Ferguson Criticised For Team Selection After Rangers Drawby Mark Cohen / 15 September 2010, 13:27Tweet
Sir Alex Ferguson has made very few mistakes since taking over at Man United all those years ago but even he will have to admit that choosing to effectively play a reserve team in the Champions League against Rangers on Tuesday night backfired on him. The Manager made ten changes to the team that drew with Everton on Saturday and despite having the lion share of possession they rarely looked like scoring, credit also has to be given to Walter Smith and Rangers who were organised and hard to break down to claim a famous point for the troubled Glasgow giants.
In truth United deserved nothing more than the goalless draw they got from the game, being the home team the pressure was on them to take the attack to Rangers which was something they were unable to do with the side they had out. Ferguson believed he had a team that could do the job but in leaving the likes of Nani, Berbatov, Scholes and Patrice Evra among others out of the squad the Manager has left himself open to criticism, there was a quiet atmosphere in the stadium as a result and that seemed to filter through onto the pitch. There was a lot of huff and puff from United but they created very few clear cut chances, it will be of concern to Ferguson following that last minute capitulation against Everton at the weekend and they are already playing catch up to Chelsea in the Premier League.
Ferguson was able to bring Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney into the side which he will be pleased with Rooney though was nowhere near his bets once again and that will be a worry ahead of the massive game with Liverpool on Sunday. The game with their arch rivals was clearly on the mind of Sir Alex and he took his eye of the ball in Europe, there is still a long way to go in the group of course and it would be a huge surprise if United were not to qualify comfortably for the knock-out stages of the Champions League.
Sir Alex will be aware that his decision backfired against Rangers but he will be hoping it will pay off when they face Liverpool on Sunday, if the team pick up three points there then the Manager will no doubt point towards his decision to rest some of his key names in midweek. Likewise a defeat against Liverpool will heap the pressure on the Manager ahead of a long season, the United squad is looking a little thin on the ground with Chelsea and Arsenal starting the season well and cross town rivals Man City building a formidable squad. It would be foolish to write off Sir Alex Ferguson as we know, he has bounced back many times before and few would be surprised to see him do it again but he does face one of the biggest challenges of his career over the next few months at Old Trafford.