Man Utd turning into Arsenal… Fergie into Wenger

Over-reliance on Robin Van Persie is just the start

No speed, no guile, no defence.

An over-reliance on Robin Van Persie.

Most startlingly, a reluctance to replace the biggest holes in your squad thanks to a stubborn belief that the players you have are good enough.

This, after they have proved time and again, they are not.

At least not at the highest level – Champions League.

And after three games this season, not even in the face of mid- to lower-table club competition.

No, that is not Arsenal.

That was last season.

That is Manchester United. This season.

The midfield was so poor that Paul Scholes had to be called in to rescue the points against Southampton.

And make no mistake, it was Scholes and not Van Persie that saved the game.

Even Van Persie acknowledged that after his hat-trick.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s refusal to sign a world-class holding midfielder is going to mean another trophy-less season for United and the curse of Arsenal will strike.

Fergie insisted that Michael Carrick will be good enough.

Against Southampton, apart from two long balls to find Van Persie, Carrick was pitiful.

Given that he is coming back into midfield after rescuing United from a defensive crisis - playing centre-back till Rio Ferdinand returned, Carrick can claim a hangover.

Therein lies the problem that Fergie has not addressed. No cover for Carrick.

Scholes is clearly the man to turn to when the opposing team has run themselves to the ground trying to keep United at bay. He can then turn it on and pick them apart.

But, as against Everton, Scholes does not have the legs to start and finish a game.

City have Yaya Toure. Chelsea, Eden Hazard. Arsenal Santi Cazorla. Newcastle, Hatem Ben Arfa. Even Liverpool have Nurin Sahin.

Who do United have? Carrick and Anderson.

Fergie will pay the price for not buying a top-class midfielder.

And like Arsenal last season, the price will be no trophy and the loss of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie.

Too harsh? Ask Dimitar Berbatov about harsh.

Harsh is what keeps Old Trafford at the top. And it cuts both ways.

Red Devils, is this hell?

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