Manchester United’s trophy hopes have taken a huge hit in the last week and with their season in danger of petering out the champions look short of firepower.
The Red Devils have already bagged the Carling Cup, but after being bundled out of the Champions League in midweek Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are now a point behind Premier League leaders Chelsea having played a game more.
It looks like Chelsea’s title to throw away after United could only manage a gutless goalless draw with Blackburn on Sunday. Fergie’s men looked short of ideas in the final third and without talisman Wayne Rooney their goal threat was minimal.
Federico Macheda and Dimitar Berbatov were given the nod in attack on Sunday and neither covered themselves in glory as United stumbled to a draw. Berbatov wasted two or three half chances, but United lacked a cutting edge and with Michael Owen out injured Fergie has few options.
Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo left in the summer and although Owen arrived on a free transfer Fergie decided not to spend on new attacking options. It looks like the gamble has backfired. Rooney’s injury has been a hammer blow with United relying on the England star for much of the season.
Of course, Ferguson doesn’t care that many fans have made England their World Cup 2010 tips and would be willing play Rooney every game between now and the end of the season, but it looks like a gruelling schedule has caught up with the striker already.
Sir Alex can’t do anything about the situation upfront now, but the summer will surely bring some big changes at Old Trafford. Berbatov looks destined for the chop and Wolfsburg frontman Edin Dzeko could be the ideal replacement. The Bosnia international striker has blasted 70 goals in his last three seasons with the German champions and looks the ideal man to lead the line for United.
Meanwhile, the odds still make Spain World Cup favourites, despite an injury worry over one of their leading strikers, Fernando Torres.