Sir Alex Ferguson: Man Utd facing defensive crisis ahead of new season

Sir Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United face a defensive crisis ahead of their Premier League opener against Everton

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
rio ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand is Sir Alex Ferguson's only fully fit centre-half Photo: TSR

rio ferdinand

Sir Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United are faced with a defensive headache ahead of their Premier League opener against Everton.

Nemanja Vidić has returned from a season-ending knee injury, playing 45 minutes in United’s friendly defeat by Barcelona on penalties, while Rio Ferdinand also completed Wednesday’s match unscathed.

But Ferguson will be without Chris Smalling, who has been ruled out for three months following foot surgery, while Jonny Evans is a doubt as he struggles to be fit for the trip to Goodison Park on 20 August.

In addition, England defender Phil Jones has been sent home from United’s pre-season tour with a back injury, and Ferguson revealed he may be forced to use Michael Carrick in defence as a temporary measure.

“Evans is recovering from an operation,” Ferguson told United’s website. “Smalling is out for three months. Jones got a muscle injury in his back and was sent home from Norway.

“So the area we’re concerned about is centre-back. Evans won’t be ready for the start of the season. He won’t be far away but he won’t be ready.

“Smalling is out and I can’t give you an update with Jones because we’ve not fully diagnosed that. But Michael Carrick was absolutely brilliant [in Sweden] with his passing the ball and his interceptions. He was fantastic.”

Earlier this week, Vidić revealed his frustration at being sidelined since December as United were pipped to the Premier League crown by Manchester City.

“It was frustrating, but obviously I knew I would be out for six months,” Vidić said. “I tried to make the best of it, to work hard and when I come back to be the same as I was before the injury.

“This was my target and we’ll see how good a job I did in that six months. It’s hard, but it’s part of the football career.

“Any sportsman has the risk of injuries and hopefully this is the past and better days are coming for me.”


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
ATP Awards: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic headline nominees again, but fresh names emerge
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Maurizio Sarri told Chelsea FC need key signing in January
The Sport Review
Liverpool FC prepare bid to sign 25-year-old Bundesliga star – report
The Sport Review
Paul Merson explains why Arsenal have withdrawn Aaron Ramsey offer