Date: 12th March 2011 at 2:34am
Written by:
Sir Alex Ferguson

Is it wrong to question Sir Alex?

I admire Sir Alex Ferguson, in fact I’d go one further and say I actually love him.

After all I love Manchester United and he’s turned them into the most successful team of all time, so why don’t I just say it: I love the man,.

I know if we hadn’t appointed him as manager back when we were lingering round the bottom of Division One then I could well have gone my entire life without seeing one trophy come enter the Old Trafford trophy cabinet- let alone 35.

I feel I’d be doing both myself and the readers of this site a disservice if I didn’t share my honest opinions even when they question the greatest manager off all time.

I’m not claiming to know anywhere near as much as Sir Alex Ferguson does when it comes to footballing matters and tactics, but I know what I agree with and what I beleive not to have worked.

United’s last four games have been on the whole very disappointing. The Wigan game may have been a comfortable 4-0 win away from home but even that had elements to it that left a bad taste in the mouth. However you cannot argue with the result or Fergie’s tactics which were a huge success. The other three games out of the last four have left quite a lot to be desired.

Forgive me for daring to say it, but I’m of the school of thought that Ferguson has got it wrong in all of those three games, while I’m not saying it’s totally his fault, I do think he’s been dare I say, somewhat naive in some of his thinking.

Let’s start with the Marseille game, a nil-nil away from home in the Champion’s League is far from disastrous but for me it could have been avoided.

The decision to play Darron Gibson alongside Michael Carrick at the expense of Paul Scholes was quite simply puzzling. I’m not in the Gibson is the root of all evil’ camp that many Reds have pitched their tent in, but I don’t believe the team functions all that great with both him and Carrick in the midfield.

For me it’s a case of one or the other not both as the midfield seems to suffer from a lack of zip and bite when those two line up alongside one another.

Ferguson failed to also realise that this wasn’t working after a few minutes and rather than give Scholes a chance to alter the game he left it till the 72nd minute before bringing the Ginger Prince on at the expense of Gibson -who incidentally for me was arguably our best midfielder- or our least bad one.

Then there was the Chelsea game, where every United fan and his dog blamed Martin Atkinson and he alone for the defeat.

I however had one burning question that came into my mind around forty minutes before kick off. “Why wasn’t Dimitar Berbatov starting?” They say hindsights a wonderful thing, but anyone who saw the match preview video posted on here will know my sole contribution to it was 30 seconds of me pleading in my bathroom for Fergie to please, please please start Berbatov.

Alas my pleas fell on deaf ears and the Bulgarian had to settle for a second half cameo only two minutes longer than the one afforded Scholes in the Velodrome.

I know that Chicharito had just bagged a brace at Wigan and i’m also aware that Wayne Rooney scored on the night but for me dropping our top scorer, yet again, for an important game was madness.

Berbatov is anything but an impact player, while Chicharito has already proven himself one of the best impact players in the world.

Also if you’re going off form then what player can be more on form than the one with more goals than anyone else this season? Let’s face facts, Rooney’s goal at Wigan was something of a gift from Berbatov who arguably could have scored himself but obviously saw the importance of helping out his strike partner who’s found goals hard to come by all season.

Dropping Berbatov was a mistake and expecting him to be able to find a match goal in a twenty minute substitute appearance was overly optimistic to say the least.

Yes Martin Atkinson had a beast but that shouldn’t detract from the fact that Fergie chose the wrong strike partnership.

Then there’s the Liverpool game, which depsite the poor refereeing was lost down to United’s lack of fight rather than incompetent officials.

As soon as the team sheet was announced the idea that Carrick and Scholes could man the midfield alone seemed a tad hopeful.
With a makeshift centre back pairing why wasn’t Darren Fletcher placed firmly infront of it to offer a bit more protection? Or at least offer a bit more grit in the centre of the park?

You again could say this is hindsight but these were questions both myself and many other Reds aired well before kick off.

I’m almost scared to voice it but I honestly believe Fergie’s got his tactics wrong for three of the last four games.

Continued on page two.

7 responses to “Why I’m Praying Sir Alex Doesn’t Make it 4 Out Of 5”

  1. Shane says:

    Let’s face it…We all love and adore Sir Alex Ferguson, he alone has contributed to a whole lot of happiness in my life. But that doesn’t mean I will agree with his decisions all through out our life times, but one thing does still remain,I will never ever let anything tarnish the great admiration I have for him.

    This may be a bit hasty,but I’m starting to believe that his eye for the game and abillity to spot and use talent has become a bit dated in the past few years.

    It goes without saying that tactically Queiroz played a big part in United’s style through the past 3 successful title campaigns we embarked on and since he has left the club, the style and creative play has gone with him.I understand this is a bold statement and I cannot say that I categorically believe this 100%.But it is a theory that I do think about from time to time when watching us step on that pitch within the past 2 years.

    Another theory is quite straight forward and does hold great ground too, this is that United have been deprived of spending a decent amount of money that would be needed to maintain a squad to still win the Premiership and the Champions League (Especially when losing key players to age and the god forsaken Real Madrid).

    The final idea, kind of links in with number 1.This is that Fergie beleived that this current squad is good enough to compete to the standards of the dizzying heights of the 3 time’s back to back Champion days. In doing this he also beleived that building a squad to play the 442 was a wise decision (which is a probable conclusion for why we let VDV slip through our fingers) and that keeping Gibson instead of Cleverly was smart.

    All three play their own part in why we are and I can’t stress this word enough….PLAYING the way we are!…Our overall current position is great, yet 90% of us are predicting a great decline similar to last season.

  2. Jacob says:

    That’s the nature of football games. You can’t get everything right on a single or a couple of games. We learn from those mistakes. I just hope hope Fergie still lashes out the hairdryer like he used to. I think the players need it.

  3. gilbert says:

    Our 1st choice central defensive pairs are missing and we also have Valencia and Anderson out injured, with so many 1st teamer missing do you still expect us to steamroll everybody? time to wake up, we have done well and with better luck we could have got something out of those games.

  4. Albashir says:

    This is rubbish, i know perfectly well who you want out and it’s Rooney. I can’t help thinking why the English media always jump to the oppotunity of attacking their own player at fault or no, yes Rooney doesn’t score much as berbatov does this season, but the commitment, the dedication, the desire to play and above all the assist he gives. I am of the opinion that Rooney has offered more than Berbatov will ever offer, so he doesn’t deserve this humilliation. Fergie knows his importannce so whatever you say won’t matter.

  5. I agree with most points. We played well for 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge, then we were terrible in the second half and that carried on in to the Liverpool game.

    Fergie does makes mistakes – as genius as he is, he is only human, and for the first time in a while he hasn’t got it right two games on the bounce.

    Having said that, the lack of investment on the team is now showing through loud and clear. The genius of Fergie meant we’ve been either winning titles or being near-abouts since the Glazers’ took ownership – but he’s been stretched now, and I think until he gets some funds, he’s goign to be tredding water for a while. No fault of his own.

  6. Shane says:

    It’s obvious why Fergie being an employer of the Glazer’s will have to defend them and persist with the “No value in the market” excuse.

    But at the same time, when Fergie says this I now hold him responsible for in theory believing that this squad is good enough. If this is true,then this in itself is the worse judgement call Fergie will have made in a long,long time. Not based on the last two games,but based on the whole of our season. We are a shadow of our team from two/three years ago and with the free flowing and class displays still fresh in the memory of the not so distant seasons passed.It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when I remember that the great double winning team was meant to go on to even better things when considering the average age, fast forward two years on and you realise even further that the team that walks out today in OT is a result of many,many bad decisions.