It is no secret that the fans, players and management team at Manchester United have learnt the meaning of pressure in the opening half of the 2011-2012 season.
United have faced a war on many fronts this season which has undoubtedly added a few silver hairs to Sir Alex’s already greying head.
Indiscipline among the players has emerged in recent weeks with a number of prominent players, including Wayne Rooney, breaking the manager’s curfew resulting in many fans questioning Ferguson’s influence over his current squad.
New signing David de Gea has been under intense scrutiny since joining the club and has so far appeared to lack dominance and reliability, thus leaving Ferguson in a position where he no longer knows who his number one goalkeeper is.
Injury has plagued United this year and has made the possibility of consistent team selection impossible, leading to players operating out of position in nearly every game. Michael Carrick has been seen playing centre-half on numerous occasions, Valencia has been slotted into right-back, and Park Ji-Sung and Rafael have been paired in central midfield. As a consequence of this, United have suffered from fluctuating levels of creativity in midfield and questionable dependability in defence.
This has certainly impacted on United’s results this year and it is no coincidence that United crashed out of the Champions League at the group stages for only the third time in Ferguson’s decorated career.
Oh, and to make matters worse, Manchester City have loads of cash. Thought I should mention that.
However, all is not lost! United remain second in the Premier League with only a three point margin separating them from the blue side of Manchester.
One or two intelligent signings could make all the difference to Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. So, if Ferguson and the Glaziers decide that it really is time to splash the cash, it may well be Roberto Mancini asking the “What ifs?” at the end of the season.