Few can deny that it has been a tremendous season for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, into the FA Cup Semi-Finals and with the Premier League all but sewn up. Pundits and media alike have been unrelenting in their praise of the signing of Robin Van Persie, but has he single-handedly brought them success? For me, players such as the unshakable Michael Carrick and the vastly-improved Rafael deserve huge credit for the league position.
But let’s start with the Flying Dutchman. Despite a recent barren run in front of goal – just broken away at Stoke – RVP has accumulated an impressive 19 league goals, adding 4 more in cup competitions. His personal highlight must be the late free-kick that brought the Red Devils a win at the Etihad, although it was overshadowed by Rio Ferdinand’s facial injury! But, with Man U having 16 other goalscorers across the squad in all competitions, has he made enough of an impact to be their player of the season?
Unflappable midfield ‘sitter’ Carrick has had his best season at Old Trafford in this campaign. Picking out glorious passes left, right and centre, and generally dictating the tempo of United’s football, he has contributed hugely to their title push. The 31 year-old has been virtually ever-present in the team and he epitomises consistency, control and character. A stellar season for the Englishman.
Brazilian full-back Rafael Da Silva has undoubtedly been the most improved player in the Manchester United squad, if not the whole league. Solid with regard to his defensive duties and powerful when he seizes the opportunity to get forward, the 22 year-old has emerged as one of the best right-backs in the world. A stunning strike at Loftus Road caps what has been a great season for the youngster.
Manchester United’s title charge is seemingly successful. A devastating home defeat to City will only dampen the spirits temporarily as the Red Devils surge towards the crown. Although their whole squad has performed when called upon, the standout performers have been Van Persie, Carrick and Rafael.