Manchester United have increased their lead to 12 points at the top of the table over their nearest challenger Manchester City after defeating Everton 2-0 on Sunday at the Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson had expressed his frustrations over the scheduling of their televised game against Everton which he described as “unfair” and “ridiculous”. The Scotsman also insisted that there could be a massive squad rotation as he intends to rest his key players ahead of their trip to Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday to face La Liga giants Real Madrid.
That was his initial plan. But soon it changed when he saw rivals Manchester City losing out 3-1 to Southampton on Saturday. An opportunity was presented to him to extend the lead and Ferguson accepted that offer with glee.
It was a gamble to field a strong side against Everton and it paid off. Ferguson himself reflecting on that decision, said as quoted in the press:
“I was going to make seven changes. Then when I got the [City] result I thought this would be a more important game for us. It would give us a comfortable lead and we could make changes later on in the season.”
In fact, that is what the great man is all about. No manager could probably have dared ti take such risk he has taken there. He takes one game at a time and to him the value of winning the league is probably more than anything else. His main priority is to win back the title from City’s grasp. Rest is secondary that includes preparation for Madrid tie as well.
With the squad depth they have and the experience to go with it congested fixtures wouldn’t have bothered him at all. It’s the “been there and done that” scenario for him. United can head into their UCL tie now with pressures bit off from their shoulders, which adds as a massive psychological boost.
In any way Ferguson would have fielded a strong team no matter what he says in the press. He was determined not to leave any stone unturned this time around.
Even if they lose to City, Arsenal or Chelsea – the remaining big teams they must face and considering City will all their matches, still the title should belong to United.
While Jose Mourinho claims that “it is the match the world is waiting for” for Ferguson it is just another their next big game, as he rightly says the plan is to win our next game, then the next game and then the next one.