Much is being said about Ferguson’s support of Louis Saha as a 20-goal striker.
I’m inclined to agree with the manager’s assessment – Saha, provided that he can stay free from injury – will be one of Manchester United’s best players in this season.
But will that matter when the final match has been played?
Ruud’s loss means that Manchester United need to find around 30 goals per season from somewhere else (150 goals in 5 years, you do the math). But Saha can easily step up and reach that level. The problem for Manchester United won’t be Saha – it will be the support cast and whether they can score enough goals to help Manchester United win the Premiership?
Solskjaer, if he stays fit, can easily be expected to chip in against the smaller teams and in the domestic clubs. Ditto for Smith. But where Rossi, Smith and Solskjaer will really be needed to perform is in the Champions League and the Premiership, where Manchester United were often found wanting because of a lack of goals.
I think we can do it – score enough goals, that is. After all, we have a better forward line compared to the top teams.
Biased views follow – read at your own risk
Manchester United vs Liverpool
Rooney is better than Bellamy, Saha is better than Kuyt, Solskjaer is equal to Fowler, Smith is equal to Crouch, and we have Rossi as our trump card plus Ronaldo, while Liverpool have Garcia only.
Manchester United edge Liverpool quite easily here.
Manchester United vs Arsenal
Henry cannot be rivalled, but neither can be Rooney, and this could be the year he starts scoring 20-plus goals. Adebayour is fair not as good as Smith or Solskjaer, Walcott and Rossi are equal in my view, while Saha and van Persie – well, Saha scores more goals, that’s for sure.
Manchester United have a slim advantage over Arsenal, but it is very slim.
Manchester United vs Chelsea
Rooney over Shevchenko, but only slightly. Kalou is very talented but then so is Rossi, while Saha is better than Drogba.
Talking strikers – Manchester United beat Chelsea too.
But will it be enough?