Monday, August 11, 2008

Man Utd : Light At The End Of The Tunnel...

I looks back at yesterday’s Community Shield and wonders which striker Sir Alex Ferguson will sign now that he has ruled out bringing Dimitar Berbatov to Old Trafford.

Manchester United picked up their first piece of silverware yesterday after defeating Portsmouth at Wembley but it was a far cry from their usual efficient performance. They may have dominated the match, creating chance after chance in the process, but the fact they required a penalty shootout to ensure they were victorious in the annual curtain raiser only served to highlight the absence of an out and out striker.

So who will Ferguson bring to Old Trafford?

What this also means, of course, is that like other squads in the Premier League, United are mere mortals and will struggle if hit by a succession of injuries.

The starting line-up yesterday was missing Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo amongst others, so it was left to Ryan Giggs and Carlos Tevez to lead the line. A dream pairing for many a manager no doubt, but Ferguson is looking to bring a new face in sooner rather than later.
And this what Ferguson has to say about the forward signing :- "It's possible we'll sign someone this week. We have one or two options and we hope to get it done before the start of the season. There's nothing more to say on Berbatov. We're looking at options elsewhere. It's been a pressing issue since the end of last season. We always look to operate with four strikers and aren't able to do it (at the moment). There is some light at the end of the tunnel. We're going to apply for Manucho's work permit and we're hopeful we'll get that. Fraizer Campbell's showing the progress we expect of him and is a handful. It's not a bad thing, relying on youth.”
But is Ferguson really going to defend the European Cup and Premier League by relying on youth? Is the highly rated Campbell really going to feature heavily this season in anything other than the Carling Cup?

Obviously the squad will improve with the return of Rooney and Ronaldo but should there be another stage in the season when one or two of his attacking options are injured Ferguson will find himself back in this position.

So who will he bring in? Has he given up on Berbatov or is this a classic Ferguson move? Some Sunday reports linked the club with a move for Thierry Henry; would the former Gunner dare join United? David Villa, the Valencia striker who has been linked with a move to the Premier League all summer, remains an option of course.

Will he go for youth or experience? It is likely he will look abroad rather than trying to poach a striker from a domestic rival, but who should he be looking at?

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