Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie believes his side are still the one’s to beat as the new Barclays Premier League season fast approaches.
Van Persie was speaking to ITV after yesterday’s Community Shield in which United cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Championship side Wigan Athletic at Wembley.
The win handed David Moyes his first trophy in his managerial career and therefore his first since he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
And despite a difficult build-up to the new season with the lack of a marquee signing and speculation surrounding the future of Wayne Rooney, Van Persie – who scored both goals this afternoon – insists United should still be considered the favourites this season.
He said: “We’re doing really well and I believe in this team” adding “We are the champions and based on that we are clear favourites.”
Around 80,000 spectators made the trip to Wembley to see Manchester United ease past Owen Coyle’s Latics, though the second goal which came on the hour mark was a tad fortuitous as it took a huge deflection which left Scott Carson motionless and all but secured their 16th Community Shield success.
He continued: “It’s a great day for the fans, for us and for the manager as well. All of us.”
Nonetheless Moyes will hope his new side can kick on from here following a less than impressive pre-season which saw United fall at the hands of Sevilla in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial earlier in the week.
Wigan though did look threatening at times and new signing James McClean who arrived from Sunderland earlier this week looked dangerous as he linked up with striker Grant Holt. Yet they weren’t able to convert this pressure into clear cut chances, and David De Gea was rarely threatened.
Manchester United will hope this is just the beginning of a successful trophy pursuit, but they are sure to face a bigger challenge when they travel to face Swansea City next Saturday in their opening league fixture of the 2013/14 season.
Whether they will make any major signings before then is a different story, but the overriding question is whether Rooney will still be a United player come September 2nd.
Moyes’ biggest challenge is to detract any questions surrounding his future and to maintain unity within the squad.
If he manages that then who would bet against the former Everton manager adding more trophies in the coming season.
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This article was first posted on August 12, 2013