IF Saturday's extremely fortuitous victory was any sort of reliable indicator then it seems Ferguson's post Ronaldo plans are in tatters, because for far too long against Arsenal the United manager persisted with just Wayne Rooney up front that was until the 85th minute when he belatedly sent on Dimitar Berbatov. It actually took the champions until the 92 minute to create their first genuine goal-scoring opportunity, only for the cruel bounce of the ball to make United's Bulgarian striker look a bit stupid as he fluffed his lines.
In the wake of Saturday's lucky victory Mike Phelan has said 'there's work to be done', we don't quite know what that means given the club have so far failed to take advantage of the opportunity to bring in reliable genuine proven quality where new signings are concerned this summer. Owen is injury prone and Valencia is very much unproven at the very highest level. One is left to assume that Fergie's assistant is referring to the current squad, but it's questionable if those tasked with taking the club forward post Ronaldo and Tevez are good enough to do the job.
Rival fans and pundits alike had claimed that if you took Ronaldo out then Ferguson's team would be very average and going off United's early season performances they are right.
Ferguson had promised that we would see United playing 'differently' this season, when quizzed what that actually meant the Scot said that Berbatov would play alongside Rooney up top. It was a simple solution to a not so simple problem and one that will continue to be questioned.
On Saturday, and no doubt fearing a midfield mauling by Wenger's young guns, Ferguson abandoned the idea of playing two strikers and instead he opted to flood the midfield. It was a decision that very nearly backfired spectacularly.
United's five man midfield didn't stop Arshavin from nearly bursting the rigging and but for mistakes by Almunia and Diaby which led to the visitors eventually gifting United the points the champions would have lost two games out of just four.
Playing Rooney on his own as the main striker is never going to work, not when the manager is relying on players like Valencia, Fletcher, Nani and Carrick to score goals. Clearly and despite fears that United's midfield isn't strong enough, the manager needs to stick to his initial plan of starting with two strikers - any other option is doomed to failure - that is unless United continue to be extremely lucky, but as everyone knows in football, good luck and the decisions, both good and bad tend to even themselves out over the season.
Fergie made a plan he needs to stick to it, if he doesn't and he continues to play Rooney as the lone striker, United's attacks will continue to break down and the ball will keep on coming back which will eventually lead to the midfield and defence being over-worked, and that in turn leads to mistakes.
The merits of Rooney and Berbatov partnership is another huge talking point, what is beyond doubt is the fact that neither one of them is capable of consistently providing the goal-scoring solution on their own and therefore two strikers playing together has to be better than just one.
On a weekend of good fortune there was however yet more good news to report, because United's next opponents have been rocked with the news that Modric has suffered a serious injury and he will miss the clash with the champions. Despite the loss of Modric, Spurs will still give United a thorough examination and there's no doubt that Fergie and his players will have to rise to the occasion which didn't really happen against Arsenal.