There’s a time and place to field an inexperienced, young team during a football season, but it’ not a good idea to do in an FA Cup semifinal. But it seems Alex Ferguson hasn’t learned that yet and paid the ultimate price by getting knocked out of the Cup 4-2 on penalties by a less than mediocre Everton side at Wembley today (April 19th).
It serves Ferguson right for being so arrogant and stupid in his selection and substitutions, but it isn’t right for the team’s fans who spend their hard-earned money following the team all year in, year out. I have no problem with the starting 11 that United fielded as I think they have a lot of depth and the players picked were capable enough of handling Everton. But there’s no excuse for not having a back up plan, and not even dressing Rooney, Ronaldo, Carrick, and Giggs is just plain idiotic to me. You never know what’s going to happen during the course of a match. It could be a penalty, a red, card, or injuries, etc. and you have to back up the youngsters with some experience just in case they aren’t up to the task.
And don’t come back by telling me that Ferguson has won so many trophies during his career, so what? If he knew his team and used some common sense he might have won a lot more. Why go through all of the qualifying FA Cup rounds (and complaining about the fixture list as usual) and then throw it away in the semi final. My God, Ferguson, if you’re going to do that you might as well throw it away in the first round, not the second last. It’s like scaling Mount Everest and then deciding to pack it in when you’re 100 feet from the peak. By leaving Danny Welbeck on the pitch and taking off Macheda and Park, baffles my mind.
Ferguson’s penalty kick selection was just as bad as his substitutions. Granted, Vidic scored, but why was he taking a penalty ahead of Scholes and Tevez? As for Ferdinand and Berbatov having their shots saved, what did he expect? These are two of the laziest players in the history of football. Mind you, I can understand why Ferguson let Ferdinand take a penalty. He should know where the net is by now because that’s all he does for 90 minutes, passes it back to his goalie from wherever he is on the pitch. In fact, if captain Ferdinand put as much effort into his penalty as he did when kicking the ball into the stands after missing it, he might be given the benefit of the doubt.
You’d think that Ferguson would know his players by now and who should play in what situations. I’m sure there are millions of 12-year-old kids around the world who could have done a better job of managing United today. The last thing you want to do is go into the remaining few games of the season and the Champions League with no momentum, not when they’re both up for grabs. And by the way, Everton don’t really have any reason to celebrate the win either. While their manager David Moyes may not have cocked everything up, they still played poorly in a rubbish match, and the same type of performance will see them get thumped by Chelsea on May 30th in the Wembley final.