- Attempting to shift the blame from his players poor performances, Fergie has yet again critized a match official.
- Ferguson’s team selection not as weak as you may think.
Sir Alex has come out yet again and criticized a refereeing decision when his players performances were ultimately to blame in Manchester United’s 0-1 shock loss to Leeds United in the FA Cup third round. A highly organized and “we wanted it more” performance coupled with a Jermaine Beckford first half goal was enough to see off the three time league champions and European Cup winners of 2008.
Questions soon surfaced as to if Ferguson should have picked a stronger team at home to former English giants Leeds United. In review, Fergie’s team selection could have been stronger, but in all actuality the team was quite similar to the United team that tonked West Ham United in the league at Upton Park recently, 4-0.
In fact, six United starters from that rain-soaked match on December 5th started Sunday against Leeds – Rooney, Gibson, Anderson, Brown, Neville, Kuszczak, with Giggs, Berbatov and Valencia all making appearances Sunday and were also involved in the 4-0 win. Instead of solely lambaste his own players, which to be fair, Fergie has done, the angry Scot has taken a shot at referee Chris Foy as well for only adding 5 minutes of extra time at the end of the match (A number the author thought was quite fair).
How much more ” Fergie-time” should have been added? United only came close to scoring towards the end of the match when they finally decided a replay at Leeds would be worth the effort.
The point here is that Manchester United clearly had enough quality and regular first team players to have made an impact on the game. The fact of the matter is that Leeds wanted it more. (Bitter Manchester United fans, pay close attention to the next line:) As a United supporter, I’m getting sick of hearing Ferguson lambaste referees for decisions that really have no relevant impact on the match, positive or negative. I want the squad and fringe players at Manchester United to step up and play like they deserve a spot with the Champions.
Not to be forgotten, Premier League fans are only a few short months removed from Ferguson’s last outburst at an official, that time it was Alan Wiley and his so-called “lack of fitness” that was ultimately proven to be Fergie rhetoric. It’s an outburst that Ferguson still has hanging over his head, and an outburst that cost him two matches off the touchline.
Overreacting is the word I’ll use for callers on Sunday’s BBC 606 Football Phone-In who voiced their distaste with the most successful manager in the country (they were calling for him to be sacked). Ferguson without a doubt will never be sacked at United, he only needs to instill the sense of pride and desire in his current squad and more specifically the youngsters attempting to climb the United ranks that has seen him so successful for the past twenty plus years.
Next up for Ferguson will be another difficult cup tie when the Manchester Derby is again rekindled. This time, Mancunians will stand divided for a spot in the Carling Cup Final. The first of the two leg semi-final is Wednesday at Eastlands. After a fine start by Roberto Mancini (3-0 in all competitions), Ferguson will definitely have a spirited fight on his hands. Mancini would love nothing more than to please City supporters with a win over their successful neighbors.
Time will tell if Fergie’s days at United are slowly running out. As a football fan, I just need to see him do more lambasting of his own players, and less of match officials.