Manchester United supporters have good reason to worry, says Oliver Kay

The Times Football Correspondent says United are already missing the influence of Critiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. He talks to Ben Smith

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Ferguson may go back into the transfer market after last night's defeat at Turf Moor(Martin Rickett/PA Wire.) Ferguson may go back into the transfer market after last night’s defeat at Turf Moor


How worried should Manchester United supporters be about last night’s result?

You should never react hysterically to one result or even one performance, but what last night did show is that a lot of the concerns and questions that have been asked about United over the past few weeks are justifiable. They had an awful lot of possession but didn’t really perform with any great authority and there was no real penetration out wide and no great spark in attack. What will also be worrying for Sir Alex Ferguson was that there appeared to be no real understanding between the strikers, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen to start with and then Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov later in the game. It is only one match, just as Liverpool’s defeat by Tottenham was, but it does leave you wondering whether either team will be as successful as they were last season.

Are the supporters panicking because they know this is a game United would have won last season?

Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo were always going to be missed. There has been some revisionism from United supporters in recent months about Tevez. The fans have gone from pleading that Ferguson sign him up at the end of last season to washing their hands of him after he joined City, but what they won’t forget is that he did score very important goals in away games at Stoke and Wigan last season. Ronaldo was the one they really missed last night. Even if it was just a case of having a cool head to take a penalty, or an aerial threat from set-pieces, which they didn’t have at all. But Ronaldo brought far more than that and they have lost a game that you can say statistically they definitely wouldn’t have lost last season. They only dropped two points against the bottom 12 teams last season, which was a draw against Newcastle. This time they have lost to a newly promoted team which is fairly shocking for United.

Traditionally United have been slow starters, so can this defeat simply be put down to that?

They have been slow starters in recent seasons, both in terms of performance and results. Ferguson made that point last night but he still said they shouldn’t be losing a game like that.

Will this defeat prompt Ferguson to go back into the transfer market, or would that be seen as a panic move?

It would be seen as a knee-jerk reaction, but there have been some rumours in recent weeks that they haven’t completely given up on the idea of signing David Silva from Valencia. There are certainly indications that they might try to sign him and they are also looking for cover in central defence. If you look at the performances in pre-season and the performances in their two league games so far, I would be staggered if Ferguson thinks that they are better off without reinforcements. The question is whether or not there is any value to be had in the transfer market. Silva wouldn’t be cheap but I do believe United are lacking a spark going forward.

Finally a word on Burnley, did last night prove they will be no pushovers this season?

I heard the local reporters after the game say that having beat Arsenal and Chelsea in recent seasons, Burnley now had the complete set. They have shown they are fantastic against top-class opposition. Their record in cup competitions has been superb and all the indications were that they are a pretty decent team. They are a team that shouldn’t be written off because they have an excellent manager, they play intelligent football and they have some good players. They will surprise a few people.

haha.. as usual, i knew this would come up as soon as the game against Burnley finishes. well they did play badly. but that’s only their 2nd game. those lads will bounce back. but at some point, i have to agree with others, Fergie should consider getting someone to spark the team again. when v.nistelrooy left, the team had some difficulties in getting someone to match what he did. i didn’t miss CR much. but i do miss tevez. his presence makes some small difference especially with him and rooney together. yup they don’t seem suitable to play as strike partner but hell look at what they did before.. berba did play well in the pre-season. his passing was quite impressive, yet he’s too slow in getting up. and he’s always in off-position. i have yet to see valencia made any difference since he came. but he’s just joined. let’s hope he’ll show us something soon. owen? not sure bout him. perhaps his predatorial touch is still there but its his confidence is not there yet. perhaps he had been down-under for quite sometime already. once he becomes more confident, owen will be rooney’s best partner. let’s just support him for now.. and latest saga coming up – Vidic to Barca. damn i hate that news.. just hoping that we won’t lose him.. anyway the article is from TimesOnline.

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