Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fergie to give Morrison and Pogba their chances knowing he risks losing both this summer?

Manchester United are in action on Wednesday night at Old Trafford in the quarter finals of the Carling Cup, where they will face Crystal Palace.

It's always quite difficult to gauge how seriously Ferguson takes the once maligned Carling Cup - a competition that has risen slightly above the level of joke status in recent seasons. In the last round, United travelled to Aldershot - it was the first game after the mother-of-all hidings by Man City. There was no way Fergie was going to allow his team to be humiliated twice in a week and certainly not by a third division outfit and United went on to win 3-0.

While the champions haven't lost since the derby, United's football of late hasn't been what we the fans have come to expect, but then we have been spoilt down the years by Ferguson and his players. But the fact is, since the demolition derby, United have been very underwhelming. The team has shown all too brief glimpses of their old swash-buckling attacking play, but United have drawn the last two home games. It finished 2-2 apiece with Benfica in the Champions League last week and then on Saturday, it was 1-1 with Newcastle. Both performances left a lot to be desired.

True enough, Newcastle were gifted a point by the linesman who wrongly awarded the Geordies a very dodgy penalty. There was nothing wrong with Rio Ferdinand's tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa - in point of fact it was a great tackle. Fergie was right to describe the assistant referee's decision as a "travesty"; there's no disputing how bad that decision was and only time will tell how costly that howler of a mistake will turn out to be. While wen can, with some justification, carp on about poor decision making, there's no escaping the fact that United simply weren't good enough around the Newcastle box on Saturday. The final ball into the visitors' penalty area was all too often poor. For once, Javier Hernandez wasn't on song, as someone put it "is Chicharito wearing Berbatov's boots"?

United aren't playing well  in the wake of the derby - we are still playing like trauma victims. And so what can Fergie do about this? With the transfer window set to open in January, the fans are hoping the manager will do what he should have done following the first embarrassing defeat against Barcelona in that Champions League final - that is he should have signed at least one world-class midfield player.

Sadly, Fergie hasn't done much to address the glaring issues in United's engine room. If anything, United have gone backwards this season where midfield is concerned. Giggs is a year older. Scholes has retired. Cleverley's stop-start season has had an impact on the manager's planning, but United should not be relying on one so young.

Some fans are saying NOW is the time to give Pogba and Morrison their chances. Some are saying, if it doesn't happen now given how poor our midfield is, then just maybe it will NEVER happen as far as these two young stars in the making are concerned. While some pundits and fans might well nod in agreement with that last statement, we have to take a broader view of the overall picture. We have to try to think like the Lord himself.... Fergie is a very fair manager, of that there is no doubt. If he picks Pogba at the expense of say Fletcher and or Carrick, quite how will that affect these senior players? As far as Morrison is concerned, like Pogba, it is feared he could be tempted away from Old Trafford, speculation suggestions that could happen as early as this summer....Perhaps Morrison believes he is better than he actually is? That scenario could also be playing a part in Fergie's mind. Morrison recently tweeted that he couldn't wait for the summer to arrive..some people interpreted this as a warning that the player was planning to turn his back on the champions.

Whatever happens there's no way Ferguson will put up with any antics from players like Morrison who has so far only made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Fergie has a great record when it comes to managing young players. Morrison and Pogba will have to bide their time, like every other United player.

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