The hip injury sustained by Robin Van Persie in Manchester United’s 2-0 win over QPR could not have come at a worse time for Sir Alex Ferguson. It is doubtful as to whether his star striker will be fully fit ahead of a tough run of games including Real Madrid in the Champions League and an FA Cup Quarter-Final against Chelsea.
The United manager will be well aware he may have to chop and change if Van Persie is carrying a knock for these encounters. Two games that will determine just how serious United are about going after another historic treble.
For a player like Van Persie who was so often besieged by injury problems in his time at Arsenal, this day was always going to come for Manchester United. Alex Ferguson, being as studious a football man as he is, will have already considered his options if Van Persie could not feature. Probably long, long before the QPR game.
Phil Jones is another doubt for the Real Madrid clash. If the Red Devils were to take to the field without Jones and Van Persie, then that would be a major blow, as both were significant in United coming away from the Bernabeu with a 1-1 draw. Jones helped minimise Ronaldo’s influence, whilst Van Persie offered an outlet, creating a host of chances with his wonderful touch and clever movement.
Without Van Persie and Jones, United could start afresh from a tactical point of view. Either that or two players must step into like-for-like roles.
Do United have anyone capable of filling the void left by Van Persie or Jones? Or will Ferguson clear his tactics board and devise a whole new game-plan? Just as he has done many, many times before.
Lets have a look at how the potential omissions of Jones and Van Persie will effect the Manchester United team in the coming weeks...