My fear has finally materialized. I can't believe when I wrote about my favourite football team again...it is about their shocking failure to advance to the last 16 of Champions' League. Manchester United's really screwed up in Basel as they crashed out of the lucrative Champions' League after they were beaten 2-1. United had fate in their very own hands and yet they threw it all away. The Red Devils needed just a point to advance to the knockout stages but that single point proved to be too elusive even for a team with so much European pedigree. What had gone wrong actually?
Manchester United dominated the possession in Basel but they had wasted so many chances, making this the very first time they had failed to advance to the knockout phase since 2005. What a shame! Red Devils found themselves wanting as early as 9 minutes when Basel capitalized on misunderstanding in Manchester United's defense. Smalling collided with Vidic and the former went to the ground, allowing an unmarked Basel player to lash in the ball past a rather helpless (inefficient) De Gea.
Being a goal down means United would be in full throttle, firing full cylinders trying to find the equalizer. When you threw so many people up front, you would be punished if you didn't make it count. And that was what exactly happened. The Red Devils' zealous attempt to find a goal, causing them to be penalized with a clinical header from Basel to make the score 2-0. Jones pulled one back in the 89th minute but it was a not enough. What had happened?
So who should be blamed for this shocking exit? I am sure the board of directors will be counting on the lost of millions dollars. Who should be responsible? Injuries played little influence here I should say. So is it the players? Why have they become so toothless in these recent games? More importantly I think United's recent rot is due to their inability to find a creative midfielder who could pull the strings in their engine room. Don't you agree? United needed a playmaker that can create chances and rooms for their strikers. More so after the departure of Paul Scholes. I hope Ferguson will be doing all his best to find that all-important playmaker or the Devils' season will be in tatter. :(
So who should be Manchester United's playmaker?