Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping his team’s problems in defence may soon be over with the return of 22 year old Chris Smalling to training this week. The defender has been out since last season, recovering first from a groin injury, and then breaking his metatarsal during training in July.
Man United’s backline has conceded first in six of their nine games this season and been subject to much criticism. Tottenham put three past the red devils in a famous victory at Old Trafford last weekend, and on Tuesday in the Champions League, Fergie’s side again conceded first to Romanian minnows F.C Cluj.
With key defender Nemanja Vidic sidelined another six weeks, and Phil Jones unable to train until next month, a change in personnel has not been an option for Ferguson. The United boss has had to rely on the partnership of Johnny Evans and Rio Ferdinand who have both been accused of poor performances, as well as youngsters such as Scott Wooton.
Smalling, who can play at right-back or in central defence, may take a place on the bench this Sunday against Newcastle, however Ferguson will be hoping the defender is ready for more first team football sooner rather than later.