|Can Carrick & Jones solve Fergie's problem?|
However, since then Hargreaves hardly played, Scholes has retired, Anderson has failed to deliver or stay injury free.
That left us with playing Gibson vs Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals in 2010, and playing Giggs and Carrick in last seasons Champions League Final. Clearly, our central midfield has regressed season upon season. Hargreaves and Anderson were in fact Fergie’s last central midfield purchases.
This summer saw great speculation like the previous summer that a central midfielder with flair or a defensive midfielder may be brought it. However just like Ozil in 2010, Sneijder was not signed. Fergie clearly believing that there was no value in the market or he had faith in Cleverley and Anderson to finally deliver.
The second half vs City in the Community Shield clearly had an impact on Fergie, who felt these two were ready. And with Carrick turning into a holding midfielder, Fergie clearly thought that having Fletcher, Giggs, Park and Gibson was enough reserve. However, Fletcher is out for the season most likely, leaving us extremely short after the injuries to Cleverley and Ando. So what will Fergie do about this?
My hunch is that for the big games away from home (perhaps City away in the Cup being the first), he may revert to the 4-3-3 that was so successful in 2009. I specifically refer to the Arsenal performance in the second leg of the Champions League. If Fergie did not manage to recruit any world class flair player, I believe he may opt for a Carrick-Jones-Cleverley midfield three, which has a defensive foundation, combined with powerful forward runs of Jones and the flair of Cleverley. The front three would therefore most likely be Nani, Rooney and one other.
Let’s not forget, that we need to play City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs away from home after January, whilst City only have to play Arsenal away. That is a massive advantage for City, and the best way to protect our midfield is to play 3 in there. It will help us not to get overrun in midfield and it’s also a system that has been successful in the past. We’re only two points behind City at the moment, but I firmly believe that we will retain our trophy once again, with Fergie proving all the critics wrong.
Article contributed by @sayyidhashim