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Roo and Giggs are not the only Valencia concerns

So all of a sudden the task facing Manchester United in the group stages of the Champions League is not as straight forward as it looked a month ago is it? A first up scoreless draw with Glasgow Rangers at Old Trafford was taken with a slight shrug of the shoulders as merely a blip, and it could still be. But unless United can at least avoid defeat at Valencia on Wednesday, the unthinkable may not prove to be so far fetched.

That old saying insists that when it rains it pours and United seem to be in the middle of a mini deluge at the moment. The long term injury to Antonio Valencia suffered against Rangers coming right in the midst of Wayne Rooney’s domestic problems was a heavy blow for Sir Alex Ferguson.

Veteran winger Ryan Giggs will also not be involved in Spain after damaging his hamstring in Sunday’s match at the Reebok Stadium while Rooney himself will be unavailable with either an ankle injury or because he was dropped from the squad depending on which report you prefer to believe.

While all that will be of concern to Ferguson, perhaps the most worrying aspect of all is the continued absence of Rio Ferdinand from the middle of the defence. While finding the net in the Premier League so far this season has not been much of a problem, conceding nine times in six matches certainly is. The fact that the normally solid Ferdinand -Vidic partnership has been virtually non existent is a major factor for those defensive lapses.

Unless Ferdinand can make a return from injury in Valencia, don’t be at all surprised to see Ferguson opting for Chris Smalling replacing Jonny Evans in the middle of the defence and possibly one of the da Silva twins taking over from John O’Shea in the back four. Keeping the Spanish scoreless will no doubt be one of the main objectives for Sir Alex.

The truth is that on his current form, the absence of Rooney, for whatever reason, will not be missed because as former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan bluntly observed after his performance at Bolton “Last year, you would fancy him to put some of his chances into the net. His performance tells me his confidence is shot”. Ferguson may even be well advised to give Rooney a couple of weeks right away from football altogether in an attempt to help him get his head together.

Under the circumstances, a point at Valencia will be quite an acceptable result for United and while a narrow defeat will not be fatal, it will make the unthinkable prospect of failing to go through to the knock out stages of the competition more than a worrying possibility.

Does Ferguson need to make defensive changes in Valencia?

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No Responses to “Roo and Giggs are not the only Valencia concerns”

  1. Get behind United and together we can rule the World. says:

    I wouldnt be moved by fact Sir Alex will more likely stick with O’Shea at right back, i feel people are being a bit harsh blaming John, the lad aint the best but he is a good defender and a bloody good lad to have around the place, a loyal guy who deserves more respect then he is shown. Evans could stick in depending on Rio, considering it be Valencia, i rather slot Wes in instead of the inexperience Smalling if we do make a change…a draw wouldnt be ideal, we need a win in spain, Berba and Owen to start.

  2. Believe! says:

    Umm, if rio is fit and can play so rio-vida would be the best option ofcourse, i dont really think the Berba and Owen will be out of the 11, what meens that our mifield would be park-scholsey-fletcher-nani.
    Oshe’a is dissapointing..i hope rafael will get his chance to prove himself..we have Mata on our head now..not an easy project.

    Even veterian wes could be good with his experience, but whoever plays, WE CANNOT LOOSE!

  3. herbie simms says:

    Alex Ferguson keeps talking about his young players, spends millions of pounds to buy these young players, but all they do is sit on the bench. I do not understand his logic. He is too old for this game now. Time to retire.
    Also, he is playing players out of their normal positions.
    Rafael DeSilva came to United as a right back and his twin brother Fabio came
    as left back. Smalling came in as a replacement for Ferdinand in that position.
    His front line should now be NANI, BERBATOV, OWEN and BEBE on the left.
    Ferguson paid 9 million pounds for BEBE. Where the hell is he?
    When these young players first came to United, they should have been playing in their correct positions in the Reserve team. Thats why now, United are having so
    much problems in defence, players were never groomed in their correct positions.

  4. Frank Scicluna says:

    Herbie, I hate to be harsh mate because I have no idea what your football background is. Unless you have groomed players like Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, the Neville brothers, Fletcher and so many others like Ferguson has done over the last 25 years, it has to be a bit presumptuous of you to be critical of him.

    Yes, the man is not far off being 70 years of age but he has won 3 Premier League titles and finished second in the last four years so you may have to wait until his 80th birthday before you can realistically say that “He is too old for this game now. Time to retire.”

  5. Get behind United and together we can rule the World. says:

    I am sick and tired of ppl saying Sir Alex should retire, who the hell do you people think you are, your no body so shut it…Sir Alex will go as long as his body lets him and i for one hopes its forever, all real united fans wants him to stay forever so how about you fakes cram a sock in it and jog off elsewhere.

  6. herbie simms says:

    Iam not knocking Sir Alex Ferguson’s accomplishments, but at 70 years old, he not getting his team selection right or the players in certain positions right.
    Years back, he was brilliant at this. Look at the team that played against Rangers, it was terrible. Made a big mistake sending Tom Cleverley on loan.
    Should also be looking at Magnus Eikrem and Nicky Ajose from his Reserve team.
    If United can stay on Chelsea’s heels up until January, he will need to strengthen his defence, sign a new experienced goalkeeper and bring in an experienced world class attacking midfielder. I said previous, he should be playing his younger players because he paid millions for them and thats all he’s got. Ferguson seems to think players over 26 years old are too old.
    There is something definately wrong with his thinking now. Maybe time to retire.
    He seems to be following Arsenge Wenger with all these very young players and Arsenal have not won nothing. Chelsea are winning because they have experienced players, players in their prime, not a whole lot of youngsters.

  7. Get behind United and together we can rule the World. says:

    wenger is copying Sir Alex not the other way round…wenger is jealous to death of our youth set up, he has never produced kids b4 2006 after the debtirates closed his check book, Sir Alex won the 1st division and the spl with kids, he then won the lge here in england doing what no other manager does, beautiful brazilian like attacking football with a team jam packed with kids, Sir Alex is the mastero of youth football (2nd to Sir Matt) and it eats away at ranting wenger.

  8. herbie simms says:

    That was the Ferguson of years ago. I,m looking at whats happening now and looking at all the players you have now. What do you think of this team?

    Van de Sar
    Rafael Vidic Smalling Fabio
    Nani Fletcher Anderson Bebe
    Berbatov Owen

    SUBS: Kuszczak, Evra, Ferdinand, Scholes, Eikrem, Obertan, Hernandez,
    Macheda, Nicky Ajose.

    I left out Rooney. He is carrying an injury that has not healed properly from before the world cup and he has not been honest enough to admit it. He has been
    forcing himself to play for the sake of the team and now his ankle injury is getting worse. Thats why his performance is not up to par, nothing to do with the sex scandals in the newspapers. He will need to get that ankle seriously checked out.

  9. Get behind United and together we can rule the World. says:

    I like the team, very strong, young and attack minded…Rafa and Fabs are two of the best young wing backs going, Smalling, Bebe, Obertan, Ajose and Eikrem are highly promising- big things await them at Utd…Nani quickly becoming one of the best, Ando when fully confident and motivated, is one of the best midfielders going. Chicharito and Kiko will be a force not to be messed with…the rest are typical Utd, brilliant footballers, winners.

  10. Get behind United and together we can rule the World. says:

    One’s to watch out for- Corry Evans, Oliver Norwood, Oliver Gill, Will Keane, John Cofie, Robert Brady, Tunnicliffe, Tom Cleverley, Matt James, Cameron Stewart…there many more i could name but this be just a few, our youth setup is jam packed with some unbelievable talent, we’ve the best youth in the world and it wouldnt be long till some are gracing Old Trafford with their skills…

  11. herbie simms says:

    Great stuff! You guys are on the same page as me! So to get it all together, these young players have to be playing in their correct positions. I do not understand why Ferguson was experimenting with the team and positions in the Champions League game against Rangers, playing Fabio in midfield and so on.
    It was so simple to play the team I put together in my previous email and Rangers would have been begging for mercy.
    I read on another website that the United fans are so upset that Rooney is out of the team. Rooney has had that ankle injury long before the world cup and instead of being honest about it, he kept playing with the injury for the sake of the team. He knew he was so important to United, he forced himself to keep playing, instead of having the injury seriously looked at. Thats why his performance has not been up to par. Now it is worse, I’m sure he has been playing in pain, but he has been hiding it. Owen is a first rate striker who needs more playing time. If Ferguson wants to experiment, he can play Berbatov and Nani up front and put Bebe on the right wing. Anderson will play as the attacking midfielder. Have you ever seen what Anderson can do in training? Scores some fantastic goals, but Ferguson plays him also in the wrong role for United, thats why the United fans are always complaining about him.

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