Since the arrival of ‘King Kenny’, Liverpool have seemingly been successful in deploying a 5 – 3 – 2 formation against the so called ‘big teams’, especially on their travels.
It worked a treat against Chelsea, as Liverpool defended in numbers and equally broke in numbers at the other end. Although they didn’t necessary use the same formation against us last weekend, their tempo and pace was too much for us to handle and no matter if Jamie Carragher should have been sent off or not, we deserved to lose the game.
However, the injury to Nani has really started to get United fans worrying more than they already were. The Portuguese winger lies at the top of the assists charts and has helped himself to 10 goals – he’s arguably our most important player. He is sure to miss Saturday’s crunch FA Cup tie with Arsenal and with Park and Valencia still not quite fit enough to start, is it a better option to deploy three centre half’s with two pacey wing backs? After all, pace has been lacking in our team lately and it was especially evident at Anfield last weekend. Playing Giggs AND Scholes in such a high intensity game was unfortunately the wrong option.
The Gunners’ trophy hunt now hangs in the balance after it got ‘Messi’ at the Nou Camp mid-week and Birmingham City earlier made them wait on for that elusive piece of silverware. The FA Cup, along with the obvious distraction of the league are both United’s and Arsenal’s real chances of success this season, because let’s be honest we aren’t good enough to win the Champions League this season either.
So in the absence of many of our wingers including Nani, why not play three centre halfs: O’shea, Vidic and Smalling
Then the two wing-backs Rafael and Evra – both of whom can defend and attack with pace.
Fletcher should be brought back into the starting eleven after surprisingly being left out against Liverpool as his energy was missed massively.
Then why not opt for twin number two – Fabio to partner Giggs further up the field, he came on against Wigan, scored and although he may not be the ideal replacement for the injured Nani, at least he will bring more pace to the forefront and will do a better job than the likes of Obertan and Bebe.
We all know Arsenal like to keep possession and we know that Fergie often tells his team to sit back absorb the Arsenal pressure and then hit them on the break. It has worked wonders in the past, but counter attacking relies heavily on pace and without Nani we have lost a lot of that especially in midfield, not to mention the pace Wenger’s side possess.
You never know, Fergie may spring a surprise and Valencia and/or Park may be flung into the thick of it. I hear Valencia has been training with the first team squad for a number of weeks now and has played in a training match a few days ago so he can’t be too far away. Having the Ecuadorian back would definitely go some way to putting smiles back on United fans faces, but it would be a huge gamble to start him.
Sir Alex is of course the manager and he very rarely gets it wrong, but maybe something like this could perhaps be the best option to pile further misery on Arsenal’s pleading quest for success?