Manchester United - Fergie's Mistakes Were As Costly As Dean's
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Fergie's Mistakes Were As Costly As Dean's

Sir Alex Ferguson blasted Mike Dean and his linesmen, claiming that you need quality officials for a game of this magnitude 'and we didn't get that'. Which is true. However, it's just one side of the thing.

One could argue that you need a quality team selection for a game of this magnitude and we didn't get that, either. Starting Scholes in his third game in a week was a baffling decision - surely Fergie should have known his energy levels aren't enough for such exertions any more. And so it proved as Scholes tried to dictate the play from the centre circle which might work against Hull and Burnley but not against Chelsea.

In the light of starting Scholes who was overrun by Bayern, too, it was even more baffling to select another oldie, Ryan Giggs. I guess Fergie's intention was to send out a starting XI which is capable of keeping possession, playing it patiently and capable of exploiting the tightest of spaces. In theory that sounds good but in practice the lack of movement meant we were closed down immediately after spending ages trying to win the ball back.

Gary Neville might be experienced and he has a good positional sense and everything but Malouda runs around him twice before Gary realises he's there. Rafael, for all his faults, at least has pace to keep up with Malouda who, predictably enough, ran riot, especially as the back four did not receive enough protection from the midfield - the reasons outlined above.

Still, despite all this, United managed to build up a head of steam in the second half and looked like they might snatch an equaliser somehow even though the lack of good movement (Ryan, Paul, Dimitar, I'm pointing my finger at you) meant that we could not really create chances. Still, at least Chelsea were pegged back in their own half.

So what did Fergie do? He removed Park, one of those players capable of putting pressure on the defenders and midfielders attempting to play the ball out of defence and also brought off Scholes while leaving on Giggs who was anonymous. He brought on Macheda and Nani which, in practice, meant that Giggs and Fletcher were left to struggle against Lampard, Deco and Mikel.

The substitutions immediately saw United conceding the midfield again and it was over. Chelsea were more than comfortable after we went to 4-4-2. If Fergie wanted 4-4-2 he should have removed Giggs, too, and introduced Carrick. They, at least, would have had some chance to hold the midfield which would have been crucial to attempt a late onslaught. Instead we ended the game with a central midfield partnership of Gibson and Giggs as Fletcher was withdrawn in the dying stages. Only Fergie knows why he left on Gary Neville instead of Fletcher...

We were pitiful in the last 20 minutes due to these poor substitutions even though Nani and Macheda were quite good, actually: they combined for a goal (which Chelsea disputed but it would have been extremely harsh to rule it out for accidental handball a minute after Drogba scored from an offside position that could have been spotted from the touchline at Eastlands, let alone Old Trafford) but the others failed to make the most of their freshness and energy.

I hope the lessons have been learned. I don't think United can afford to start with Giggs, Scholes and Neville against Bayern because we will be overrun. The former two are good options to be brought on late if we need composure but we have to start with the same team that beat Liverpool, except of course Rafael should play instead of Neville and Berbatov will have to start instead of Rooney. Then we'll have a chance...

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

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday April 4 2010

Time: 11:15PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Oh, and I'd like to say that Fergie did fantastically well to get the team challenging for the title but sometimes his selections are very, very strange.
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04/04/2010 23:19:00

Quite an honest and tintless analysis, Zae. Refreshing to read.
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05/04/2010 02:09:00

Yeah. like insisting on playing Neville in three big games within a week or so. And playing three geriatrics at the same time in a high intensity match. I would rather see us play a strong 4-4-2 or play Nani in the hole behind Berba. Rafa-Rio-Vidic-Evra Valencia-Fletch-Carrick-Park Nani Berba
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05/04/2010 05:07:00

We certainly can't blame the officials as they should have had a penalty for neville's foul and macheda did handle for the goal and drogba was offside by a country mile but all in all the better team won.Fergie ******** baffles me at times and saturdays team selection really ******** baffled me.Scholes and Giggs in midfield! Does any more need to be ******** said!!!
Report Abuse
05/04/2010 09:25:00

all is not well in Salford then!
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05/04/2010 09:42:00

Time Fergie retired, he's getting to be useless.
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05/04/2010 11:17:00

@Wswilly3 Fergie is what United is. He created this. Please don't call for his head based on recent performance. We are jus after a sucessful three year spell. This year ain't too bad. We will bounce back. We will recharge and come back stronger than ever. The light is coming. United till i die
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05/04/2010 12:22:00

that comment from willy caught my eye, as much as i do not give too stuffs about manyoo - tbh - altho i do think what your owners are doing is criminal and more than a touch worrying if it carries on i am amazed to see calls for fergie's head!
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05/04/2010 12:25:00

all I am saying is that everone gets past it at some stage and Fergie is no different. Irrational or senile - probably both and I think Roy Keane would be better - younger and better judgement.
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05/04/2010 13:03:00

Roy Keane Wswilly3?!?!?!?!?!?..... You obviously know you're football!!!.. :)
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05/04/2010 17:03:00

Java - Ipswich won again, he was a great United player and is the future not the past which unfortunately Sir Alex is. It is always best to back potential than somebody who clearly has been good but is past his sell by date. He should be allowed to retire before it is too late and he is sacked by our owners, the Glazers.
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05/04/2010 17:21:00

@Wswilly3 Roy keane is a legend. He was the best captain i have seen. But to be our coach, i don know whether he has the required pedigree. I would love it if our club gives him a chance. He has Man Utd in his heart. But lets give Sir Alex time. When the going gets tough, we need to back him up. Not call for his head. He did it before and i sure he will do it again.
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05/04/2010 21:14:00

Season hasnt ended yet, Liverpoo and Spurs have to play Chelski, and with both going for fourth, I just reckon they might take points off Chelski, only takes for them to lose one of those games, and we win all our remaining games for us to be champions again
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05/04/2010 22:44:00

Roy Keane eh? Would have thought you'd be lining up Bryan Robson or Steve Coppel for the job ;)
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05/04/2010 23:15:00

SAF is the past! He's the present my friend! We've won 3 in a row and if we dont win this one, we'll have come damn close so there's no need to be pressing panic buttons! Keane may well have been one of our greatest ever players but is not even close to being capable of managing a club of our magnitude! he's very inept in the transfer market and tactically, em.. not all that! ipswich may have won 2 games on the trot but for me thats not really how i would describe potential!!!
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06/04/2010 01:44:00

I think its time for the Glazers to show thie leadership and get rid of Sir Alex before he takes us down and down.
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06/04/2010 11:16:00

I reckon we should start wearing scarfs with 'Fergie Out' on them as it clear to me that he is the problem and not the Glazers, who continue to fund our club, while he continues to bungle. Why can't people see the obvious?? He is a spent force and will take us down and down and should go while we remember him fondly.
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06/04/2010 12:25:00

Truly fair reflection,poor officiating better team won.It was a surprisingly less heated affair than in previous years.No fingers in the eyes or faces slapped.Its still not over until the final game.
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06/04/2010 14:01:00

Wswilly are you a manc supporter? Fergie is the sole reason for your success & will never be a spent force so long as he's still in the game.He knows utd better than any person in your boardroom,any fan or future manager ever will.Start getting rid of the spent forces in players & stop being a silly willy.
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06/04/2010 14:07:00

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06/04/2010 14:44:00

You see Chelsea24/7 you see I am making sense and are trying to deflect us into keeping with Fergie, which proves I am right.
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06/04/2010 15:04:00

wswilly= roflmfao.
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07/04/2010 13:07:00

wswilly=n0bhead=fool=NOT A UTD FAN
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07/04/2010 21:43:00

You may abuse me but who has proved right? I predicted he would play Rooney to save his own bacon and that Rooney woulod get seriously hurt. Next we will be told that Rooney is out for three weeks. He plays a kid with little temprement and a record for getting booked or sent off - dumb. He doesn't start with experience like Giggsy. No the Glazers need to show their metal and pension him off and offer it to a younger manager with potential - Paul Ince immediately comes to mind.
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07/04/2010 23:26:00

Wswilly - SAF made Utd these past 20 years - are you for real??
What a numpty u are....
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08/04/2010 18:11:00


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