Saturday, November 07, 2009

United can beat Chelsea, but Fergie would take a draw right now if it were offered....

Manchester United go into tomorrow's big Premier League clash against Chelsea with many pundits expecting a hammering for the champions, there's no surprise there given what happened at Old Trafford in the summer with the loss of two world-class strikers and the quality of the replacements that followed.

The general consensus is United are weak in midfield, lack punch up front and have problems in defence. In sharp contrast the league leaders look strong in all departments.

Since the departure of Ronaldo Ferguson has had to change tactics and formation and against Chelsea who are very strong in midfield no doubting the United manager would like to play five in the middle, but the problem is United do not currently have a player who can lead the line like Didier Drogba or else a striker like Fernando Torres who frightens defenders to death with his pace. Ferguson faces a massive tactical dilemma; if he selects just one striker in Wayne Rooney, he will keep on losing possession and the ball will keep on coming back at United's midfield and defence; If Fergie selects two strikers the champions will be more of an attacking threat but the midfield will be the weaker. It's a no-brainer for Ferguson with the players at his disposal - which is why he'd almost certainly take a draw if it were offered, if indeed it were possible.

Despite the very obvious problems facing United, they can win at Stamford Bridge, but only if every single player in the red shirt gives nothing less than 100% and plays close to their very best.

This isn't a David vs. Goliath clash, but if United are on the wrong end of a pasting in West London the media will have a field day at the champions’ expense. If Chelsea win convincingly it might even persuade Fergie to strengthen his squad in January because there's no doubting United are at least two players short at present. The return of a fit Owen Hargreaves will go a long way to resolving some of the midfield problems, but that will not solve the striker dilemma that surfaces every time the champions have a really tough looking game.

Quite obviously nothing will be decided whatever the result tomorrow, it's also too early to write off United's and their title credentials, but a good win for Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea will give the blues yet more momentum.

4 comments:

  1. Thoughtful analysis. Fair points, Carrick and Anderson have done little to justify their places in the squad over the last couple of weeks. I read in some other previews, when we were talking about earlier doubts we had about Fletcher, and that we asked often whether he was good enough for United.

    Its the same now for many players, not least Carrick, Anderson, Nani, Obertan among other youngsters.

    Fletcher proved in big-match after big-match, how important he is, I remember last year's 1-1 draw, which United should have won after taking the lead, and Fletcher was absolutely key. The entire squad have to step up and play good, organised, and solid football to win.

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  2. Uday,

    Actually since his benching I think Carrick has been doing ok of late, he's been back close to his best, but is that good enough?

    Fletcher seems to do quite well against Chelsea but I think this game has come a week too soon for him.

    I don't rate Nani and I'm a bit concerned about this Obertan because he looks a like a lightweight.

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  3. Will you stop going on about losing 2 world class players as no way can Tevez ever be described as world class.

    Other than that you are spot on with your comments. Very unlucky to lose today & the team played very well. Could have easily won if it wasn't for some poor refereeing decisions. Fletcher has really developed in to a fantastic big game player.

    There was an Irish bloke on R5 this evening saying that Obertan is going to be just as good as Ronaldo!!! Promising start but I think he'd had too many jars of the black stuff.

    Yes we need someone in the mould of Torres or Drogba but is there anyone available?

    Ref the 5 mins of added time & I wonder if there is going to be the massive inquest into the fact the ref didn't play longer considering Chelsea wasted a minute in their substitution. I guess that unlike the Citeh game it will be ignored as United didn't gain any benefit.

    Great performance from the lads today just a shame they didn't get the result they deserved.

    Finally a mention to my hometown club for beating Charlton today.

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  4. Vaud,

    We will never agree on Tevez.

    Was that Irish bloke Louis Walsh?

    I really cannot see Obertan making it at United, but I will reserve judgement.

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