Ray Wilkins fears Manchester United may struggle to defend Premier League title

Former player expects retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson to hurt team

Former Manchester United star Ray Wilkins fears for his old club this season.

David Moyes has endured a difficult start to his Old Trafford tenure as United have won just one of their opening three games and have slipped five points behind early pacesetters Liverpool.

Beaten at Anfield on September 1, 24 hours later United suffered a disastrous transfer deadline-day, when they failed to secure a succession of targets and ended up only bolstering their squad with Moyes' former player at Everton, Marouane Fellaini.

Even that deal brought negative headlines given it ended up costing £4million more than the £23.5million clause in the Belgian's contract that Moyes allowed to expire on July 31.

Wilkins does feel Moyes will eventually prove to be an astute appointment as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor.

But in the short term, amid reports of a wide-spread revamp of United's scouting system and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward getting plenty of flak for failing to land any of the club's major summer targets, Wilkins can see problems.

"David Moyes will do an excellent job, but I fear for Manchester United this season," Wilkins told talkSPORT.

"Fellaini was a very good buy but I think they needed more players, especially on the European front.

"Every side in the Champions League has reinforced, and United have to a degree, but not as well as I'd have liked to see them do."

As Moyes inherited a squad that swept to the Premier League title by an impressive 11 points last term, it would be a major surprise if United were not contending again this year.

But Wilkins feels another of his old clubs, Chelsea, will regain the ascendency following Jose Mourinho's return.

"They've got every chance," he said.

"The return of Jose was a masterstroke. He and [Roman] Abramovich seem to have healed their rift and they have a squad who could go and win it.

"They look solid and have an abundance of players who can rip you apart.

"I fancy them big time."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn