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Do Man Utd have the squad to compete in all competitions?

Posted on | September 11, 2012 | No Comments

Arguably the biggest club in England experienced a system shock last season, ending up with no silverware and losing the title on goal difference to their fiercest rivals. A wounded Sir Alex Ferguson later admitted the damage this had done to his pride, but swore that his Man Utd side would come back stronger than ever before.

In the following months, Ferguson signed the Premier League’s highest scorer for the 2011-12 season Robin van Persie as a signal of intent. The Red Devils boss will be desperate to win silverware this season, whether that be in the League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League or the Premier League itself.

In terms of squad depth, Ferguson has a diverse range of players to select from. He has goalkeepers David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard, who are both proven after plenty of first-team experience. Defenders Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Johnny Evans, Phil Jones and Patrice Evra are all reliable. Midfielders Antonio Valencia, Nani, Ashley Young, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all have a wealth of experience under their belts. Up front the likes of Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have been compared to the treble-winning quartet of Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 1999. Squad depth does not seem to be the issue – Ferguson however must be very careful in his team selection. Balance will be the key if the Red Devils are to keep the different plates of the League Cup, FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League spinning.

As one of seven English clubs who qualified for European competition in the 2011–12 season, United received a bye to the Third Round of the League Cup. The draw took place on 30th August 2012, with United being paired with fellow Premier League club Newcastle United for a battle at Old Trafford. The FA Cup third round draw will be made on 2nd December, with the ties taking place on the weekend of 4th–7th January 2013.  As part of Group H in the Champions League, United will face Turkish giants Galatasaray, Romanian side CFR-Cluj and Portuguese team Braga. The Red Devils were previously drawn with Galatasaray in both 1993–94 and 1994–95, while Braga and CFR Cluj are new opponents.

In the Premier League, United have crucial fixtures on the horizon – the 23th September sees the Red Devils visit Anfield to face Liverpool, the 29th September has Tottenham visiting Old Trafford and in October, United face two tough away fixtures against Newcastle and Chelsea. In early December a huge clash will see Ferguson’s side face rivals Manchester City, in a game that could well have a bearing on the title.

Manchester United will have the bit between their teeth this season, and with the signing of Robin van Persie to boost the goal tally, silverware is certainly within reach. Ferguson will need to be sensible in team selection, and make sure no complacency enters his players’ minds.



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