New season, new challenges timesofmalta.com - New season, new challenges The teams chasing the top four positions this year have definitely improved, with the likes of Spurs, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Everton all spending decent amounts of money. This only goes to make for a really tough league that's harder to win. In terms of last season's top four, it is impossible at this early stage to suggest who may be under the most pressure. The great thing about the Premier League is the element of surprise and not knowing what's coming next. At Manchester United we have lost Cristiano Ronaldo, but teams will always lose players. We are on a conveyor belt with some falling off and others jumping on. Our team always adapts when it loses great players - Eric Cantona was replaced by Dwight Yorke without the team suffering, Michael Carrick took Roy Keane's place and the team adapted. You don't replace like with like, you just change your way. We have lost one game so far at Burnley. It was one of those nights where we weren't at our best and big moments also went against us, like a penalty miss. All credit to Burnley though, it was a cup final atmosphere and these things can happen in the Premier League. Since then we have had two wins and last weekend's match against Arsenal was typical of our encounters with them over the years. The game was full of passion, we never gave up and in the second half the crowd and team generated a great atmosphere. It was crucial for us not to lose another game so early in the season so it made it a great result, especially after being 1-0 down. We fought hard and while not at our absolute best, we showed determination to come through at the end. We have big games coming up against Spurs and Manchester City who are both doing well, so September will be a big month for us. We face City next Sunday and it is always a big one around here. They have a lot of confidence at the moment with the players they have bought and the results they have got, and this will make it a great game. We have seen before with Blackburn and most recently Chelsea that trophies can be bought with huge spending above a sustainable business level. It does freshen things up at the top to be competing against different opposition, but our focus is always on how we perform and that is all we can control. Hooliganism alive and well... in mainland Europe Hooliganism reared its ugly head in England recently when West Ham played old rivals Millwall in the Carling Cup. Hooliganism incidents are always poor for the image of the game, but they are a rarity now inside English football stadiums. There has been so much achieved in the last 20 years to the point where we can now truly say that going to a football match in England is a family occasion again. We are so much harder on ourselves than the rest of Europe due to our past experiences, and this is right. But to say what happened at West Ham risks our bid to host the 2018 World Cup would be incorrect. In parts of Europe, racism and hooliganism are tolerated a lot more by the authorities and England is without doubt singled out for special punishment. Some of the scenes I have witnessed over the past 10 years in places like Italy, Turkey and Spain would never have been allowed by the governing bodies if they happened in England. England is a great place to watch football nowadays in the best equipped and safest stadiums in the world.