UK time is: 02:24:14
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Hargreaves, Anderson, O'Shea Or Possebon?

It is fairly certain that Paul Scholes will be one of our central midfielders tonight and possibly against Zenit on Friday. But who should partner him?

Michael Carrick's injury means we are desperately short on available candidates here. I rule Darren Fletcher out of the running simply because in the absence of Ronaldo, Nani and Park he will be on the right flank. Therefore, we have four possible options.

Anderson has just returned from the Olympics, he's played in the bronze medal game on Friday in Beijing so jet-lag and tiredness means he's very unlikely to start - and it's possibly inadvisable to stick him in the first eleven right away. I expect him to be fully fit for the visit to Anfield but no sooner than that.

John O'Shea played in central midfield against Newcastle - and consequently we lacked cohesion and precise passing as well as good defensive positioning. To put it simply: O'Shea is a great lad, an able deputy in defence but, and I say it for the hundredth time, he's not a midfielder.

Rodrigo Possebon displayed more vision and range in his passing during his half-hour cameo than O'Shea ever will but he's inexperienced and Fergie probably won't risk him at a demanding ground like Fratton Park or against such a quality side like Zenit. He's not yet ready to take on such physically imposing players like Diarra or Diop, though I think his football skills are superior to that of both aforementioned players.

Which neatly takes us to the most experienced candidate, Owen Hargreaves. He's something of a dark horse at the moment: Fergie told us that he made encouraging progress after his injury but did not actually say whether he was deemed fit enough to start.

It is possible that it will come down to a last-minute assessment but the most likely scenario, in my opinion, is that O'Shea will start alongside Scholes. Fergie does not have much choice therefore I can't blame him if he fields that partnership but our chances of winning are extremely slim in that case.

Still, it's reassuring to have Anderson and Hargreaves on the bench (hopefully they'll be there) and if either of them is capable of completing 45 minutes of football then we can register our first win of the campaign. And there's always the chance that Fergie will go gung-ho, field Rafael da Silva on the right and stick Fletcher into the centre. It is a risk worth taking, in my opinion.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday August 25 2008

Time: 4:23PM

Your Comments

I'd rule Anderson out simply because I think it's too early to ask him to come in and play well. I'm not sure what stage Hargreaves is at - if he's fit, go for him, if not, it's not worth taking the risk. Apart from that the others sound okish, if not without risks. Hargreaves situation permitting, I reckon Fergie will go for O'Shea - nothing spectacular, but at least you know what you're getting.
Man utd champions
Personally I think Ando has more of a chance than Hargreaves. He is fit, playing football regulary and one could argue its less of a stress playing someone three days after a somewhat easy game against belgium than play someone tht ahas just come back from a lengthy injury.
united4life
I just thought it might be unfair on him, though. When did he get back from Beijing? It's a long trip, he's played quite a lot of football, and travelling down to Portsmouth is hardly the best preparation to begin your season with. But, still, I haven't a clue who Fergie's going to go with. Let's just wait and see - it might not be either of them.
Man utd champions
Hope it's a good match, and most importantly, hope we win :)
Man utd champions
Hargreaves will play a very small part if any! Possebon would be my choice, he's very comfortable on the ball but Portsmouth have some pretty big players in the midfield besides Diarra. Anderson just returned from Beijing yesterday. Too early. O'Shea?? No comment...
ForeverUnited
Welldone, united4life - i've just heard the team news and Anderson starts. O'Shea is in too - but only due to an injury to Giggs.
Man utd champions
Anderson not only started, he was immense!
united4life
Immense is a bit of an exaggeration but he certainly did well.
midlothian99
play anderson, bring on hargreaves as a sub for anderson.
Paulinho
I'm not too sure how fit Hargreaves is. Also, I thought Giggsy was fit again, but he's not going to Monaco...
Man utd champions
You like this Rafael da Silva don't you? Still, he looks a good player, as does his brother.
Man utd champions
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Manchester United Articles

Phelan Makes a Return to Carrow Road (Thursday November 20 2014)

Will This End Those Rumours? (Thursday November 20 2014)

Who Is Telling the Real Story? (Thursday November 20 2014)

That Rooney Celebration! (Thursday November 20 2014)

The Return of Nani? (Thursday November 20 2014)

Rooney Gets His Wish (Wednesday November 19 2014)

De Gea Might Be Fit for Arsenal (Wednesday November 19 2014)

Surely Not another Striker? (Wednesday November 19 2014)

Not another Injury? (Wednesday November 19 2014)

Archived Manchester United Articles

List All Vital United Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. TheFamousNo7 53
2. Kanchelskis 48
3. MotorMad 20
4. Red Boy 1

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Man Utd 1 - 0 Crystal Palace
Man City 1 - 0 Man Utd
Man Utd 1 - 1 Chelsea
WBA 2 - 2 Man Utd
Man Utd 2 - 1 Everton
Man Utd 2 - 1 West Ham

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
4. West Ham 11 5 3 3 5 18
5. Swansea 11 5 3 3 4 18
6. Arsenal 11 4 5 2 6 17
7. Man Utd 11 4 4 3 3 16
8. Newcastle 11 4 4 3 -2 16
9. Stoke 11 4 3 4 -1 15
10. Everton 11 3 5 3 2 14

Breaking League News

Our Number One
Chelsea : 20/11/2014 18:53:00
Tell Us About Yourself - Kolagold25
Chelsea : 20/11/2014 18:47:00
Irvine - We Can Pull Off A Shock
WBA : 20/11/2014 18:25:00
Injury Boosts For Pearson
Leicester City : 20/11/2014 18:16:00
Villa Support 21st Minute Initiative
Aston Villa : 20/11/2014 17:59:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Arsenal v Manchester United?
Suggested By:  Red Boy
Home win! 0%
Away Win! 100%
Score Draw! 0%
0-0! 0%