Friday, September 18, 2009

Fergie must start derby with two strikers or else....

United face neighbours City in the Manchester derby on Sunday, if it wasn't for the fact that Adebayor is suspended the Blues could well have been favourites to win the game given their impressive start to the new season. Adebayor will of course miss the derby which means that United should be favourites, but much will depend on how Ferguson approaches this clash.

In two out of the champions last three fixtures the manager has started with just Wayne Rooney up front, which handed the initiative to Arsenal and then Besiktas in midweek. In both of those fixtures United didn't create a genuine goal-scoring opportunity until the second striker was introduced late on.

The big problem for Ferguson and United is that Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov are both essentially second-strikers - they are not target men like Adebayor and Drogba, nor do they have the pace of Fernando Torres.

Rival manager Mark Hughes has spent heavily this summer and his new players have quickly gelled into a formidable outfit. As Arsenal discovered last weekend, with Adebayor the Citizens' are arguably the most potent counter-attacking team in the Premier League. It is therefore vital that United retain possession on Sunday and to do that Ferguson simply must start with Berbatov and Rooney up front - if he doesn't there is a very strong possibility that the manager will be handing City the initiative and worse still as we have seen in two out of the last three games United won't create many goal scoring opportunities.

Whenever Ferguson floods midfield it is negative and it sends out a message to our opponents, one that says he is scared of them, by default this over-cautious approach speaks volumes about the manager's lack of confidence in his midfield. However, last weekend at Spurs and against Wigan before that the team played well when the manager was bold when starting with 442. It was a slightly different scenario when United still had Ronaldo; with his pace the manager had a potent weapon, one that put the fear of god into our opponents.

If Ferguson starts with 433/451 it could well end in tears. In the remote case that he should need reminding United are playing at Old Trafford and so he needs to bold when selecting his team. United got out of jail against Arsenal thanks to Almunia and Diaby. On Tuesday Besiktas were worse than awful - they were totally clueless. Fergie has been pushing his luck when starting with 433, his luck will run out sooner or later if he doesn't see the light and quickly.


  1. We could still play a 4-2-3-1 with Anderson and Fletcher behind Giggs, Berba and Nani with Wazza up front.

  2. Elvido,

    Call it what you will, but we definitely need Rooney and Berbatov in that starting line up...

  3. i hope united can wining this game with score 4-0 leading by united.hahahahaa...Glory United!!

  4. Ronaldo's departure has really made the elephant in the room visible. United's midfield seriously lacks quality. The only two players with the touch on the ball worthy of a United player are the old horses Giggsy and Scholsey. Fletch is an overrated utility man, Carrick's very slow on the ball, Anderson sometimes looks like he's got no head on his shoulders. Nani is too immature and Valencia, well, just isn't talented enough. So I'd say losing Scholes for this game will be very bad for us. Oh how we need Hargo back!! Hope Giggsy can work something tomorrow though.

    As for Berba, he definitely should start.

  5. It's halftime and it seems Fergie listened to you, though with the wrinkle that Park is starting. And yes, he was invisible with the exception of giving away two free kicks within close proximity to the goal.

  6. Evgenii

    I seriously doubt that but I think Fergie has learnt his lesson now and if so I hope we have seen the last of 433/451 for the remainder of this season.

    I was screaming that Park should have been taken off after about the first 10 minutes, he was totally useless today. If Fergie had started with Valencia we'd have penned them back more in that opening period.

    Great second half performance though, it was like the old United with those crosses pinging around the box.

    Less said about Foster and Rio, I'm going to slaughter the pair of them in my match summary which is coming right up.

  7. I was thinking the same thing. Valencia forced Ireland to play wide and it opened up the center. It was great to see Giggs play pure left winger again. Even at his age, still think he was the MVP today.

    Great wing play, shades of the old days. Maybe Fergie keeps giggs there permanently. Can't wait for your summary of Rio and Foster. Rio is always mistake prone when he coback from injury too soon.


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