Last updated : 21 May 2007 By editor

Tony Cascarino in the Times:

'After the final, we're entitled to ask if Sir Alex Ferguson has a blind spot when it comes to his Sven-Göran Eriksson-like addiction to cautious tactics for big games. Against Chelsea, the Manchester United manager did what I expected him to but hoped he wouldn't. At Old Trafford, United fans chant 4-4-2. They know it's right for their team. The statistics prove it. So why doesn't the manager accept it?

'I'm glad that United didn't win and do the Double - not because I'm a former Chelsea player, but purely because this side do not deserve to be considered equal to the side that won league and Cup in 1994, or the treble in 1999. It's a collection of outstanding individuals, but not an exceptional unit, and one reason is because Ferguson has too often used Wayne Rooney up front alone.

'Call it 4-5-1 or 4-3-3, the fact is that it wastes him. Rooney's runs were brilliant at Wembley - if only he'd had someone else to pass to instead of being forced to go it alone. If only he'd been allowed to sprint at goal more often, instead of being compelled to stand with his back to goal, because that's what the lone striker has to do.

'All that flair, 120 minutes against a defence containing Michael Essien and United didn't score - how much more evidence does Ferguson need? Not using the right system has cost United two competitions because it was a big factor in their dismal performance at the San Siro. United can't keep living off the glory of the 7-1 thrashing of AS Roma. Yes, they crush weak teams, but against the best sides this season they've mostly been unimpressive and that means they can't be classed as truly great. And it's because of the tactics, not the talent. The 4-5-1 didn't even work with Ruud van Nistelrooy as the spearhead - and he's much better at that role than Rooney.

'Ferguson might claim he has no suitable option to partner Rooney, but what about Alan Smith? He didn't do too badly against Roma, did he? United's football was prettier on Saturday, but they left the stadium as losers. Mourinho had his team playing to their maximum; his opponent cannot say the same.'