Cristiano Ronaldo may be back amongst the goals at Manchester United, but the Red Devils still don’t have a team to compete with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.
That is the view of talkSPORT hosts Danny Murphy and Simon Jordan, who reckons United’s rivals all boast better starting XIs despite the superstar’s return to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo had a second debut to remember on Saturday, hitting a double as Newcastle were thrashed at the Theatre of Dreams.
But Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City all also recorded victories and have also had brilliant starts to the campaign with a tougher set of fixtures, with just one point separating all four title contenders at the top of the table.
United will face better sides than the struggling Magpies and Murphy reckons people shouldn’t jump too quickly to conclusions when assessing their start to the season.
“The last few seasons there’s been many games where they’ve scored goals and looked good from an attacking perspective,” he told talkSPORT.
“The problem is when they come up against the big five.
“They struggle to win games against the best opposition. Can they transfer that feelgood factor they’ve got now into the big games and pick a team that has the right balance to compete with Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City? I don’t think so – even with Ronaldo there.
“Are they better than Chelsea? I don’t think so. Are they better than Liverpool and City? I don’t think so.”
Simon Jordan echoed the sentiments of Murphy and said United will contend for the title, but may ultimately fall short even in light of Ronaldo’s arrival.
“Nobody – not even me – have said that United’s can’t be contenders,” he remarked. “But there’s a difference between contenders and winners and I don’t don’t think they will win it.
“Of course Ronaldo’s going to have an impact, everyone knows he’s going to have an impact, but the question is whether he’ll have an impact over 38 games against the biggest sides.
“Conventional football minds suggest he probably won’t.
“When you look at Newcastle, with respect if they had Callum Wilson up front they’d have more goals than before United even got off the scoresheet and were in the game for large proportions.
“You look at some of that play from Newcastle’s defenders and it was poor, Ronaldo will not face those opportunities against other sides.
“What I saw on Saturday was an incredible level of momentum. If you can galvanise that momentum and straddle it and put it across the bulk of the season, then yeah they’ll have a chance.”
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