Sunday, September 16, 2007

United win despite Fergie's baffling selection...

The Reds managed a somewhat fortunate 1-0 away at Everton on Saturday, courtesy of a late Vidic bullet header from a corner. Once again United did not play anywhere near their collective best but came away with all three points.

Despite travelling 21,000 miles this week to play down under for Argentina against Australia in Melbourne, Fergie decided to opt for Tevez in his starting line-up. Saha, somewhat surprisingly was left on the bench for 63 minutes until he replaced Giggs, while Tevez played the full 90 minutes. Baffling.

Given that United travel to Lisbon this week for a Champions League game on Wednesday, many like myself expected Saha who hasn't had much playing time this season so far to start the game, but somewhat bizarrely that did not happen. Ferguson is short of numbers up front and what happened at Goodison Park on Saturday suggests that the manager is not using his strikers wisely.

Once again United were without key players for the trip to Goodison Park, the Reds were missing United's best player of the season so far in Owen Hargreaves, but Ronaldo did return and got booked for his troubles along with Paul Scholes.

United lacked any sort of cutting edge down the middle against Everton, which has been the story of the season so far. In marked contrast to last season, the Reds are finding it hard to score goals and it remains to be seen how much longer Fergie will opt to start games without the only genuine number nine at the club in Louis Saha.

It seems fairly clear that Fergie's mind is set on staring games with Tevez and Rooney will no doubt join him once fully fit, which will leave Saha on the bench.

We will only know if the Tevez/Rooney partnership is going to work once they've played together for a few games, so the jury is very much out on that option even though we are mid-way through September.

Fergie was rightly delighted with the win against Everton, because as he says the Toffees will take points off the top teams this season so it was an excellent result even if the overall performance wasn't.

For a brief spell on Saturday, the Red Devils topped the table for the first time this season, only to be left in third place overnight after Liverpool drew with improving Portsmouth, Chelsea could only manage a draw against the vastly improved Blackburn and Arsenal went top after coming back from one down to win 3-1 at rivals Spurs in what was the game of the day.

United will need to start clicking soon because next weekend Chelsea are the visitors to Old Trafford for our first real six pointer of the season, before that United travel to Portugal to face Sporting Lisbon. United will probably have Rooney back for that game alongside either Saha or more likely Tevez.

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