Without being forced out of first gear, Manchester United has steadied themselves to join Chelsea in the front seat at the top Barclays Premier League standings.
Because there are a few novices in their squad, there has been, and will be, unavoidable jolts when they starting to shift through the gears, but as long as they do not stall, United’s vehicle will make it to their final destination without any required maintenance.
As long as frustration does not better their confidence, United will be in the driver’s seat before long, and then the Reds will be able to step on the gas to capture that elusive 19th English top flight title.
It is a real testament to Sir Alex Ferguson’s ability to instruct, because after 14 league games this season, United has done well enough to not have smelled the exhaustion of defeat without being at their lubricated best.
It has been no surprise that lesser clubs will throw their best monkey wrenches at United, because they know the entire world is watching and waiting for United’s engine to breakdown.
Admittedly, United has not put together a decisive, well-oiled team performance where the defense has been rock solid and the goals flowed in at the other end – which could be the result of Sir Alex’s constant tinkering (148 matches with a changed side) to get the engine running smoothly.
However, there have been times this season where it looked as though United were on the verge of driving over the cliff of defeat, but the strength of suspension in the squad showed through to enable them to hit the breaks before going over the ledge.
There are two things that will help any driver become champions the highly-coveted Premier League title: good fortune and reliability.
Over the years, there is absolutely no question that luck plays a large part for a team claiming the title, and there have been a couple of times already this season that United were able to take a u-turn to escape a defeat or a draw.
United has been very passive on their travels away from Old Trafford this season, and they have only managed one win from their seven away matches – and two of those matches the Reds were very fortunate not suffer a defeat.
United were put under severe pressure by both Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, and then at Villa Park against Aston Villa, which those draws can be seen as points gained rather than two points lost following their very lackluster performances.
Another thing that weighs into destination of the title race will be fortune of proper officiating decisions, which was something that benefited Chelsea last season.
It’s almost humorous that one of United’s title rival’s managers has claimed that Arsenal has matured, but there was a lot of evidence to completely contradict Arsene Wenger’s statement yesterday against Tottenham.
Having one of your principal players, Samri Nasri, not being able to get passed the problems between him and one of his adversaries, William Gallas, then the team which he is apart will never be able to handle the pressures of becoming a champion of any sort.
The North Londoners were not only on the cusp of one of the most intense derbies in England, but the Gunners are also fully involved in the closest title races in the history of the Premier League – and they – as well as the other teams with title aspirations – cannot ill-afford to crash from leading positions.
On the contrary, Manchester United has experienced players like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and a manager to guide the younger players in the course of adversity, which has already happened once this season.
Sir Alex is doing himself a real favor by giving his young players an actual hands on understanding of exactly how being a champion in the Premier League really works, so they do not become overheated when the title race really takes off.
Javier Hernandez, Gabriel Obertan and Federico Macheda have all taken their driving tests in the last two matches, and they showed the United supporters that they have confidence to steer the Reds in the right direction.
Chelsea has banged out of the gates at an alarming pace, but they are being associated with the hare, because they have hit a wall, and the turtle team, which United has always been at the start of the season, will catch them in the end.
Sure, there will be unavoidable bumps along the road to the 2010/11 Barclays Premier League title race, but as long as Manchester United avoids the major potholes, they will have a fantastic chance of arriving at the finish line first.