Sir Alex tackles striker problem
Sir Alex Ferguson believes the only problem posed by having four in-form strikers to choose from “is having to tell one or two of them they’re not playing”.
The manager has a major selection headache ahead of Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash with Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League, after Javier Hernandez scored twice in midweek to stake his claim for a starting place alongside either Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie of Danny Welbeck.
“It’s a good problem to have” said Sir Alex. “I don’t always enjoy it [telling players they’re not playing] but it has to be done. In fairness to all the players they’ve accepted it well and adapted to it. I don’t have any great problems other than having to tell one or two of them they’re not playing.
“Chicha was tremendous the other night. He’s a really terrific player and such a dedicated footballer and professional in every training session. He’s improving – that’s the good thing about him.
“The thing that is making the difference to him is he got a proper rest in the summer. It was exhausting in the way it had been in the previous three years for him. That’s helping him.”
United travel to Stamford Bridge with a disappointing record and have not won a single Premier League match there since the 2001/02 campaign, losing or drawing the 10 fixtures that followed – an irregular streak of results that was almost broken on several occasions.
Last season, the Reds climbed off the canvas at the home of the Blues to earn a dramatic3-3 draw, coming from three goals down to claim what had seemed an unlikely point and narrowly miss out on what was almost a deserved victory.
“It’s an amazing record but it’ll change, sometime – hopefully on Sunday. Last season we were actually very unlucky. In the main I don’t think we’ve played badly. The games that we’ve lost, not last year, but in the years before that, we actually played well in only to get bad decisions against us.
“Last season we did really well to rescue it after being 3-0 down. I think we scored three goals in about eight minutes or something like that. We should have won it really. We were the better team in the first half yet we were 3-0 down just after half-time.
“It was amazing. Apart from last season if you look at the last six or seven seasons before that it was always us and Chelsea vying for the title so that gives you an idea of how we’ll approach this game on Sunday – it’s going to be hard one.”