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. R20;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.