Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ferguson pays price for tinkering...

Most English football fans went into the weekend suffering with a hangover following the disappointment of seeing England eliminated from Euro 2008. However, United apart, all of the leading clubs in the Premier League won their fixtures on Saturday to in part make up for the events at Wembley just a few days before.

For Reds fans the hangover carried on over the weekend as United somehow contrived to lose a league game at Bolton for the first time in 29 years, courtesy of an early first-half Anelka goal at the Reebok after Pique totally misjudged a cross into the box and the Frenchman was on hand to score with ease. The young Spanish defender was standing in for Vidic who'd picked up a back injury on international duty.

So come Saturday night United fans where left cursing the fact that the Reds had allowed the chasing pack to close the gap and worse still Arsenal had opened up a three point lead at the top of the table.

Many United supporters will no doubt be pointing the finger at Ferguson who it appears had forgotten that when Rooney and Ronaldo do not play the Reds do not offer the same threat going forward, this fact was underscored in the first few weeks of the season when we couldn't find the back of the net.

Only just a few weeks ago Bolton were shipping goals and looked like relegation fodder, so perhaps this led Fergie to believe that he could take liberties with the Trotters because he decided to leave out Ronaldo plus Anderson and of course Rooney is injured.

In hindsight it looks like a very bad decision (even madness perhaps) and it looks like a classic case of tinkering gone wrong. There was no reason to leave out Ronaldo and Anderson with United having secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Perhaps Fergie felt under pressure from the likes of Carrick, who has not been getting many games of late. Surely though the game with Sporting Lisbon was the game to play players like Carrick and Nani?

On Saturday it was only after Ferguson made changes in the second half when bringing on Anderson did the champions take control of the game. You don't always get what you deserve in football and against Bolton United should have at least taken a draw a point from the game, how Tevez missed a second chance from six yards out is as baffling as Fergie's team selection.

If the Reds go on to lose the league by three points or less, then we will look back at this result and wonder what might have been.

On the upside, surely Wayne Rooney cannot suffer any more injuries this season and it is to be hoped that this is just a blip in what will turn out to be a very successful season. If the manager is suffering from memory loss, the result at the Reebok will give him a timely reminder that he cannot afford to be taking liberties with anyone when the battle at the top of the table is so tight. Fergie wont do it again this season surely?


  1. It a big mountain to climb for Manchester United. Arsenal is not losing and they are taking every match as important like the other, Chelsea too is the same and Liverpool. For Sir Alex Ferguson thinks he has the strongest ever which is a misleading factor. Even other teams could say that. So all machester United team should get serious if they some silver ware this season. Remember Arsenal is trying thr repeat the similar events that happened in 2004 going un beaten.

  2. I am not sure anymore whether Fergie won't do the same thing again (and again). We didn't take yesterday's game seriously and we pay the price. We already drawn 3 times and lose twice thus we are not reach half of the season yet. If we failed to retain the title, the game at Reebok will be a game that will be looked back on as the possible reason.

  3. Ferguson's comment about his "best ever" squad doesn't hold water. His "fringe" players are just not up to the mark. Fletcher, O'Shea, and others are reasonable EPL quality, but certainly not top drawer stuff.
    Yes, he tinkers, unnecessarily. A couple of seasons ago he took a weakened side to Wolverhampton and got beaten when Wolves were bottom of the EPL and struggling every game.
    So much for them hinges on the quality of Rooney and Ronaldo and the team selection on Saturday was pathetic. Three points absolutely thrown away. Come on Fergie, let's play to win shall we

  4. Mon ami, I'm so sorry to see your "best ever" squad suffer at the foot of another Frenchman.

  5. To be fair, the only bit of tinkering here was playing Carrick instead of Anderson. Although considering how important Carrick was for us last season he ought to have done the job. That he failed was a different story.

    Ronaldo was injured (as confirmed in this link), which is why he didn't make it to the bench. I also thought Pique should have been played at RB as this was an away game and Brown's experience would have been better served at centre.

  6. RedRanter: Reference that story. I don't believe Fergie for one minute. Prior to the game it was stated that Ronaldo had been rested, that story was posted after the game. It's called news was an attempt at damage limitation. What's more when Fergie makes changes he normally makes a couple so the players in question do not feel as though it's anything personal. Which is what happened prior to the Bolton game.


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