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Fergie: I Want Cleverley Ready For Anfield

Last week, Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that Nemanja Vidic, Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling should be ready to return to the team after the International break.

Today, he has revealed that they could play at Anfield in our next league game. Whilst Smalling almost certainly wouldn’t start, given the cover we currently have in defence, it would be great to see Vidic and Cleverley brought back in to the team.

“The most important thing is the work they do before the internationals finish,” Ferguson said. “We really want to have Vidic and Cleverley doing some really strong work, and Smalling too, that would bring them on to a level that they could play at Anfield. You can’t go there with players who are semi-fit or just coming back from injury. You need players who are fully focused and up to speed in terms of fitness and sharpness.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. MG says:

    Afternoon Cedars!

    Defcon 1 Cedars without any cause of alarm whatsoever


    It’s in the blog entry: Jones: Joining United Just Felt Right and it’s posted at 14.29

    Hey Zibbie read it ;)

  2. stretfordend ole says:

    With the problems in defence over the last couple of games and the lack of fight in midfield in our lack couple of visits to Anfailed, what about using a fully fit Vida/Rio CN pairing, Smalling at RB and Jones in midfield with either TC or Anderson playing the more attacking midfielder role?

    jones had played there before for Blackburn, is aggressive enough to put Stevie ME, Adams etc under pressure, will want to get forward which he would be able to without leaving a gap in defence and will protect the central defence.

    Just an idea.

  3. MG says:

    So When Sir Alex said last season cough cough we needed a strong referee a fair referee the gaffer was made an example of find and benched

    Rightly or wrongly Moyes said it quite clearly on Sunday and I assume nobody is interested?

    Are they?

    I think it’s time to look into it Scott…

  4. CedarsDevil says:


    I looked for it my friend, would you please give me a link? As for Moyes, I agree 100% such a daft decision by a daft official. Its a shame really

  5. Cyril Sneer says:

    StatesideAussie wherfore art thou? I wanted to share this with you:


  6. slim says:

    Rom quiet much or what?

  7. gaurav12931 says:

    awesome video….check it out guys.

    its waay off toipc though..

  8. YorYor says:

    Everyone’s going into withdrawal already… it’s gonna be a long 11 days to wait.

  9. Cyril Sneer says:

    Echo! Echo!

    While you wait for some conversation, why not check out the latest episode of Agent of Fergie?

    Just click my username and you’re there!

    /end self-promotion :-)

  10. StatesideAussie says:

    Cyril … cheers mate. Russians singing ‘Land Down Under’, whatever next? Very funny (as was your latest column, too!)

    Yeah, I’m around, been reading some of the comments. Started a few posts of my own, then couldn’t be bothered to hit ‘Submit’. We have some very fickle fans. One minute we’re the best, we don’t need to buy anyone and everyone in the team’s brilliant; the next minute, we’re crap, players are cunts who should be sold and can’t wait for the transfer window to open. I guess it’s almost a fan’s duty to be fickle, but it all seems a little knee-jerk to me and I can’t really be bothered to take issue with it.

    I do find it interesting that so many people are talking about how we’ve been unsettled in our formation. I think even SAF has mentioned it. And yet he is the manager, and this is the team, that for many years now has made an art-form out of squad rotation. How many times have we said that United doesn’t have a “first 11″, maybe only a “first 5″ (DGD, Rio, Vidic, Evra and Rooney) and yet here we are, a couple of off performances, and all of a sudden people are saying we’ve been unsettled and we need a stable first 11?

    But what I think is true is that clearly, the make-up of the squad itself has undergone some transformation. Old heads have gone (including a very versatile “utility” player in JOS), and new heads have come in (mostly young heads, plus Young). Suddenly, we are putting together starting teams that feature several new faces in key roles, and in some cases, it hasn’t gelled properly. Well, big fucking surprise, that. Who-woulda-thunk? I mean, I am totally fucking shocked, not to mention devastated.

    I think people just need to get a grip. By our standards, what we’re going through constitutes a major overhaul of the squad. We’ve had some great team performances. And we have seen some terrific individual performances. To me, those “highs” are amazing, because I never expected to see them so early on. Deep down, I was expecting us to struggle, partly because we often do in the pre-Christmas stretch, but mostly because this is obviously a major transition year for us.

    As for the “lows”, I’ll be honest and say I was expecting worse. (And we may still see worse.) It’s not that I’m a pessimist. Realistically, if what we’ve seen over the last week is as bad as it gets, then in the circumstances, we ought to be celebrating. After all the grinding, “win ugly” performances we put in last year, how can anyone despair at what happened against Norwich? I mean, we fucking won, didn’t we? Yeah, I know some will say we were lucky. But to me, it’s pointless to talk about luck because in the long run, luck splits both ways. Yes, they might have scored, might even have won. But there’ll be other matches where the same will happen to us. Because there always are.

    So far, we have exceeded my expectations in every way. Maybe I have low expectations, lol. But I just don’t get why so many people are so negative. It’s really got under my skin … so much so that I have even been considering booking a session with Dr Fluberblunton! If only I had 50 grand lol!

  11. MG says:







  12. MG says:

    Dr. Fluberbunton:

    “I’m listening”


  13. MG says:

    Damn typo


    Dr. Fluberblunton:

    “I’m listening”


  14. StatesideAussie says:

    Ah, that’s better. I mean, who wants to talk to Dr Fluberbunton when the esteemed Dr Fluberblunton is in the house! hahaha!

    Anyway, off to walk the dog before she craps on the carpet. Again.

  15. MG says:


    Forever the charmer ;)


  16. Cyril Sneer says:

    @MG – Dr. Fluberblunton radio show? Interesting idea…. ;-)

    @StatesideAussie – Yeah, not really sure why everyone’s so tense at the moment, we’re still top of the league with players to come back and a big game on the horizon. I’m looking forward to it. Even if we’re not playing well at the moment the results are still good and performances will improve.

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been any coverage of Fergie’s comments that he will stay on for another three or four years. I though that was great news, especially knowing that all the other teams are waiting for him to retire. Even if it’s just another three then it gives him time to see off three more Chelsea managers and King Kenny again :-)

    Not to mention three more leagues (and this season’s trophy too!)

  17. BloodtypeMUFC says:

    Fee-fi-fo fum, sound the war-drums,
    Piss all over anfield, fuck it then we’ll even cum,
    Fuck ur every player in every position,
    All over the field u fucking scouser scums!

    I just love United-Liverpool games, the rivalry is just so intense. I definitely would like to see a clever ando pairing. Smallings a shoe in. Id like to somehow see Welbeck play, love seeing his name on the team sheet!!!!!!!!

  18. CedarsDevil says:


    Just read it, great piece my good friend

  19. StatesideAussie says:

    Cyril … yeah, I am sure SAF wants to spend a few years with these youngsters, see them to at least one PL title and a CL for good measure. Fergie’s career deserves at least 3 CL titles. As for thr current malaise, people need to understand that a good team performance depends on more than just individual talent. It will take some time for these new combinations to bed down. Bound too. Especially since it’s clear that some of these new lads have very different styles to the guys we’re used to.

    Over the last few years, there have been many occasions when watching SAF handle squad rotation was like watching a chess grand master move his pieces around on the board. Yet with the changes to the squad, even he will need time to figure out what works best and what doesn’t. We’ve changed out VDS, Scholes, Brown and JOS for DDG/AL, Cleverley, Jones and Young. Those are big changes. Frankly, I am surprised it is going so well.

    MG … cheers mate!

  20. Zibbie says:

    Spot on Stateside. New pieces take time to fit in, as well Smalling and Lil Pea just one year on. And Welbecks emergence as well.

  21. Sparkz says:

    I think Smalling is a shoo in tbh, and its not like he’s had a long lay off either, so sharpness shouldn’t be a problem.

    We’ve been physically battered 3 seasons in a row at Anfield. But that was with Scholesy in a 2 man midfield and Berba up front. They couldn’t handle the “get-in-their-face” approach from Liverpool and got harassed at every opportunity.

    This time with Ando + one other (or maybe 2 others) in midfield we should be able to cope. And if we play 2 up top then Welbeck is a certainty, and he can cope with Liverpool’s physical approach.

  22. lordrt says:

    @zino – yeah I agree I gave an unusual lineup, but I think Giggs, if started, will give United the momentum to push forward and look to score quickly, and Berbatov, with his assurance on the ball, will help keep possession upfront while Rooney, Nani and Young get into position to upset the scouse backline
    But it will be a very tough match at anfield, thats for sure

  23. Tgan says:

    Remember last season when we were giving it large about going to the dump, we got humped badly. I wish we would wind our necks in before looking like fools again, If anyone thinks Anderson is class OMG, he is the laziest player ever in our side and does no real tracking of the opposition, unlike Fletch. Our CM is still a weakness with no real leader still, anyone can see that!!!!

  24. BedaSh says:

    actually hope cleverley would be fit for this game, would hate to see carrick starting /: i know i shouldn’t be dissing our own players but i mean really, carrick has been having a miserable time whenever he’s playing there. Looking forward to an anderson cleverley midfield pairing i hope, maybe get park in there as well. get us some revenge on those scouse sh*t this year hopefully (:


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