Date:Sunday September 14 2008
Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that Liverpool deserved to beat us at Anfield yesterday as we were outfought and outmuscled by the hosts.
"My overall view of the match is that Liverpool were the far better team," he told MUTV.
"They tackled us, got about us and harassed us, forcing us to make mistakes, and we didn`t cope with that well. That was the source of our defeat."
"But the two goals we lost were absolute shockers; the defending was very, very poor. People will think they are watching a Conference side when they see the highlights.
"Apart from Rio Ferdinand, we did not have one good performance on the pitch. We were out-thought."
He added that if we don't sort out the physical aspect then we'll struggle mightily at Stamford Bridge, too. Like it or not this current United side is uncomfortable against these hard-working champions of stamina, like Liverpool and Chelsea.
But yesterday, it was Fergie's fault as well. He should have known it was going to be a physical game yet he opted to start Scholes instead of Fletcher or Hargreaves though both would have been more effective.
Second, he made the crucial subsitute: Carrick's injury was not his fault but why send on Giggs? Why not Fletcher or Hargreaves? The answer is of course obvious but it's another baffling thing.
He sent on Giggs because we were playing 4-4-2. Why the sudden return to it? We have the perfect squad to play a flexible 4-3-3. Rooney could be stuck out to the flanks but not as a right midfielder, he should be playing further up front. Tevez and Rooney could have played the flanks with Berbatov in the centre and a three-man midfield of Anderson, Carrick then Hargreaves and Fletcher supporting them.
But no: Anderson was stuck on the left where he was uncomfortable - supplied a few nice passes though - then Giggs came in to keep the shape of the 4-4-2 which was discarded in 2007... Is it experimenting again? Is the week where we face Liverpool, Villarreal and Chelsea is the best opportunity for experimenting?
Injuries and suspensions forced Fergie's hand in recent weeks and it's hard to find a settled team in this circumstances but the constant experimenting with formations and player positions is going on since a long, long time. This one is a very successful era right now but we played the best football of it in the autumn of 2006 where we had a settled starting eleven, every player knew their position and the system worked seamlessly. Van der Sar; Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs; Saha, Rooney - this team provided football that was unrivalled by United since.
Best football of last season? The few weeks when Anderson and Hargreaves made the midfield their own and we had Nani/Giggs, Tevez, Rooney and Ronaldo orchestrating the attack. You know, the time when we scored four goals per game... Something like that should be the aim, not constant chopping and changing.
Date:Sunday September 14 2008
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