Posts Tagged ‘ Sir Alex Ferguson ’

Radamel Falcao Would Not Be the Answer for Manchester United




Radamel Falcao is a world-class striker, but is he really going to solve Manchester United’s problems?


Sir Alex Ferguson and the Red Devils apparently believe so, as the club is reportedly throwing its name in the hat

It’s almost impossible to argue that United’s attack isn’t strengthened by bringing in the Colombian striker. A partnership of Falcao and Robin van Persie would be the most intimidating in the world.

Goals haven’t exactly been a problem for Manchester United, though. The Red Devils have scored 71 times in the Premier League, which is 10 more than Chelsea, who is in second place.

The Wayne Rooney transfer rumors are seemingly neverending, so the arrival of Falcao would likely either precede or follow the departure of Rooney. You can see where United would want to replace a striker of Rooney’s reputation with another big-name player.

But what about Javier Hernandez?

Chicharito is still only 24 years old. While not the quality of Falcao at this point, there’s every reason to expect the Mexican striker would be able to suffice in the absence of Rooney. Hernandez has scored 11 goals in 26 domestic and European league matches this season. He’s energetic and always manages to pounce on any chance in the box. You could very easily see Hernandez scoring 20 goals next season if he’s given a starting role. Plus, the money spent on Falcao would inevitably subtract money from the transfer budget that could be spent much more wisely elsewhere. Ferguson is not a heavy spender during the summer, so it’s unrealistic to expect him to break the bank this season.

United spent a little over £50 million on the trio of David de Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones back in the summer of 2011. Something comparable could be expected this summer. But with Falcao taking up £27 million, that doesn’t leave much to spend on what has been United’s biggest issue: midfield.

Surely the club would be much better off spending the lion’s share of the transfer budget on a player like Kevin Strootman, Sven Bender, Mario Gotze, Isco, Victor Wanyama, Etienne Capoue or any combination of those players.

Manchester United is built for success in England. There’s no doubt about that. Bringing in Falcao would be a shot across the bow of Europe’s elite that the Red Devils are back to take their place atop the throne of club football. But what good will Falcao be if Ferguson leaves the midfield untouched?

It’s hard to envision United being any more successful in Europe than it currently is by continuing to rely on Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Anderson to occupy the midfield. You can have the best strikers in the world, but there rendered ineffective against good clubs when you don’t have a ball-winner or someone to pull the strings in the midfield.

Falcao is a great player, but he should not be the top transfer target for Manchester United this season.



Manchester United vs Manchester City EPL Preview: Only pride at stake for Mancini’s men with title race all but over

Wayne Rooney





De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
Valencia, Giggs, Carrick, Young
Van Persie

Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Barry, Toure
Milner, Tevez, Silva

Sir Alex Ferguson is still without Darren Fletcher, who is out for the season, but full-back Rafael is expected to return from a groin injury.

However, there could still be a place for Phil Jones or Chris Smalling at right-back, though the experienced pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are expected to start at centre-half.

Up front, Sir Alex’s wealth of options means Chicharito, Danny Welbeck or Shinji Kagawa could be in contention to start ahead of Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie.

The visitors, meanwhile, are still without injured full-back Maicon (knee) but could welcome Micah Richards (knee) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring) back in time for Monday’s clash.

Out-of-favour defender Joleon Lescott is likely to continue on the bench for Roberto Mancini’s men, though City’s top scorer in the Premier League Edin Dzeko could be in contention for a starting place.

  • Manchester United are on course for a record 21st domestic title. City pipped them to the post last year, winning their first title in 44 years but United now look set to regain the trophy with a 15-point lead.
  • The Red Devils can do the double over City with victory on Monday after a 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season.
  • Robin van Persie  is Manchester United’s top scorer with 23 goals in all competitions this season, but he has not netted in his last nine games for the club.
  • Sir Alex’s men have not finished outside of the top three since 1991. They have also finished at least second in their last eight consecutive league campaigns.
  • Manchester City have lost just once in their last seven games in all competitions.
  • City have scored 15 fewer goals than United this season, subsequently making their goal difference weaker than that of their cross-city rivals by 10.
  • Away form has been the biggest problem for Mancini’s men, with City suffering three defeats and five draws on the road. In stark contrast, the Premier League champions have only lost once and drawn three times at the Etihad, amassing 11 wins.
  • Manchester City have beaten the Red Devils 16 times at Old Trafford in their history, though they have lost to United 36 times at the same ground.

Chelsea vs Manchester United FA Cup Replay Preview: Manchester City await winners of quarter-final replay

Ramries, Oscar and Mata





Azpilicueta, Luiz, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Mikel
Oscar, Mata, Hazard


De Gea
Jones, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra
Cleverley, Giggs
Welbeck, Rooney, Nani

Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Ramires and Demba Ba should all return to Rafa Benitez’s starting line-up after missing Chelsea’s league defeat at Southampton on Saturday.

The Chelsea boss could make around six changes to his side ahead of a run of five games in the next 13 days.

Gary Cahill (knee) is a doubt so John Terry is likely to continue in defence alongside Luiz. With Ba cup-tied for the Blues in the Europa League, the Senegalese should be handed a start on Monday. Mata should return to the side after missing the match at St Mary’s with illness.

Sir Alex Ferguson is also likely to make several changes to his side after rotating the team in the weekend win at Sunderland.

Phil Jones could return to the side at right-back after Rafael (groin) was forced off at the weekend. Tom Cleverley and Ryan Giggs are also likely to feature after sitting out Saturday’s match.

In attack, Danny Welbeck and Chicharito will hope for a starting berth with Nani also ready to come in. Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Robin van Persie should drop to the bench.

  • Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has won the FA Cup more times than any other player, lifting the famous trophy an astonishing seven times.
  • Juan Mata recently became the first Premier League player to score 10 goals and provide 10 assists.
  • Manchester United striker Chicharito  enjoys playing against Chelsea, the Mexican striker has struck in five of his last seven games against the Blues in all competitions.
  • No player in the top flight has hit the woodwork more than Van Persie this season. The Dutchman has been denied by a post or the crossbar seven times.
  • Left-back Patrice Evra has played more minutes (2,430) than any other United player in the league this season.
  • Eighteen goals have been scored in the three meetings between the sides this season.

Manchester United vs Reading EPL Preview: Managerless Royals have not beaten the hosts since 1927

Wayne Rooney





De Gea
Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Young
Rooney, Van Persie

Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte
Leigertwood, Akpan
McCleary, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu

Le Fondre

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that full-backs Patrice Evra and Rafael were knackered after the 2-2 draw with Chelsea last Sunday, but are not expected to be rested after nearly a week off between games.

Darren Fletcher (bowel condition) will miss the remainder of the season, while Nani (hamstring), Paul Scholes (knee) and Phil Jones (ankle) are all doubtful and will undergo late fitness tests.

Ahead of his first match in charge of Reading’s first team, caretake boss Eamonn Dolan has a few injury concerns to contend with ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.

Goalkeeper Adam Frederici (ankle) looks set to be out until the end of March and he is joined by Jimmy Kebe (groin) and Pavel Pogrebnyak (three-match suspension).

Jason Roberts (hip) continues to miss out, but Alex McCarthy has been back in training and looks to be touch-and-go due to a lack of match fitness.

  • Following Brian McDermott’s  sacking, academy coach Eamonn Dolan will take charge of his first match for Reading‘s senior side on Saturday.
  • The Royals have not beaten Manchester Unitedsince 1927 when they triumphed over the Red Devils in the FA Cup.
  • Reading come into this match on the back of five consecutive defeats in all competitions.
  • The Royals have already lost twice to United so far this season, losing 4-3 at the Madejski Stadium in the league and 2-1 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.
  • United have come out with three points in 14 of their last 16 Premier League matches.
  • The only team to beat the hosts in their last 20 fixtures is Real Madrid.
  • Reading have completed the least amount of passes in the league with 69 per cent meeting the intended target.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, on the other hand, have completed 85.7% of their passes, a stat bettered only by Arsenal.
  • Robin van Persie has scored just one goal since the end of January, coming against Everton over a month ago on February 10.

Manchester United vs Chelsea FA Cup Preview: Both sides looking to bounce back from European defeats

Ferdinand and Torres


Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to make a number of changes to the side that lost to Real Madrid on Tuesday, with Wayne Rooney – surprisingly dropped against Los Blancos – expected to come back into the starting XI.

Chris Smalling has started all of Manchester United’s FA Cup matches this campaign, and could partner Jonny Evans in the centre of defence. Antonio Valencia, Anderson and, hat-trick hero against Norwich, Shinji Kagawa should also all return to the side.

Phil Jones (ankle) remains sidelined, while Paul Scholes (knee) is a doubt for the match. Midfield enforcer Darren Fletcher (illness) is out for the remainder of the season.

Rafa Benitez left Juan Mata on the bench in the Europa League last 16 match against Steaua Bucharest on Thursday, while Demba Ba was ineligible, but both are expected to start against United.

Chelsea’s only injury worry is Oriol Romeu (knee), a long-term absentee, while Ashley Cole could return to the side after being rested in Romania.

Club captain John Terry has started all of the Blues’ FA Cup ties since returning to full fitness and chould partner Gary Cahill, another player rested against Steaua, with David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic dropping to the bench.

  • Manchester United’s Champions League defeat against Real Madrid on Tuesday night ended a run of 18 games without defeat in all competitions.
  • The Red Devils have scored at least three goals in each of their last four meetings against Chelsea in all competitions, while 14 goals were been scored in the two meetings between the sides this season.
  • Chicharito enjoys playing against Chelsea, the Mexican striker has struck in five of his last six games against the Blues in all competitions.
  • Robin van Persie has scored just one goal in eight games, and has not found the back of the net in his last five matches; but the Dutchman has bagged four goals in his last three appearances against Sunday’s opponents.
  • Chelsea have been inconsistent in 2013, winning just eight of their 18 matches in all competitions since the turn of the year, losing five times and conceding over a goal a game.
  • The west London club initially enjoyed rich form on their travels under Rafa Benitez, but have lost two and drawn one of their last three league away fixtures, and suffered defeat in Romania against Steaua Bucharest.
  • Blues defender Ashley Cole has won the FA Cup more times than any other player, lifting the famous trophy an astonishing seven times.
  • Chelsea have travelled to Old Trafford five times in the FA Cup, but have never won; the Blues have lost four of those encounters, and scored just one goal – a 70th minute consolation strike by Dennis Sorrell in March 1963.

Ronaldo Will Be Difference vs. Manchester United in Champions League



Cristiano Ronaldo will mark his return to Old Trafford against Manchester United with a performance for the ages.

Real Madrid’s match with the Red Devils in the Champions League this Tuesday marks the Portuguese winger’s first match in the Theatre of Dreams since leaving United after the 2008/09 season. Ronaldo was one of the best players in the world before moving from the Santiago Bernabeu. In the four seasons since, he’s still managed to take a Herculean leap in his career, scoring 136 goals in 126 La Liga matches and 30 goals in 35 Champions League matches.

This season has been no different. Despite Madrid’s rather pedestrian—at least by their standards—league campaign, Ronaldo has been the engine for Los Blancos’ attack and maintained his insanely high level of production.

February’s 1-1 draw could be considered a bit of a letdown for Real Madrid as that away goal could prove crucial for the Red Devils. With quite a bit of pressure on, Ronaldo will be the one to step up and carry Los Blancos on to victory.

The Red Devils are in a bit of a tricky position. That away goal is a nice comfort, but it doesn’t offer all that much security. United can’t afford to simply sit back for most of the match and let Madrid come at them. The club will need at least another goal if it has any hope of getting to the next round.

That strategy has worked this year against Madrid, but the Champions League is a much different beast from La Liga play.

On the other hand, Sir Alex Ferguson also can’t afford to simply throw attackers forward because Madrid is arguably the best counter-attacking team in the world. With the speed Los Blancos have, they can turn almost any move from defense to attack in a heartbeat.

It’s on the counter that Ronaldo will be his most effective. He’s one of the fastest players in the world and will be able to exploit whatever space is given to him.

There are so many ways that Ronaldo can score that you can try almost every way to stop him, and it still won’t work. His headed goal against United in the first leg two weeks ago was magnificent. It just illustrated the freakish athletic ability of Ronaldo and how skilled a header he is.

Playing in Old Trafford again might bring up some good memories and make Ronaldo a bit emotional, but it’s not going to hold back his play on the pitch. If anything, it could provide the kind of impetus needed for the winger to take this tie over.

Rafael has been a very good right-back at times, yet has also shown some signs of letting the match get away from him and losing his head. Regardless of the Brazilian’s ability, there isn’t a single defender on the planet who can stop Ronaldo. Ferguson will have to deploy either Phil Jones or Michael Carrick as cover to help defend.

In the end, it won’t be enough as Ronaldo is simply too skilled to be reigned in.

Manchester United vs Norwich City EPL Preview: Red Devils look to continue rampant run against Hughton’s side

Manchester United v Reading - FA Cup Fifth Round


Sir Alex Ferguson will be without defender Phil Jones (ankle), but Robin van Persie has been passed fit after overcoming a hip injury.

However, veteran midfielder Paul Scholes (knee) may recover in time to feature this weekend, while Ryan Giggs and Danny Welbeck will also be in contention.

Nevertheless, Sir Alex will no doubt cast one eye over next Tuesday’s momentous Champions League clash with Real Madrid and may look to rest some of his big-name stars as a result.

Chris Hughton, meanwhile, should stick with a similar side to the one that conquered Everton at Carrow Road last weekend, although he may be able to welcome back Andrew Surman (knee) and Alexander Tettey (knock).

The Canaries will still be without John Ruddy between the sticks, however, although the 26-year-old is expected to return this month.

Elsewhere, Kei Kamara and Luciano Becchio are in contention for a starting berth up front if Hughton decides to go for a more attacking line-up with two forwards.

  • Manchester United are now undefeated in 17 games in all competitions and an impressive 15 in the Premier League.
  • United have taken 89 per cent of the league points available to them recently, having won five and drawn one of their last six matches. In the same period, title rivals Manchester City have taken just 61% of their potential points.
  • The Red Devils have also won every single one of their home league games this season bar one – a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham in late September.
  • Sir Alex’s side are still on course for a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble, having already achieved that feat once in 1999. United have also completed a league and FA Cup double on three occasions, and won a league and European double in 2008.
  • Norwich City are unbeaten in their last four league games but have won just two of their last 11.
  • However, Chris Hughton’s side will be buoyed by the knowledge that they beat Manchester United 1-0 in November’s reverse fixture thanks to an Anthony Pilkington header (United’s last defeat in the Premier League).
  • The Canaries’ away form has been nothing short of dire this term – they have won just once in 13 games on the road, having drawn six and lost six.
  • Norwich’s Kei Kamara  has already scored against Manchester United this campaign – in a pre-season friendly for Sporting Kansas City. He also scored the equaliser for the Canaries in their 2-1 win against Everton last week.
  • Hughton’s side have three points less than Norwich did this time last season under Paul Lambert, though a win this Saturday could lift them to 10th place.