United star: Everyone tries to knock us off our perch - City, Liverpool succeeding

19 Old Trafford

Manchester United midfielder revisits old quote yet, due to their league position and squad depth, Manchester City and Liverpool have surely overtaken them.

Michael Carrick was discussing his passion for Formula 1 and how Red Bull Racing are the constructor's team to beat on the club's official website recently and even compared them to Manchester United as 'everyone tries to knock them [and us] off their [our] perch! It's similar to us!'

One of legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's main goals was to, in an oft-repeated idiom, knock Liverpool right off their [censored] perch. That, he no doubt did, largely thanks to an unprecedented period of success at Stretford, where the Scotsman tactical acumen and man management was crucial in landing a 20th Premier League crown.

This season, Manchester City and Liverpool - amongst others - have overtaken United in terms of current Premier League positions, with David Moyes' side occupying seventh, 15 points off top spot.

While City slumped to an Etihad Stadium defeat against Barcelona earlier this week, they remain the sole club in the country to be campaigning on four fronts.

'If we only consider this season, there is just one club in Manchester and it is ours,' said City manager Manuel Pellegrini, giving it large, as quoted by the Telegraph two days ago.

Considering the state of their respective squads, that City perhaps only really need one established centre back, while United - in the words of a number of industry pundits, require at least six, seven or even eight additions - this may be true.

But spare a thought for Liverpool, the team Fergie wanted to knock off their perch - and did - but are the Reds finding their feet back on it?

Only a matter of weeks ago there were question marks over whether Brendan Rodgers' side could mount a serious challenge for a top four spot, but now they are just one point behind City, three behind Arsenal and four behind Chelsea.

Even when Luis Suarez is seemingly off-form, their goal-scoring does not suffer, with Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling able to fill the void while Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard are also both able chance creators, with the latter also a finisher.

Considering all the years it took Ferguson to knock them off, how long will it be before they not only knock United, but are back on their own?

In March, we'll be closer to finding out… Liverpool and City both have Old Trafford examinations, on March 16 and March 25, respectively.

image: © Paolo Camera

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