Question time for United

Last updated : 15 January 2010 By Footymad Previewer

Ironically it was defeat at Turf Moor at the start of the season that first pointed to the deeper lying problems within the club, as the strength of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad was put into sharp perspective following that shock 1-0 result.

At that point there was still time for the United manager to act in the transfer market - as there is now - only for him to sit on his hands as the window closed.

Financial figures released this week suggest he wasn't so much sitting on his hands as having them tied behind his back as a profit of £48m was only secured with the aid of Cristiano Ronaldo's world record £80m move to Real Madrid.

Despite insisting that he has money to spend, Ferguson again looks likely to let another window close without addressing the flaws in his squad - namely a goal scorer and a creative midfielder.

But this week's figures should have the majority of Old Trafford sympathising with their manager, rather than berating his inactivity.

Until the summer at least, Ferguson looks likely to have to stick with his lot and hope his side can find the sort of consistency to win a title race that is as open as any in recent memory.

Dimitar Berbatov's knee complaint may finally see Michael Owen given the run of games he has been crying out for since his free transfer last summer while Nemanja Vidic should return to give United their strongest looking defence for months.

The club's financial problems have taken focus away from the humiliating FA Cup elimination at the hands of League One Leeds and the far from convincing draw at Birmingham last week.

Both results have been typical of a campaign in which United have scratched and scraped their way to within a point of leaders Chelsea without ever hitting anything like top form.

Defeats to Aston Villa and Fulham last month were the type of results supporters feared were around the corner given the champions' performances for much of the campaign.

If not for the evergreen displays of Ryan Giggs, thoughts of a record fourth successive Premier League crown would be nothing but a pipe dream.

The 35-year-old's form was crucial in United's title success last season, earning him the PFA Player of the Year award as well as the BBC Sports Personality honour.

Now United legend, Bryan Robson, has branded him his all-time favourite player.

Robson - now an ambassador at Old Trafford - played alongside some of the club's greatest servants like Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Roy Keane and Peter Schmeichel, but says no-one could match Giggs.

The winger's 11 Premier League crowns makes him the most successful player in the club's history, while he has also overtaken Sir Bobby Charlton as United's record appearance maker on 824 and counting.

"He's had a fantastic career and really dedicated himself to the game in order to prolong it," said Robson.

"He would have to come in as my favourite player of all time.

"His record is unbelievable and stands up to anyone's. Just look at the amount of trophies and appearances he's made for United.

"When he first started mixing with the first team aged 15 or 16 as a YTS apprentice you could see right away that he was something special and you knew that he would go all the way to the top.


Giggs focus


"He never got carried away with all the hype, he just dedicated himself which is why he's had the career he has."

Robson even revealed that he tried to get Giggs to pledge his future to England.

"My only regret is that he never played for England," said the former captain.

"If he'd have played for England and in a World Cup his talent would have been recognised even more.

"I tried to convince him when he was younger, but if you know Ryan you know that when he makes his mind up that's it.


"He's very focused and determined and sticks by his decisions. He chose Wales and I am sure he's proud of that decision."


What do you think? Have your say.



Source: Manchester Evening News

Source: M.E.N.