There is always apprehension ahead of travelling to Fratton Park due to their recent good history against us. When looking at the players we had available to us, the worries increased.
No Ryan Giggs, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Park Ji-Sung, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves, with Anderson supposedly exhausted after 6 games in 18 matches in China.
“We wanted to play a system in which the players we had would be comfortable in their positions and I think we used our players the right way,” said Fergie after the match. “Anderson wanted to play and I think he showed it was a very good decision – he was fantastic. Paul Scholes looked to control the game and I think he did that. We also had the energy and the qualities that both John O’Shea and Darren Fletcher bring to the team. I don’t think Darren will complain about the goal [if it's taken off him] and neither will I! He’s not playing in his favourite position, but he still makes a lot of good runs and has such fantastic energy. I’m really pleased to see him get the credit he deserves.”
Fletcher has two goals in two games now, amusingly, United’s highest scorer. But is that enough to earn him a starting place in our team?
When we have a fully fit squad, deciding on our best midfield is almost impossible. When you consider the midfield difficulties we had a couple of years ago, it’s rather ironic we have more quality midfielders than we know what to do with. Not that I’m complaining!
Whilst I know Fergie will rotate the midfield, I think our best starting 4 should be Ronaldo, Scholes, Hargreaves and Nani. I think Giggs, Carrick and Anderson all still have an incredibly important part to play, but I believe those 4 to be the strongest in the squad.
Which midfield 4 would you like to see starting this season?
The Republik of Mancunia has brought out a brilliant downloadable World Cup preview. It contains 20 articles written by football experts on the countries our players will be representing in Brazil. There is also exclusive content from this country's top football journalists, such as Sid Lowe, Martin Lipton, Sam Wallace and Dominic Fifield. All profit is going to charity. More info on the RoM World Cup preview can be found here.
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