Sir Alex Ferguson has ridiculed Patrick Vieira’s claim that by bringing Paul Scholes out of retirement United showed weakness – and it’s good to see the Red Devils boss stand up for the club.
“If it’s desperation bringing back the best midfielder in Britain for the last 20 years then we can accept that,” said Ferguson.
“If you talk about desperation, they played a player the other night who the manager said he’d never play again and he takes a five-month holiday in Argentina. What is that? Could that come under the description of desperation?”
His thoughts echo the sentiments of many football fans up and down the country.
It’s laughable that Carlos Tévez has been allowed to play for Manchester City again. He disgraced the club’s name and isn’t fit to wear the shirt.
Therein lies the fundamental difference between Manchester United and City – the Red Devils would never allow a player to do that and remain at the club.
The fact United shipped out Tévez themselves says it all really.
Tévez was allowed to lark around back home and then come back to the club after offering only a half-hearted apology – it’s embarrassing.
It was also ironic that Vieira mentioned United’s apparent inability to keep hold of youngster Ravel Morrison.
But United didn’t lose Morrison – they shipped him out because they thought his attitude could be poisonous. No matter how good he could be they would rather not have the hassle.
City’s players can all speak about loving having Tévez back, but they won’t love it when he takes their place in the starting XI.
The two teams favourite to beat the drop have to be Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers largely thanks to their two goal scorers of contrasting experience: Junior Hoilett and Djibril Cissé.
Ultimately some clichés are true, and when it comes to relegation scaps it is goals that will save you.
A good defence helps but in most cases it is the quality of your defence that has landed you at the foot of the table in the first place.
In Cissé, QPR have a player whose three goals in four games are a welcome, but saddening reminder of how much safer they may have been at this point if the striker had not been suspended for three games.
The French international has unbelievable athelticism – a 30-year-old who has broken both his legs within the last seven years jumped over the top of Martin Skrtel for QPR’s equaliser on Wednesday.
His goal against Bolton Wanderers saw the former Reds forward accelerate past four opposition defenders to finish into the bottom corner – a warning shot to any defence that wants to play a high line against a Rangers attack transformed from the days of Heidar Helguson and Jay Bothroyd.
The defences’ will be tougher during a well-publicised QPR run-in featuring just about every big name team with something to play for, but Cisse has shown enough signs that he still has the individual ability to create something, no matter who’s standing in front of him.
Meanwhile, Hoilett, despite Fifa naming the 21-year-old as one of the ‘Players to watch in 2012’, was flying under the radar with young strikers Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck taking most of the plaudits.
This changed with a series of crucial goals, two during the ‘six-pointer’ at Wolves and the opener on Tuesday against Sunderland.
Out of contract at the end of the season, Hoilett’s form has seen him linked with many of the big teams but his performance over the next two months could have a huge impact on the fortunes of the league’s basement clubs.
In addition to Hoilett, Steve Kean has a proven goal scorer in Yakubu.
Their partnership is causing problems for Premier League defences and should ask serious questions of the Bolton back four they face on Saturday in another decisive relegation face-off.
Blackburn seem to be finding their scoring touch at just the right time and although the dubious compliment levelled at QPR- that their squad is too loaded to go down- has yet to be definitively proven true, behind Cisse they are showing signs of fulfilling their attacking potential.
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