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Five things Sir Alex Ferguson must do to win the EPL title

Faizan Khan
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
28 Jun 2012, 20:46 IST

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League

Last season’s defeat to city rivals Manchester City will be lingering in the minds of Sir Alex and co., and he will be planning to regain the title, to make a strong statement to Europe’s elite. Last season’s United squad was considered to be the most depleted squad of the Ferguson era. Many pundits were suggesting that Ferguson would call time on his career. But I think Ferguson still has the hunger for success, and can manage United for a further 2 to 3 years. In order to reach 20 titles, they should:

1.) Buy new left back

Patrice Evra has performed splendidly for United for seasons, but in the last season, he showed signs of slowing down. United need to buy a new left-back who can give stiff competition to Evra.

Leighton Baines is rumored to be linked with Manchester United but his 20 million price tag and his age (27) do not fulfill the usual criteria at United.

2.) Specify the permanent right back

Enough with the experiments at the righ-back position. Many players have been tested at right-back (Rafael, Fabio, Smalling, Jones). The Da Silva twins are the preferred full-backs but the main problem is that they are immature. Rafael featured as the right-back for most of the season whereas Fabio was used sparingly, as he is a natural left back (sent on loan to QPR). Rafael is talented but lack of playing time, and lapses in concentration during games has cost the team on many occasions. Fergie should stick with Rafael, with Smalling and Jones as the deputy centre-back duo to Vidic and Evans so the pair stay on their toes. Phil Jones can cover for Rafael at right back.

3.) Buy a new Central Midfielder

With the capture of Kagawa and Nick Powell, United have shown their intent of spending big. There is one department where United still lack some depth i.e CDM, which is a requirement of the modern game. 4-4-2 tactics are outdated and do not let the teams dominate possession like United have done for the last two decades. Defeat against Barca and Man City showed how desperately United need a central midfielder who can run behind players, and win tackles. Kevin Strootman is perfect for United. He is young, pacy, physically strong, good in the air, and has a long range of passing. We can compare him to Roy Keane. Other players linked with United, who can play at this position are Javi Garcia, Javi Martinez and Cheik Tiote.

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4.) Use the Youth Academy Products

Many players such as Ezeikiel Fryers, Will Keane and Ryan Tunnicliffe are ready for the first team action as they can play a part in the team, and can add much required depth to the team. Fergie is an admirer of youth products, and has promoted them to the first team from time to time, with the analysis of their development. But with the likes of Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison lured away by other clubs, they need to act quicker than before.

5.) Change the tactics from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1

They can start with two holding midfielders Tom Cleverley/Michael Carrick – Paul Scholes/Kevin Strootman (if signed).  But Scholesy’s legs might not allow him to play every week, so Fergie has to use him sparingly. Tom Cleverley can be the perfect heir to Scholes at the Central position. Darren Fletcher is expected to return, but the timeline is unsure, and Anderson should be sold to reduce the wage bill. Kagawa should play behind Wayne Rooney. Young, Nani and Valencia can play upfront in the wings, while Welbeck and Hernandez can be utilized anywhere in the frontline.

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