The convincing win over Wolverhampton will help alleviate the fans’ concerns over the depth and quality of Manchester United’s squad, but that shouldn’t stop Sir Alex Ferguson bringing in a couple of players.
A lot of people are harping on the manager to bring in a centre-back or a forward, but those positions shouldn’t take priority over the major concerns in the squad.
The two areas that should be concerning Ferguson the most are the two full-back positions, because United are very light in terms of adequate coverage there.
Right now the club has four natural full-backs on their books – Patrice Evra, young Ezekial Fryers and the da Silva twins – but that’s cly not sufficient enough.
Injuries are always going to happen, which is why you build a squad of players rather than a team, but the current severity of the situation at United are exposing some weaknesses in theirs. Rafael and Fabio are hurt more often than they aren’t – which is causing problems with the Boss being forced to play other defenders out of position to provide temporary cover.
Yes, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have been showing their natural football ability and athleticism by providing relief at right-back, but they are natural centre-backs and that’s where they will eventually need to play. A lot of fans – right or wrong – complain that Jonny Evans is playing, but the bottom line is that he has to.
Left-back has also been a concern for some of the supporters for a long time, because of Evra’s defensive lapses and more of his focus on attacking. Also, not having any alternatives to challenge him for his place is a real worry, as well. A couple of years ago he was touted as the best left-sided full-back in the world, but since then his defensive weaknesses have been greatly exposed. Going forward is a different story, because he offers tremendous value to the Reds’ attack, but that’s not what he’s paid to do – is it?
There’s no question that Ferguson knows this, because, when fit, Fabio has stepped in and defended much better than Evra has. And yes, Ezekiel Fryers is just being introduced into the first team and he could be a long-term fixture there, but for the club to pin their hopes on a 19-year old kid is unfair to him and the fans, which could happen if Evra goes down with an injury (knock on wood).
Most of the goals that have been scored against United this season, have come from either a cross in from the flanks or an opposing player running at the full-backs. Against Wolves, Smalling was struggling to cope with a very underrated Matt Jarvis and that allowed the them to have confidence to get something from the game – but that was happening more than just for the goal. Thankfully, Wolverhampton didn’t have their shooting boots on, because it could’ve been a much different outcome – as ridiculous as that sounds.
Injuries, especially the one to Nemanja Vidic cannot be planned for, but when the ones that happen to the da Silva twins are expect – and that’s a problem for Sir Alex Ferguson and why he should spend to get a full-back – or two – for Manchester United.
Article courtesy of David from The United Religion