rss twitter facebook mobile

Fergie On One, Two and Four Strikers

Sir Alex Ferguson has been asked about the different popular formations these days, with lots of clubs moving away from 4-4-2 and playing with just one striker instead. During Euro 2012, Spain played several games without any strikers, which is an approach Barcelona also use.

“It is only really Barcelona that play without a striker all the rest play with a striker,” he said. “I only played with one striker at Aberdeen and that was 30 years ago. It can give you more attacking options than when you play two strikers as you can have several points of attack. It has been in the game for quite a while now but Barcelona are different because of the way they operate with possession of the ball. They try to string teams out but eventually they have get in the box at some point and normally that is through Messi.”

At Chelsea, they only really have Fernando Torres, with Daniel Sturridge as their other striker option. At Liverpool, they have Luis Suarez, with the injured Fabio Borini as their other option. At United, we are inundated, with last season’s top two scorers in Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, as well as Chicharito (whose strike rate is better thana goal every other game this season) and Danny Welbeck. Ferguson has noted that comparisons have been made between this strikeforce and the one we had in 1999.

“The comparison is the numbers, having four strikers is a definite advantage,” he added. “The four we had in 99’, Yorke, Cole, Solskjaer and Sheringham were fantastic. They never really complained about being left out as long as felt they were making a contribution and that year we won the treble which made them easier to manage. Hopefully that will apply itself again because if we are winning they will all need to contribute – there is no question about that.”

For more insight from Sir Alex Ferguson and other leading managers plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights go to

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.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Fergie: “They never really complained about being left out”. But the papers at the time made it sound like there were issues……. Wonder what the truth of it was?! End result was that there was plenty of glory to go around wasn’t there. Hope that is true with the current lot as well!

    Gary Neville pointed out last night that the current lot of strikers looks great on paper, but we won’t know if they are as good as the ’99 group until we see how they compare in trophies.

    Yish! Some people just have ridiculous standards don’t they. :lol:

  2. jigpig says:

    There should be enough games for everybody this season, the treble is a possibility despite what others think of the European opposition.
    Let’s see where the season takes us and enjoy the ride.

  3. Marq says:


    It is a well known fact that Cole & Sheringham didn’t like each other, but that didn’t stop us from winning from their contributions. I say all those discontent are mostly paper talk, unless you are talking about Tevez or Balotelli =p

  4. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Marq, Exactly my point. Revisionist history from Fergie. Sunshine and roses was it?! Ha.

  5. wayne says:

    Cole’s hate from Sheringham had nothing to do with time played,it was because Sheringham was subbed for Cole on his England debut and instead of shaking Cole’s hand and wishing him well he snubbed him.

  6. Costas says:

    I am sure that Fergie has played with one striker more often than just that one time in Aberdeen. :P Heck, 4-5-1 became our trademark system for most of the 01-04 period.

    Personally speaking, I am still a fan of 4-4-2 with wingers. But it’s become harder and harder to do.

  7. Ash says:

    This is the first season for all these guys together, so I will wait for one or two seasons to see the real game from all these 4 strikers.
    RVP is at hi s peak
    Same with rooney
    Hernandez is reaching there. In 2 years time he will become our regular starter
    Welbeck is the key. Many underrate him. I know he can be the real deal. The boy has got wonderful talent. It is just we need to remain patient and not lose hopes. He is what 21. Still some years to go where we will see his real game.

    At the moment I am quite happy we have got 4 striker as our weapon.


You must be logged in to post a comment.