Thursday, August 27, 2009

UEFA Champions League 2009-10: Manchester United in Group B

In Group B of Champions League 2009-10 the four clubs are:

Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas and Wolfsburg

Manchester United may be the defending champion of English premier league, but the Red Devils have not had an impressive start to the season so far. They suffered a shocking away defeat at the hands of newly promoted Burnley in the second game of the season, after a narrow 1-0 win over Birmingham City in the opening game. Even Manchester United was not too much impressive in the first half of the 5-0 win over Wigan Athletic, even though they managed a convincing victory thanks to their excellent second half display.

How well Manchester United would be able to cope up with life without Cristiano Ronaldo was perhaps the biggest concern among the United fans before the start of the season. Well, you might say that making an ordinary start has been a tradition for the Old Trafford camp, as it was seen over the last three seasons, but still the Red Devils ended up winning the league titles. There are many who think that Manchester United would face huge challenge from revamped city rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

Well, I do not think that time has come to make an evaluation of their performance yet because the season is still in its infancy. To be honest, I do not think that Manchester United has a lot to worry about the absence of Ronaldo because they still have a very balanced squad in the presence of some experienced players like Giggs, Scholes and Neville, besides the youngsters like Rooney, Nani and some others.

One thing you should take into account while considering about United’s poor start to the season is the series of injuries they faced in the start of their season. Specially, their defense line up suffered a lot due to injuries so far, but the good thing is that some of their defenders are coming back to action. Another important thing is that Manchester United is missing the service of veteran goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar who is currently out injured. Overall, Manchester United has not got its full strength yet.

Despite the absence of Ronaldo, I think, midfield is their biggest strength in the presence of the players like Giggs, Scholes, Nani, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung and Darren Fletcher. Actually, their midfield line up looks pretty much balanced. Defense may have been a sore trial for United so far this season, but I do believe that defense would be a very strong side for United when Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic would start playing together in the centre of the defense.

Let us now focus on United’s forward line up. With Ronaldo leaving, Manchester United now needs a change in their formation and it is pretty much certain that Wayne Rooney would now have to take a front seat in their attack. New signing Michael Owen could be a tramp-card for the Red Devils this season because the English striker would try his best to offer for United in his attempt to impress England national team coach Fabio Capello. Dimitar Berbatov would now find more space in the regular time following the departure of Carlos Tevez and Ronaldo. However, young Italian striker Federico Macheda would give a huge challenge to Berbatov and Owen for a regular place in the squad.

No doubt, Manchester United lost some strength with the departure of Ronaldo and Tevez, but it does not mean that the Old Trafford boys lost its fighting spirit and the quality to challenge the big teams. What is more important here is that United is still a very strong side both in England and Europe. It would be a big mistake for the oppositions if they take the Ferguson boys lightly in Champions League this season.

No comments:

Post a Comment