Truth Behind Cup Final Selection
Sir Alex Ferguson has finally told why he went for Louis Saha rather than Ruud van Nistelrooy in the Carling Cup final. He says he feared Saha would quit Manchester United in the summer if he had left the French striker out of the Cup final side.
Saha's five goals earlier in the competition was enough to get him a game at the expense of prolific Dutchman van Nistelrooy.
Van Nistelrooy was not even introduced as a substitute by Ferguson at the Millennium Stadium and was first off the pitch after the post-match celebrations, sparking media speculation he will be away in the summer.
Ferguson: 'There was a danger of losing him. If I didn't play Louis in the final after he had scored so many goals, he might say 'I can get a regular place somewhere else'.
'I think Louis would have been disappointing if he hadn't played. He scored goals throughout the competition, including in both legs of the semi-final, which is some feat. He deserved to play in the final and everything else is secondary.
'The problem is you need to find some balance because playing three down the middle does not work at all.
We have always been a team that uses the full width of the pitch and we need to play people who are prepared to get out to the sides.'