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Don't blame tactics

clfinallogo.jpg "We were not well, the tactics were not good and everything went wrong." These are words that came from Cristiano Ronaldo’s mouth following the humiliating defeat to, the new European Champions, Barcelona. How dare he criticise the tactics of the manager who’s taken his raw talent and turned him into the best footballer in the world. Pundits all over the media have been criticising Ferguson’s choice of tactics claiming he got it wrong. Well it is they who are wrong; Fergie’s tactics were spot on. However, for tactics to be successful, the players involved actually need to play football.


Many were saying that if Fergie had led United to win back-to-back Champions Leagues he’d be the greatest British manager ever.  Forget that, he’s already the greatest British manager ever.  Actually forget that too, he’s simply the greatest manager ever.  Twenty-two years at the helm of one of the greatest clubs in the world isn’t a bad start but when you remember he’s won eleven out of a possible seventeen Premier Leagues, two Champions Leagues and the unforgettable, unprecedented treble in ’99; nobody else who really compares.  Add to that his amazing success at Aberdeen, a club who can’t exactly boast many successes before or after Fergie was in charge.

Pundits all over England chose the exact same line up as Fergie put out, all with the same view on the roles the players would play such as Park and Rooney on the wings creating a 4-5-1 formation defensively which would act as a 4-3-3 going forward.  Most, if not all, expected that line up and nobody questioned it beforehand while pundits agreed with it and thought it would be a winning formula.  It was the right team, the right tactics and it worked beautifully against Arsenal who have a very similar playing style to Barcelona – they just lack the same quality.  The players were to blame, not even one player decided to perform on Wednesday night and that’s what cost us.  If we’d played our game and everyone put in the performance they usually do then we’d have been able to compete.  Uncharacteristic mistakes were made such as Carrick giving the ball away and Vidic letting a man past him easily, both led to Barcelona’s first goal and from there on in we seemed to lose all fight and determination and not one player rose to the challenge.

Don’t blame the tactics and definitely don’t blame Fergie.  This defeat falls onto each individual who was there, yet didn’t show up, on that pitch in a United shirt on Wednesday night.  Also, the hypocrite pundits who say Fergie got his tactics wrong, after they themselves had suggested the same tactics prior to the game, should just take a look at themselves.  Finally I have to offer my congratulations to Barcelona who outclassed us and deserve to be European Champions but we’ll be back next year and hopefully we’ll have more to offer if we get another chance at the big showpiece.

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