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Fergie: I Should Have Played Valencia Against Burnley

Like at Burnley a few days before, Manchester United were struggling to break Wigan down on Saturday and went in to half time with a 0-0 scoreline.

Ten minutes after the restart Antonio Valencia was on the ball and whipped in an inch-perfect cross to Wayne Rooney’s head, which he buried in the back of the net.

Sir Alex Ferguson has today conceded that we probably could have done with Valencia starting against Burnley.

“We see the potential in Antonio, particularly in the training sessions,” said Ferguson. “He has good stuff to work with. He is quick and he is balanced. He is tough and is a good crosser of the ball. He has areas in which he has to develop and we have an idea how to go about that. The lad has a chance. Some players have come to the club and taken to it like a duck to water, some need time. He will be all right. We maybe should have picked Antonio at Turf Moor. I had the Wigan game in mind for him. You don’t know how they handle Saturday-Wednesday- Saturday-Wednesday at this club. It is a different kettle of fish. Because he was a new player into that we decided to leave him out at Burnley.”

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. javac says:

    on valencia –

    I understand why fergie dropped Valenica, we have 38 league games, 3-5 carling cup games, 3-5 fa cup games, and 6-8 Champs league games this season assuming we don’t get to the final (ps I havent exactly calculated the number, just a very rough guess). that’s 50+ games. He won’t play all of them. We had men to come in, I.e Park and Ando, and they failed to perform. Shit happens. It’s not like we are desperately chasing the pack with 3 games to go. Valencia fills me with excitement, he is dynamic without having yet peeked, and has shown huge promise.

    On Robben – (love the batman joke Willie!) Don’t like the man. Never really rated him at Chelsea (cole was better), and I wouldn’t pay more than £10-12 mill for him. I’d take him at that price because he is a good player but I would rather spend £12 mill on a CM unless we are gonna give Gibson and Ando a proper run out. Just not keen on Robben, but not against the signing. It doesn’t make sense with our squad. I could see a defender/DM signing though. Veloso or similar, maybe even Shawcross to come back. We are a little shy in defence and Rio may be an issue.

  2. King Eric says:

    denton – Oh there’s no denying he is a great player on his day. Robben that is.

  3. Corea says:

    “3-5 carling cup games”

    no. from what i’ve seen from this tournament we should play U-19 in this games. no need to devitalize players like we did in this year’s final. it is not worth it.

  4. manutdchampions2008 says:

    you know what just shut up, its a fact park on 65 k a week is one of the many reasons why many clubs are in massive debts, giving insane wages to average players. park should be on about 20 k a week not even 40 k a week. no wonder united are in so much debt when we see these players on stupid wages. park is useless he is a joke of a player. and Ohhh_Ahhh you nowt about the game if you rate park.

  5. javac says:

    Sorry, if i never made it clear, I think Valencia should play 35 games this season. Mostly league and CL, unless we get big boys/ City in the FA cup, or CC semi. Not willing to lose a cup to them tossers. But, I wasn’t saying we should be playing Valencia in the CC, just that the squad as a whole has 3-5 carling cup games.

  6. manutdchampions2008 says:

    really and beckham could play on the left couldnt he. if fergie thinks that why did he buy valencia if he knew he was not great with his left foot

  7. King Eric says:

    Corea – Devitalize???

  8. King Eric says:

    Manutdchampions – Think you are being a bit harsh on Park as he does have a role in the squad but have to agree 65 grand a week does seem a bit much. How much is Vidic presently on before he gets his improved deal? Abouth the same?

  9. Corea says:

    @ manutdchampions2008

    he is just like Aaron Lennon sometimes. Always goes on the right, no ?

    @ King Eric

    i am not a native speaker, mate. But we fielded some important players in that game and it is highly unnecessary if we talk about the season we had last year with the high amount of games.

  10. Corea says:

    @ javac

    i didn’t necessary disagree with you, mate. it was sort of a followup.

    @ King Eric

    60k. But Parky deserves 65k just like Vida minimum Rio’s wages.

  11. javac says:

    The thing with United is that we have wingers for every occasion. Tosic/Obertan for the lower cup games, Park for Midfield based games, Valencia and Nani for counter-attacking/vs 10 man defence games. It’s no difference to us having Owen for some games where a poacher is needed against 10 man defences and the same as having Giggs and Scholes for certain games. Park is worth 65k in this modern era of footy. I’m worth 65k but no no fool will give me it! The get what you can rules dictates the wage. Blame Fergie and Gill for the contract not Park. His agent has earnt his 10% of the contract, for sure!. I rate Ji Sung, and he does a good job no matter which wing he plays on. The one issue United have now is that we have 5 wingers and none of them have yet established themselves as regulars for varying reasons. If Park plays like he did vs Arsenal every game then he can have the spot, same as all the rest. It’s the same for the midfield. Too many “may plays” and not enough first on the sheet. The midfield of ’99 may have been our best ever IMHO, but we have nothing like that set up now. No certain starters and it’s not down to rotation. That’s why Park gets 65k a week. He performs like O’Shea, consistent and we can’t afford to lose that in case the rest all fail.

  12. willierednut says:


    We get it you dont like park, but com on man he’s not a bum he’s a good squad player like o’shea.

  13. Trevor says:

    There is alot of talk, that we need more players.

    Christ i must be one of few i actualy dont think we desperatly need anyone!

    If we can get the best out of Nani Anderson Valencia and Park this year they can be as good as most!

    Berbatov – Rooney & owen for me should score loads this year and i am hoping i am right!

    Sometimes you have to give what you have got a chance. We certainly are not in liverpools shoes, their squad is slim compared to ours. They dont have the luxury of players we have.

  14. Trevor says:

    With regards to this thread i fully agree with what fergie was thinking.

    We have the luxury at united because our squad is so good in depth not to play our new players every game.. Ease them in!.. Sometimes it works and sometimes not!

    One thing for sure is Fergie is not Stupid!………. Although ifeel that some of our fans are a little stupid to doubt him and question his judgements to the levels they have done!……..

  15. Trevor says:


    Park has differnt qualities to Giggs, Nani, Ronaldo, Robben… Etc Etc.

    He is not a winger but more a traditional Right Midfielder.. He hassles the opposition and Wins the ball back and keeps it simple. He is full of energy which creates space in the oposing back four for our strikers to take advantage of. He has done ok for us but could do better and i do think is a valuable member of the squad!

    He is not ideal for every game, some games you want more attacking flair but for others he is!…. That the beauty of having differnt types of players so you can tweak the tactics to suit!

    Give you a scenario.. United play spurs… The last previous games prior to the united game Modric was their main on form.. If i had the choice of playing Nani or Park against him..> I would choose Park! If i had the choice to choose Valencia or park.. i dont know as im undecided until i see more of him!

    Point i am trying to make is that most of the time the effort and effectivness of players like park go unoticed, and their jobs a thankless task!

  16. willierednut says:

    Valencia’s a speed demon, once he settles down he’ll be a great player for us

  17. manutdchampions2008 says:

    O shea is different he is a defender. park is a winger he is supposed to get forward and create chances for the strikers. His stats are awful, his assists and a goal for record is abysmal. This will never change my view the work horses should be in CM because that’s where all the battling is at. Like I said before the goal scoring CM players are gems they do not come around very often and we do not have one. So really we got to have has much creativity and goals coming from the wingers and strikers, park limits the goals coming from our team and he makes united play disjointed. Valencia and nani really do make a difference in the team and they played a big part all the goals Saturday.

    king eric I think its fair and a little kind on the korean, when I hear park is on 45 k a week and he could get a payrise that matches what ashley cole wanted it arsenal no wonder football has gone to the dogs. plus his performence in the CL final should have been enough evidence to ship him out. and there is a good reason why he never played in the CL final 2008 becuase that 11 park could never get into that team. I have always thought the 2008 CL final 11 was far stronger then the 2009 CL final team.

  18. TonyBee says:

    C,MON Trevor…. How on earth can you say Nani is quality….. the guy stinks for gods sake and if we do sign Robbing Robben (god forbid) Nani wont never get a start…..

  19. Anon says:

    manutdchampions2008 I’m so glad you don’t run our club. i bet if you had your way we would be without Fletcher, Carrick, Ando, Nani by now.
    You say Nani adds to our squad, but I bet last season you wanted him sold?
    Chill, and take a breather. We need all types of players in our squad. Park may not create goals that often, but he protects us from conceding when we play someone like Rafael down the right flank. I would never play Rafael and Nani in the same game as out flanks would be totally exposed to the opposition. There needs to be a balance in the squad. with flair players like Rafael/Fabio, you need dosile players like Park.

  20. willierednut says:


    Fair points about park, but id still ave em in the squad i think he’ll be back up for nani and valencia incase of inujury, suspensions. gooners 1 up

  21. King Eric says:

    TonyBee – Quite shocked at your views on Nani. Most United fans think he has been good in the games he has played and is starting to show what he can do. 2 goals and 2 assists in 2 and a bit games.

  22. Trevor says:


    For me Nani does possess Quality! He has scored some quite outstanding goals for us!

    Nani is still maturing! Still learning his game. Still not settled.

    What i mean with not settled he is always trying to do too much to impress!

    Im not saying he is going to be world player of the year but he has all the qualities and potential to be world class!

    With regards if United Sign Robben Nani will certainly get loads of games… Robben spends nearly half of each season on the fitness table!!

  23. Trevor says:

    Anyone remember back when united had Jesper Blomquist and Jordy Cruyff on the wing??

    I thank god we have a better squad now than we did then!… And i would have nani and park instead of them 2 any day of the week!!!

  24. Isaidso says:

    Tony Bee – and here I was thinking you knew about football! Nani has got so much talent, that’s why Barca and Inter Milan want him. But hey, each to his own, you obviously like watching what many United fans down the pub Call ‘Park on his Arse’. He isn’t called that for nothing, he is in fact always falling on his arse. As for Robben, he won’t be taking Nani’s place I can assure you of that!

  25. javac says:

    @ Trevor- Cruyff got goals, and blomquist could get to the line and cross, same as fortune. We are blessed with potential and talent, but latent talent needs to flourish at some point, that’s what makes Giggs and Scholes different to Greening and Eagles (ok, slight difference in “potential” but i hope you get my point.)

    A quick summary of what RoM has witnessed this summer – Based on a lot of people’s disapoinment at the Rome game, most people want rid of the whole midfield and 1/3 of our forward line (Berbatov). They never bitch at Rio (half fit or not) for allowing a 5ft 6 in Messi to get a free header or Vidic for failing to get close to Eto’o. They all blame the midfield, and Berba. And a fair point would be the game was lost before the players went on the pitch as our tactics were wrong this time, and Barca’s motivation, higher. I accept I have been critical of both our signings from Spurs, but the quality is there and this season is a different to last in a million ways – No Newcastle, Shitty have cash, Arsenal are stronger, Liverpool – weaker, our legends older, our best player(tm) gone, Rooney our focal point, Nani seemingly is on form as are Burnley and Spurs, and the FSW is moaning about penalties not being given (ok, the last point hasn’t changed much!) Support the team, and we’ll be fine for number 19.

  26. Howie says:

    why in the world would we want robben after he snubbed us for Chelsea ? and he’s made of glass too

  27. stretford972 says:

    park will get his money coz of marketin and he is a good pro. Don’t rate him as anythin more than a squad player tho. And readin over the last few comments, we generally seem to be in agreement.

  28. keano says:

    van der vaart ain’t 31, he’s 26. a scholes type player. very creative and brilliant free kicks. been seeing him since his time in hamburg. the boy’s quality, fucken underrated.

    robben can get fucked.

  29. manutdchampions2008 says:

    your right I will not deny the fact that I never rated nani last year anderson has yet to convince me, carrick I am not sold on I think he adds good qualitys but when it comes to the crunch he is found wanting. flecther he changed my opinion in the 06/07 season when he started to really show his qualitys. nani does track back many have seen it, yes its not all working hard like park but nani wants to save some energy so he can go forward and make things forward in the attacking third, and rafeal is not a week in week out player. I have no problem seeing nani and rafeal in the same team. if we had 2 destroyers in CM then having rafeal and nani in the same team is no worry.

    no offence but united have not got great cover for valencia and nani the last thing I would want is to lose nani and sign robben whos injury record is has bad as owens and hargreaves.

  30. manutdchampions2008 says:

    javacI think the whole midfield and berbatov have been the worse part of the united team, well I would put tevez ahead of berbatov if it ment last year. Like I said unless berbatov improves greatly he may have to be moved on and bring in someone who can score goals week in week out.

    The free ride for berbatov is over now is the time to start making massive improvements in his whole game, he can’t start keep having poor body language he has to start putting in match winning performances and winning games for united like ronaldo and Rooney have done, that is how you are judged has a united player.


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