Former Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas has written off Manchester United’s chances of winning the Premier League title this season.
Louis van Gaal’s side are currently third in the league table with 32 points from 17 matches, seven points behind leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
The gap between United and the Blues would have been shorter had the Red Devils not slipped up against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Manchester outfit headed into the clash at Villa Park on a six-game winning run, but they had to settle for a point.
Radamel Falcao cancelled out Christian Benteke’s early goal in the second half, but United failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority after Gabriel Agbonlahor was dismissed for a challenge on Ashley Young.
United’s failure to win at Villa prompted Jenas to claim that Van Gaal’s side are not ready to challenge for the league title.
“I think Louis van Gaal will be terribly disappointed they couldn't get that seventh win,” the 31-year-old told BBC Sport.
“This is the reason United aren't quite ready to challenge for the title. Villa are down to 10 men but United huffed and puffed.”
While Jenas is right in asserting that United should have won against Villa, it does not necessarily mean that they are not good enough to challenge for the title.
United were not the first team and won’t be the last not to win against 10-man opposition. Moreover, they are only seven points behind second-placed Manchester City, who are level on points with Chelsea.
Van Gaal’s team’s main objective this season is to finish in the top four of the Premier League, but if they can close the gap on the league leaders during the busy festive period, then they can certainly give it a go in the title race.