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Manchester United Impress in Preseason Opener, but Questions Remain

FOXBORO, MA - JULY 13:  Sir Alex Ferguson of the Manchester United walks off the field after a friendly match against the New England Revolution during a friendly match at Gillette Stadium on July 13, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Steven RuizContributor IIJuly 14, 2011

The New England Revolution are not having the best of seasons in 2011. To make matters worse, Manchester United, champions of the Barclays Premier League, invaded Gillette Stadium Wednesday night and left the Revs' heads spinning with dazzling display of skill and pace, leaving New England with a 4-1 win.

The Red Devils controlled possession throughout the match thanks to a dominating performance by the team's midfielders. And when Manchester did give up possession, the Revolution were keen to return the favor. The gap in skill between the two sides was rather large, as expected. Nani and Ashley Young abused the New England defense and put balls into the box at will.

Despite the dominating performance, United still have some questions yet to be answered. The team has failed to fill the void left by Paul Scholes' retirement, or figure out how they will handle the combination of Nani and Young.

Wednesday, Sir Alex Ferguson put Young on the left, which is not his stronger side, and the English international seem a little uncomfortable on his left foot and preferred to cut in to get the ball on his right. To make up for the vacancy on the left, United left back Fabio came forward numerous times, but the Sir Alex's side may not be able to commit that many men to attack against more dangerous sides.

As for Scholes' replacement, United used Anderson against the Revolution, but the champions will not be able to repeat without finding a better replacement. Anderson is the antithesis of what Paul Scholes represented for Man United during his illustrious career. For one, the Brazilian gives up position far too often and looks to make the difficult play when an easier one is available.

Rumors of a bid to bring Inter's Wesley Sneijder to Old Trafford have surfaced once again this week, and it looks as if Sir Alex may finally get his man. The Dutchman may be exactly what the doctor ordered for United. The diminutive Sneijder has the ability to control the game from the midfield and feed the scoring triumvirate of Wayne Rooney, Dirmitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez—something Man United lacked in their 3-1 undressing at the hands of Xavi and Barcelona in the Champions League final.

But what if they fail to bring in Sneijder? Is there a viable Plan B out there? Sir Alex has already squashed the team's chances of bringing in Arsenal's Samir Nasri, and Luka Modric looks dead set on joining Chelsea.

The champs could be in trouble if they do not find an answer soon.

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