Date: 26th November 2012 at 2:02pm
Written by:
A scene we've all missed of late.

A scene we’ve all missed of late.

As City and Chelsea trundled along to a boring goalless draw at Stamford Bridge this afternoon, one thing became abundantly clear- and it wasn’t that Rafa Benitez is about as popular with the Pensioner’s fans as Anton Ferdinand.

It’s obvious that with United sitting at the top of the Premier League, after losing three of our opening 13 games this title is definitely winnable. Yes, it’s early days, yes we still have to play the noisy neighbours but looking back at the season so far, it’s safe to say that the dropped points were avoidable and there’s no reason we can’t make it number 20 as long as we don’t make silly mistakes.So far, bar perhaps the game at Goodison Park the defeats and even the games where we’ve scraped a win, have been due more to our own shortcomings than superior opposition. I fully expect the ‘top red’ brigade to crucify me for this, but Sir Alex Ferguson has made hard work of far too many games this season, with poor and sometimes even baffling decisions. Before you all start, I’m fully aware of his greatness and appreciate what he’s done as much as anyone, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say some of the tactics employed during this campaign have been naive at best.

The title is there for the taking as long as we don’t gift too many games away, here’s five tactical decisions that could ensure we’ll be reaching number 20 come May.

1. No midfield ‘pair’ should contain either Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs. I love Giggs and Scholes and would happily name my children after them- if I had any- but it’s abundantly clear they cannot play as part of a two in the Premier League anymore. On Saturday Scholes struggled alongside Darren Fletcher, a week prior Giggs looked out of sorts alongside Michael Carrick. These games weren’t against Barcelona or even Man City, they were against Norwich and QPR, two sides who’ll probably consider it an excellent season  if they finish 17th. I don’t enjoy rolling my eyes when I see players I adore named in the starting line-up and I still believe both veterans can do a job, but it’s either from the bench or alongside two other energetic types.

2. David De Gea starts EVERY league game. I understand he’s had his wisdom teeth removed so missed Norwich, but DDG should’ve been fit enough to play against QPR and he could’ve made the difference had Anderson not got us out of jail. Anders Lindegaard is a good goalkeeper, but he isn’t world-class, not by any stretch, and Fergie’s fondness for dropping DDG at the slightest hint of a mistake, could prove costly. The Spaniard kept us in the title race at the end of last season, with the sort of saves his colleague can only dream of. Start De Gea. Simple.

3. Stop playing Danny Welbeck on the wing. I don’t care if it’s left or right, Welbeck is not a winger, he’s not even remotely one, he’s a striker who’s being wasted out wide. If it means he doesn’t start then so be it, but playing him on the left wing is becoming a bit of a farce, as he’s never been suited to it. We’ve seen what he can do up front, and what he’s doing for England now, so if we do want to play Welbeck play him there or not at all.

4. Chicharito is a sub. This may upset a few people but here’s how the cycle works. Chicha comes off the bench scores, starts the next game, doesn’t do too well, is dropped back to the bench, comes on late on and scores, starts the next game……

It’s not rocket science, the lad is a brilliant impact player who teams simply cannot handle, can we say the same about Welbeck or even Wayne Rooney? No. It may be hard to take at times when we see him do so well from the bench, but that’s where he should be playing from – for now anyway.

5. If you’re poor, you’re dropped. Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, I don’t care what your name is and how ‘legendary’ you are, if you’re not playing well, then you shouldn’t be starting. We’ve suffered from sticking with players this season who’ve been out of form, none more so than Tony V who bar the Chelsea match hasn’t been at the races at all. I’m not saying one bad game should mean you’re dropped but if it’s a few then no matter who you are you should make way, we’ve certainly got the squad for it.

I firmly believe if we stick to these five points, we’ll regain ‘our trophy’ the question is do you agree?

Answers on a brick through the usual window please:


13 responses to “Five Simple Steps To Title Number 20”

  1. john says:

    Whether chicharito starts or not, it’s not the problem, it’s the midfield behind him. Deserves a start & with a good side, not the usual fringe side w giggs in central midfield, as your earlier point states.

  2. realist says:

    i gather you dont like reds telling you to respect what fergie does and not to question him!
    well, im one of those people im afraid…thats not to say i dont question his decisions, but normally i see an angle he may have been coming from, and most importantly he sees the guys day in day out in training not just for 90 mins once or twice a week….oh and yes, he has won more than you could imagine or even dream about, but you know all that anyway!
    lets just take this last defeat at norwich as an example. i myself, questioned the cm pairing as i believe if cleverley and ando played that game, we might not have lost. But, the thing is, the bigger picture! you cannot play your strongest players every game, and this is the conclusion i came to myself when i thought about why the boss played giggs and carrick. then i thought, well, why didnt he play giggs and carrick in europe in a meaningless match instead of norwich? it didnt make much sense to me until match day of the galatasaray game when it became obvious. the likes of powell and a fair few others on the field that night will not have played in an atmosphere like that ever before, and may not again for some time, but at least they have now had that experience and hopefully them and us will benefit from the boss’ foresight in the not so didstant future. at the end of the day our team at norwich that day was good enough to beat them and had the game been scheduled for a replay the very next week with the same players im sure we would have beat them. hindsight is great, so is sir alex….we, unfortunatel;y when it comes to consistently winning leagues and cups are not, so my advice to you, which im sure you wont take, is sit back, shut up,and respect what we have, because it wont last long and im 100% sure people like you will be moaning like hell when we have a new manager, because you will think you know better!

    • chrisaus88 says:

      Well said. He knows what he is doing. For me Ando & Cleverly are nailed on the starting lineup, but aren’t we always complaining about them being injured? Lets stay in the races & then unleash a fresh central midfield at the end of the season.

      He is also being very good with his use of Fletcher & i think we will start to see him back in form soon.

      His management of Powell has been excellent aswell. Anytime we are leading by two goals he brings Powell on to get used to the EPL without making a potentially costly mistake. Unfortunately we aren’t leading by two goals often.

  3. Abdullahi Mustapha Ogalebe says:

    Goodday 2 my fellow colleagues! As everybody is comenting on Chicharito n Danny! Chicharito hv proving 2 Alex Ferguson that he is ahead of Danny Welbeck! So! 4 that, Ferguson should know how best 2 use both of them whenever match comce!

  4. Abdullahi Mustapha Ogalebe says:

    Ryan Giggs should pls retired at d end of ds current canpaign 4 his own good! Cos, he is not at his own best again! He should pls allow d young once 2 show-case their tallent, Cos, ds is how he 2 came up during his youthful age!

  5. Nathan Quao says:

    You totally nailed it on all the points especially the ones on welbeck and Giggs+Scholes combination. The old men are legends and we’re so grateful for what they’ve helped us win but they’re past it and that’s the truth. They can’t compete with the younger legs of the other teams. Fergie should rather focus on bringing on ball winner to smoothen things in midfield.
    As for Welbeck’s role on the left,it’s all down to Nani and Young’s absolutely shocking displays. I don’t understand why they’ve been this poor. Let’s get ourselves a pure left winger and let those guys learn their lesson. Not any player gets a platform as huge as Man United but it seems they don’t appreciate it.

  6. Diano says:

    I think without Rooney on the pitch.. There is little hope for 4 Manchester United…most fans are full of confident when we have Wazza on the pitch…

  7. lamar says:

    6 – Get rid of Michael Carrick. This one needs no explanation.

  8. makelele says:

    Good post, but in addition to this, I think the addition of a strong, young midfielder like Strootman or Wanyama in January will be the addition that takes us to the next level. Eventually a midfield three of Strootman/Wanyama/similar defensive mid, Ando and Clev is what we need in the here and now.

  9. Sale Red says:

    6. Leave Carrick where he is, get shut of Ashley Young, who has never been, nor ever will be, United class. I’d honestly rather see Bebe on the wing.

    • lamar says:

      What’s so world class about carrick? His amazing back passes or his “oh my god” side passes? Remember the ucl final against barcelona? What did he bring to the table? What does he bring to the table on a regular basis?

    • lamar says:

      What’s so world class about carrick? His amazing back passes or his “oh my god” side passes? What does he bring to the table?

  10. udayan basu says: