Manchester United take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford tonight and Sir Alex Ferguson has the luxury of three fit goalkeepers to choose from. Edwin van der Sar is now match fit after missing six matches with a knee injury but Tomasz Kuszczak is in superb form and Ben Foster started the season as the Reds’ number one. Who should play tonight?
With Manchester United calling off a €10 million deal for Adem Ljajić yesterday some media outlets have questioned the club’s ability to spend on players in the January transfer window. United, with a theorhetical £100 million transfer fund, brought in just Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan in the summer. Is United’s £700 million debt beginning to bite?
Ryan Giggs, 36 Sunday, scored his 100th Premier League goal against Portsmouth in Manchester United’s 4-1 win on the South Coast. Superlatives fail to adequately describe Giggs’ career. A great player, a great man and a great role model in an age when false celebrity is all. Truly, an inspiration. Happy Birthday, Ryan.
Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher has transformed himself from club joke to one of the team’s most influential players. The metamorphosis is such that the Scotland captain is talked about as United’s next skipper, with Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs not far from retirement, and Rio Ferdinand often suffering with injury.
Following defeat to Liverpool at Anfield United’s ambitions to win a fourth consecutive Premier League title received a set back. Goals from Fernando Torres and David Ngog were enough to beat United on a day when Ferguson’s men created very few chances. But is United’s squad fatally flawed or will Sir Alex Ferguson’s men recover to lift the trophy in May?
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will soon be able to choose from 15 central midfield combinations, with his squad returning to full fitness. Paul Scholes was outstanding against Stoke City last weekend, while Darren Fletcher has been the manager’s first name on the teamsheet in recent weeks. Yet, outcasts Michael Carrick and Anderson were superb in midweek, and Owen Hargreaves will return this month. Then there’s the evergreen Ryan Giggs, who has increasingly been used as a central midfield playmaker.
“We’ve a strong squad. The problem with having everyone fit is picking the right team,” said Ferguson in his weekly Friday press conference.
“Our two central midfielders – Michael Carrick and Anderson – were fantastic against Wolfsburg, and I thought Darren Fletcher and Paul Scholes were outstanding at Stoke. It is giving me a real headache.”
“On Saturday against Stoke, Scholes gave an absolutely masterful performance,” Ferguson added.
“It was incredible, he had 78 passes in the match and four were off target. Four.
“It’s phenomenal rate. As Stoke manager Tony Pulis said after the game, I can’t think of a better United player I’ve seen.
“You can understand that because when you see that kind of performance, it’s wonderful.
“Scholes and Giggs are defying their age and the enthusiasm, confidence and maturity that is in their game and it’s refreshing to see that players can retain these qualities for such a long time.”
With the Carling Cup underway a new generation of young players will be on view to those fans that can’t make it down to Carrington or Gigg Lane. Fabio da Silva, Ritchie de Laet, Danny Welbeck, Joshua King and Federico Macheda played in Wednesday night’s match against Wolves. More are likely to feature but who will make it?
Manchester United’s Managing Director David Gill has today reiterated his manager’s stance – United will make no further summer signings after bringing in Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia, Gabriel Obertan and Mame Biram Diouf.
But with question marks hanging over Owen Hargreaves’ fitness and Ferguson’s options on the left side of midfield, is Gill right to keep £80 million from the sale of Ronaldo in the bank?