What injury crisis?

by Ashleigh Rose

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

15 players out. Michael Carrick as a sweeper. 5’8 Patrice Evra at centre-back. Up against the German champions in their own back yard. The result? 3-1 win, only Manchester United. Much had been made of United’s injury problems in the lead up to last nights game but Alex Ferguson once again showed that whatever team he picks they will take some beating.

Michael Owen will get all the plaudits and rightfully so – after all how many other English strikers have scored a hat-trick in the Champions League season eh Fabio! But it was a impressive team performance from a team who’s back five included four midfielders up against a side boasting one of Germany’s most potent strike partnerships. Yes they rode their luck but could you imagine any of the other so called top four coping as well if they had so many of their top stars missing. Liverpool certainly couldn’t, they can barely get by when either Torres or Gerrard are missing and we’ve seen what injuries have done for Arsenals season. Even Chelsea for all their wealth and depth would struggle to cope, hell they couldn’t beat Apoel at home last night with only a few first-teamers missing.

It’s no wonder that United have reached the Carling Cup semi-finals fielding just reserve sides. Unlike Arsene Wengers kids who were outplayed and out powered against Man City, Fergie’s second and third strings comfortably swept aside a Tottenham side who had reached the final of the competition in the last two campaigns. Players like Darron Gibson, Danny Welbeck and Ji-Sung Park would easily make first-teamers in a lot of top-half Premier League sides, yet they are only now getting their first chances of the season in Uniteds first-team and taking them with both hands. Then theres that little bloke up front who’s only scored 40 international goals and is a former European Footballer of the Year who has readily produced whenever called upon.

It’s nothing new either, last seasons’s defining moment for United could be pinpointed not to a Rooney or Giggs but youngster Federico Macheda’s last minute winner against Villa that pretty much ended any interest Liverpool had of snatching the title away from Old Trafford. It’s a trick Ferguson has repeated over and over again in his tenure at United, the ability to cover all basis if and when problems arise. Even this season with the current revolving door in the Old Trafford medical room.

There’s been talk this season about United not playing as well as previous seasons without Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. But take a look at their season far and you’ll see them second in the league two points adrift of Chelsea, qualifying top of their Champions League group and in the Carling Cup semi-finals. All that without most of the first-team and the first choice back four. It’s a scary thought what may happen when they all back fit and raring to go.

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  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Sometimes u just have to put yr hands up and say well done to Fergie and Man United, that’s why they are still best side in England. Talk about team spirit, United could sell that in bottles to pay off all the Glaziers debt!

  • dexylongshot

    Food for thought for Fab. I’ve been thinking for around a month now that he may indeed take 5 strikers. Especially the way the likes of a few utilitie players are emerging. Wayne Bridge has been poor for me. I’m thinking Milner as back-up for Cole, no bridge and freeing up an extra space up front. Will I take Owen though, if it was tomorrow it’s a hard one.

  • Matt Quinn

    Once again…. forget about Owen. Leave him be. We didnt win anything with him in the team for the best part of a decade… why bring him back when he is a shadow of his former self.

    Man Utd have an injury crisis at the moment, no doubt. But so have Everton (all season), Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool, Birmingham at varying points. It will be interesting to see how they cope.

    I know they have Vidic back but they have the mighty Villa this weekend and i can see a comfortable 3-0 for the claret and blue men at Old Trafford. The likes of Gibson et al, will be shown up for what they really are… mediocre journeymen.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    mmmm, I doubt it somehow. As much as I hate United you have to respect them. Their injury list is worse then Arsenals, yet they keep winning. It’s very demoralizing for the rest of the league.

    Did anyone see Ronaldo’s goal in the Champions League this week? What a player, without a doubt the best and most exciting player in the world!

  • Matt Quinn

    A very poor attempt at trying to make me take the bait, Darren.

    I will give you a mini bite.

    Ronaldo can take a free-kick. No doubt. However, he is a mere mortal when you compare him to everyones favourite little Argentine. (who also scored a cracking free kick in midweek). Hence why Messi won the Balon D’Or by a record amount.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    i know we’ve had this argument many a time, but Ronaldo has been class for Real, unlike Kaka, who is in my opinion one of the most over rated players in world football today. When ever I’ve watched him in a Real shirt he either falls over and lays on the floor as if he’s been shot or he tries to beat 3 players and loses it.

    Back onto topic though, who would would you rather have in your team? Messi or Ronaldo? Until Messi does it in the Premier League I’d have to say Ronaldo. The bloke is worth every penny of his 80 million.

  • Matt Quinn

    Why does Messi have to “prove” it in the premier league??? Do you really think he would struggle against Burnley, Hull, Stoke, Wigan, Everton, Portsmouth, Wolves, West Ham, Villa, Birmingham City etc???? Hes already proved he can destroy United (when they had Ronaldo)…. and was MOTM against Chelsea in 3 champions league games out of 4.

    Its not like he would be out-muscled… ive never seen him knocked off the ball. Ronaldo spends far more time on the ground.

    I honestly cant think (apart from free-kicks) of any element of his game that Ronaldo is superior at over Messi. Good player tho, he is obviously is.

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