Following the 2-1 win over Cluj last night, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not ready to state that Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie will form a formidable partnership but believes the two strikers’ individual quality and ability to ‘turn a game’ provides United with an array of attacking combinations.
Whilst Ferguson was content with his team’s performance in possession, he proclaimed his concern with United’s defensive capabilities as they again conceded first before coming from behind to win. Here is a look at five problems the club need to fix if they are to stop leaking goals.
And Wayne Rooney has urged his United teammates to stop conceding the first goals in games. The Champions League game against Cluj marked the sixth time this season that United have conceded first and Rooney underlined that United will need to be more solid if they are to avoid giving teams a head start.
Robin Van Persie, in turn, praised Wayne Rooney for his cross in the game that set up the former’s second goal: ‘Everything starts with a good pass so I have to thank Wayne because not many players can pass like that’. Van Persie, who has already scored seven goals for Manchester United, is hoping however for more assists to further complete his own game.
Patrice Evra has described United’s run of games conceding first as ‘a bad habit’ but is looking forward to the weekend’s Premier League game against Newcastle. The left-back is expecting a tough game at St. James’ Park on Sunday, recalling last season’s 3-0 loss, and believes United cannot afford to lose following losses to Everton and Tottenham Hotspur already this season.
Jonny Evans is a doubt for Sunday’s game against Newcastle after being substituted in the win over Cluj with a dead leg. The injury is a recurrence of the dead leg he suffered against Spurs last weekend but Sir Alex Ferguson was hopeful Evans will have recovered in the five days leading up to the game. Scott Wootton could be in line to step in, here is a look at how United fans reacted to his Champions League debut.
Onto transfer talk, United have been strongly linked today with Thomas Ince. The midfielder was in Liverpool's academy before being sold to Blackpool, and has been in scintillating form this season. The Sun reported that Ince to United is a done deal and will be announced in January, but this has been refuted by Blackpool, with boss Ian Holloway describing it as nonsense. He added that Ince is better than Theo Walcott, and can go as far as he wants in his career when the time is right. Ince is of course the son of former United midfielder Paul Ince.
The Telegraph report Sir Alex Ferguson and assistant Mike Phelan will cast an eye over Robert Lewandowski tonight as Dortmund travel to Manchester City in the Champions League. Lewandowski has already declared to the club that he will not sign a new contract that will expire in 2014 and Dortmund will likely be forced to sell him next summer. With the potential exits of Nani, who is yet to sign a new deal with the club, and Hernandez, who is yet to recover his form from his debut season, United are reportedly looking into Lewandowski whose versatility can cover for both departures.
Should United cash in on Nemanja Vidic while his value is high? Even despite his injury problems, coupled with the fact he is 30, there will be plenty of suitors. Here is a list of five big name replacements for the centre-back if United did indeed look to make such a drastic move.
Blackpool’s Tom Ince, who is the son of former United player Paul Ince, will reportedly join the Manchester side in January in a £4m move. Ince has scored six goals in eight games thus far in the season for Blackpool and father Paul has been encouraging both club and player to finalise a deal.
Young Manchester United striker Joshua King is reportedly interesting Newcastle but his agent has affirmed that the 20-year-old Norwegian is happy to continue playing for United. King claimed in the summer that he would consider a move away from the club if he had not enjoyed more playing time.
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