone about rebuilding Liverpool. Their first aim is to qualify for Europe though.