Following In Barca's Footsteps, Sir Alex Considers Changing Formation!

Salaar ShamsiSenior Writer IAugust 21, 2009

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14:  Sir Alex Ferguson, Dimitar Berbartov, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen of Manchester United launch the Betfair Goal Challenge as part of Betfair's new partnership with Manchester United at Old Trafford on August 14 2009 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Manchester United were comprehensively beaten by FC Barcelona in last season's UEFA Champions League Final.

Over the summer, United lost the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez to Real Madrid and Manchester City respectively.

They were eventually replaced by former Newcastle and Liverpool striker, Micheal Owen and Wigan's Luis Antonio Valencia.

Neither of duo have had an impact in either of United's opening games of the season, a 1-0 victory over Birmingham at Old Trafford and a 1-0 defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been severely criticised especially by the British media in failing to sign adequate replacements for Ronaldo and Tevez, which would have gone a long way in ensuring a fourth consecutive Premier League title for the Red Devils.

A return of just one goal in the champions' first two fixtures, including Wednesday's shock defeat at Burnley, has led to suggestions that Ferguson could scrap his initial plan and make a move for one of Valencia's outstanding pair, David Villa and David Silva.

However, Ferguson has insisted that will not happen:

"Did I say we wouldn't make any more signings?" the Scot said.

"That is it. I have already made the point—and I am sure of it. This is a great group of players."

United travel to the DW Stadium on Saturday in order to face Wigan Athletic. The Latics come into the game on the back of a home defeat to newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers in midweek.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men will need to lift their spirits in order to gain three points and get their title challenging ambitions back on track.

The Red Devils will be boosted by the return of Nemanja Vidic, though Vidic's partner in central defense, Rio Ferdinand, has been ruled out of action for three to four weeks.

Ferguson has hinted United could take a leaf out of Barcelona's book by playing with three strikers upfront.

The Catalan giants completed a historic treble last season with the likes of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry scoring a combined tally of 99 goals in all competitions last season.

Though, Eto'o has joined Inter Milan, it is widely believed Josep Guardiola will use his replacement, Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a similar formation.

Arsenal have resorted to a similar strategy this season playing Andrei Arshavin, Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner upfront.

Sir Alex Ferguson was asked whether he could use a similar ploy and he revealed it is "possible".

If Sir Alex Ferguson experiments with three strikers upfront, he is likely to use Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and the much criticised Micheal Owen ahead of Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda.

Although, if Owen plays in the centre, Rooney would once again fall out on the left flank.

This would possibly mean United employing three midfielders and points towards the fact that United's wingers: Zoran Tosic, Gabriel Obertan, Luis Antonio Valencia, Ji Sung Park and Nani won't be getting as much playing time as they previously were.

Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Anderson are likely to take three spots in midfield and could be rotated with "golden oldies" Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

Perhaps, a strategy like this can help United overcome the departure of Ronaldo and Tevez.

Do you think Manchester United should try out the 4-3-3 formation?