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"We're lucky to be in the cup. We ran out of legs," said Sir Alex Ferguson after Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Chelsea. "Our two full-backs, Rafael and Evra, are just knackered."
United are champions-elect. They have a decent chance of doing the double. They may well still be in the Champions League, but for Cuneyt Cakir And The Debatable Red Card.
They have 71 points from 28 Premier League games. It only took 75 points to win the whole thing in 1996/7. If they continue at the current rate, they will finish the season on 96 points, beating the previous record of 95, set by Chelsea in 2004/5.
So why is there a perception that this United side simply aren't all that, and better challengers would have made their season much more uncomfortable?
Part of it is that they have fewer 'iconic' players in this side than in 1999 - there is no Keane, David de Gea isn't Peter Schmeichel, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes aren't what they were then. It also doesn't help that, while you could probably name the first-choice United XI upon which everyone agrees from the treble year in five seconds, you couldn't do that with this team.
Another reason was in front of you all on Sunday. United were rampant for around the first 30 minutes against Chelsea, taking a two-goal lead with almost embarrassing ease. But after that, most of United's players almost looked punch-drunk, stumbling around the pitch like they didn't quite know where they were.
United have been that way a number of times this season, but they are good enough to have overcome the moments of drowsiness to accumulate all of those points. It would be flippant to say they have relied upon Robin van Persie's goals, but the Dutchman has dug them out of trouble on a fair few occasions - his strikes have been worth 19 points to United.
It's clear that this United side still have a number of class performers. Van Persie is of course probably the best centre-forward in the Premier League, De Gea will be, if he isn't already, a world-class goalkeeper, Rafael is the most improved player in the Premier League and even with his recent issues, few could deny that Wayne Rooney is not one of the best in the country.
United are a curious team, because perception tells us one thing, whereas the numbers in the first two paragraphs of this piece tell us another. Is this a great United side or not? Ferguson has arguably built three - the team that won the title for the first time in 1993, the Giggs/Scholes/Beckham/Neville era that culminated in the treble, and the Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Champions League winners of 2006-2009. Does this team stack up against those?
Perhaps more importantly, does it matter? Hypothetically, if we are to accept that this side is not in the class of those that came before, there must be a reason that they're on course for the best 38-game season on record. The logical explanation is that, if they're beating everyone else, the other teams must be a bit rubbish too - the general quality of the league has decreased. However, as the old cliché goes, you can only beat what is put in front of you. If the rest of the Premier League is not of a good enough standard, that's hardly United's fault.
At the end of this season, United will have the league title at least, as well as possibly the FA Cup. The 'great' sides in 2007 and 2009 'only' won the league, meaning the tangible achievements would be basically the same, if not more impressive. So does anyone truly care how United won this title, or is winning the thing enough? Should we regard this as we do a 30-yard screamer and a three-foot tap-in - sure, one of them is more stylish, but they both count.
So, United fans - over to you. Do you care that this side isn't quite as good as those that came before? Do you even accept that this team is inferior to its predecessors? Send your comments to the usual place, and try not to be too rude.
Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter
@teutonicfaith Why weren't united competing against RM until the referee intervened. As for the tenor of this article if United are not as good as 10 years ago, what does it say about the rest? As for Bayern and the german league, Arsenal made them look pretty ordinary yesterday without two of their best players. Never let the facts get in the way of a crap story ......- redbornandbred