Manchester United have had their fair share of defensive crises over the past couple of years. Last season, we had to do without our captain Nemanja Vidic for the majority of the season after he fell foul to a cruciate ligament injury.
Ahead of tomorrow nights Champions League fixture against Galatasaray, Sir Alex Ferguson has pointed out that despite all the firepower that Manchester United have now that Robin van Persie signed, the defence is still the key to success.
“If I could be guaranteed two would be fit for the rest of the season, I’d gladly take that right now. But that’s not been the case over the last few seasons. It’s a key issue for us and we can’t hide it. I just hope we get a bit of luck in that respect.” Sir Alex Ferguson
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, he said: “I think the key is to keep the defenders fit. I mean that.
“We had a rough ride with defenders being injured in the last two or three years. If they remain fit that gives us a better opportunity.
“At the moment with [Chris] Smalling and [Phil] Jones out long-term, I’m down to three centre-backs – [Nemanja] Vidic, [Rio] Ferdinand and [Jonny] Evans.”
The clean sheet again Wigan Athletic at the weekend was our first of the season and we have had some torrid defensive displays so far.
In seasons gone by, we have built our successes on shutting out the opposition. The 1-0 victory has become synonymous with Manchester United but injuries have marred any stability in the back four.
If Nemanja Vidic can return to his world class best with time and Jonny Evans or Rio Ferdinand can hold their fitness, then it will be more of a boost to our hopes in the Premier League and Europe than any new signing would. Here’s to hoping.