Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Manchester United - Not bad at all for the worst team under Sir Alex Ferguson

I don’t think Manchester United fans should be too worried right now.

Sir Alex Ferguson saw his Champions League gamble backfire, but talk of his team being the worst he has had in his 25 years is well wide of the mark.

Manchester United have come in for a lot of criticism this week.

Rightly so, after their exit from the group stages of the Champions League.

However, talk of the demise of this team, because of the lack of a genuine world class creative midfielder is a tad premature.

Sure, they haven’t found a replacement for Paul Scholes yet.

Nor did they ever find one for Roy Keane.

And Ryan Giggs will not be replaced too easily either.

Because these players are genuine world class superstars of the game.

They don’t get replaced.

There just aren’t enough of them to go round.

This made it a tough summer for Sir Alex Ferguson.

The loss of key senior figures such as Edwin Van Der Sar, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville to retirement was coupled with the sale of John O’Shea and Wes Brown.

Four of those players had come through the ranks at Old Trafford and between them had amassed 68 seasons under Sir Alex.

A rebuilding process was under way even if it was Father Time who had dictated it.

So Sir Alex went out and spent big.

He had also timed the emergence of another crop of youngsters to coincide with the departure of such a senior element of his squad.

Assembling a squad of some of the best young players around.

David DeGea is widely regarded to have the potential to become the goalkeeper of his generation.

Numerous managers have predicted Phil Jones to be the England Captain for many years to come.

Add to that Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverly and Danny Welbeck - you’ve got three stars of the England U21 Championship side.

Then Javier Hernández, Nani, the Brazilian twins are all still quite young.

Mix in the established stars such as Rooney, Vidic and Evra and this team could be around for years to come.

But these young players will take time to adapt.

Some of them need time to adjust to the Premier League.

All of them need time to adjust to the pressures of playing for Manchester United.

Like the pressure they would have experienced against Basel.

There’s no doubting Sir Alex took a gamble on the Champions League group this season.

He felt he could have progressed without having to use his first team in every game.

But when he realised he would need his strongest team going into the last game, most of them were in the treatment room.

Going into a game of the significance of Basel with so many injuries would have handicapped any team.

Hernández, Berbatov, Owen missing from the front line along with a half fit Welbeck.

Carrick suspended, Fletcher, Cleverly, Anderson out and Valencia not yet match fit.

Then Vidic limped off in the first half.

To lose the game with that many players out did not scream of a team in demise but rather a team unable to cope with so many injuries.

Wesley Sneijder would not have made that much of a difference to this team.

A team, who should be judged when they aren’t decimated through injury.

The Champions League campaign can be judged as a disaster alright.

But their defence of the title has just gained a lot more focus.

Sir Alex has always approached the first half of the season as the time to get your injuries sorted.

If you need an operation to get rid of a niggle, you sort it our before Christmas.

His team always start sluggish but comes strong the second half.

All he’ll want is to be within touching distance of Man City when his team hits top gear.

The bad news for City is that United have had their second best start to the season in the Premier League.


This without a world class creative midfieler.

From a team in demise.

For all their supposed troubles and loss of form - coupled with City lighting up the Premier League, there is only 2 points between the Manchester rivals after 15 games.

Not bad for a team who starts slowly.

Who’ve played a lot of their tougher fixtures already and have done this through quite a bad spate of injuries.

For supposedly the weakest team under Sir Alex’s reign as manager - making their second best ever start is not bad at all.

The only reason they’re not top is because City have the best start of ‘any’ team to a season.

As for finishing top come the end of this campaign, Sir Alex will be feeling quietly confident right about now - whether he finds another midfielder or not.

Even if it is perceived as the worst team he has ever had...

1 comment:

  1. I dont agree that David De Gea was ever regarded as being the goalkeeper of his generation. Ive followed La Liga , and whilst he was good, he was never exceptional. He has had a rough time so far, but id give him time - Reina made a few errors in his first season. I agree the team are not in demise, but Wesley Sneider would have made a big difference to the team that played in Basel. Michael Owen , if he was fit, wouldnt have. Phil Jones for me is too young to be playing the holding role in such a game. Fletcher was on the bench, maybe he could have started. Rooney didnt look interested that game, no fight. He shuold be good enough to take on that Basle defence.
    Overall i think there was enough experience in that starting 11 so beat a Basle side who will go out in the next round.