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Alarm bells are ringing for Red Devils

sports Updated: Jan 07, 2010 15:51 IST
Abhishek Nandwani

Manchester United one of the biggest club in the world. The name itself gives goose bumps to rivals when they face Red Devils. But lately their on field performance has been off colour. Though they are just 2 points behind the League leader Chelsea and there is still a long way to go before the season ends, yet consistency level this season has been well below their own mark. They are no more the menacing rivals as they were in the last season where they could destroy opponents at will.

Last Sunday when they played Leeds United in FA Cup, it was like a reality check; they were shown the exit doors at their own home turf. This season United have already lost 3 matches at home in all the four competitions. The stadium a symbol of Red Devil's dominance and considered to be a citadel once has been conquered by the teams which are no patch on the caliber and class of Red Devils.

There is always the danger of extreme reaction when the team has produced a string of bad results and inconsistent performance. The team has, it seems, lost the X factor. United fans, manager and players are not used to having such a depressing season; they are addicted to success. The team is really low on confidence and many former United legends have blamed it on lack of leaders like Steve Bruce, Roy Keane, Andy Cole, David Beckham.

Except for Wayne Rooney, no player is interested in giving their lives on the pitch. All other players are interested in doing their job, which means staying on the pitch for 90 minutes regardless how pathetically they are performing. (for ex Nani, Anderson, Carrick)

The fact is that Ferguson's men have been struggling for fluency and that attacking play which we are accustomed of seeing since last so many years. Still there is no sense of urgency even after losing 5 times half way this season as compared to 5 loses in whole of the last season.

Man united coach Alex Ferguson needs to make good use of the January opening in the transfer market if he wants to turn the tide. However, he has already told that United are in no need of any fresh player. Soccer pundits feel that this smugness will cost Mr. Ferguson dearly. There are still world class players who are available in transfer market such as Frank Ribery, David Villa, David Silva and many more, but despite having funds to scout the transfer market in his pocket, Fergie refuses to budge from his position and says current squad is good enough to win title. However, results don't support his assertion.

At Old Trafford being good is not good enough, you have to be the best if you have to play for Red Devils, so I guess hair drying treatment could be out any time by the manager and player should pull up their socks if they have to be remembered in the history of Manchester United.

The lesson from history is that we should not doubt Ferguson's ability to build a winning team. Yet there are concerns at United right now that who can replace leaders like Roy Keane and Eric 'king' Cantona. As of now United are not down and dusted but alarm bells have started ringing aloud for them.