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In a strange incident, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has come to the support of his compatriot Roberto Mancini at archrivals Manchester city by saying that he is lost for words after seeing the manager linked with an exit in recent months. It has been widely speculated that the Italian is coming to the end of his Manchester City spell after failing to lead the club to Premier league success this season. City are on course to conceding their Premier league title by a massive 15 point difference to their bitter rivals Manchester United.
However, Ferguson has praised the work done by Mancini during his four years at the club. Since arriving as a replacement for Mark Hughes, the Italian has spent several million pounds of the Arab money to construct a team that has managed to win only two major titles – the FA Cup and the Premier league. Due to the consistent failures on the Champions league, it is believed that the Arab owners are looking at other options.
It has been rumoured that Mancini will be out of the job in the summer even if he wins the FA Cup. City are currently in the semifinals of the competition where they will face either Manchester United or Chelsea.
“The speculation goes with the territory. If the manager doesn’t win a few games, all sorts of stuff is written. I don’t think Mancini will be worried about that. He knows what he is capable of. Will he be at Manchester City next season? Why not? Writing his team off was the only thing he could do. Considering how many points behind they are, he couldn’t say ‘we’ve got a great chance now. In January he was saying they could still win the league and that was probably the right thing to say,” said Ferguson.
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The Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has once again opened his feud with the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson by saying that the Scot should not make tiredness as an excuse for his team dropping a two-goal advantage against Chelsea in the FA Cup. Manchester United raced to a 2-0 lead after just 11 min on the clock, but they were shellshocked when Chelsea came back in the most amazing manner. Benitez made two major substitutions just after half-time, which had a huge impact in the match. United, who controlled the match impeccably in the first half, were totally out of sorts in the second half.
Eden Hazard opened the scoring for Chelsea, while the Brazilian midfielder Ramires equalised the match. The star midfielder Juan Mata could have almost sealed a memorable victory for Chelsea, but he was denied by a fine save by the Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. After the match, Ferguson complained that his team was tired after having played several matches in recent weeks. However, Benitez has pointed out to the fact that Chelsea have been playing almost 2 matches every week since the start of the season. Hence, Ferguson should not be making tiredness as an excuse for not performing well in the second half.
“I thought you were joking. They played on Tuesday, we played in Romania on Thursday. They were playing at home. They had everything in their favour. I was waiting. I have some education. I know a lot of people are watching, so I know what you have to do. I’m a professional and we were going to Romania and I knew we had players who were a little bit tired and we had to manage them. We knew we had to make some substitutions and we did it,” said Benitez.
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Manchester United have been hugely successful in a number of competitions over the last decade. They have managed to win several Premier league titles and also one Champions League title. Despite all these successes, the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been devoid of the success in the best domestic cup competition of all – the FA Cup. It has been nine seasons since United last tasted success in this competition, and Ferguson has said that it is too long for a club like United to go without winning the FA Cup.
On several occasions in the past, United have been knocked out of this competition in the first few rounds itself. They will be facing Premier league opposition Reading in the last 16 round of the FA Cup. Only three members of the current United team have been successful in the FA Cup – Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs, and Paul Scholes. Ferguson was speaking after the brilliant 4-1 win over Fulham during the weekend. The club managed to get past West Ham in the previous round after a replay. Ferguson has said that the past few years have been extremely difficult in the competition due to the bad luck, but he is hoping that this year it changes.
“I hope this is the year that changes. Certainly today they have done very well. Rio Ferdinand has never won an FA Cup medal and we’ve got to do something about that. This was a good performance. We respected Fulham, as you can see from the fact we put out a very strong team. What I’m really pleased about is Chicharito got two today so he’s up to 14, Wayne got one. If we get those two and Robin in the 20-plus mark, then we’re definitely in business,” said Ferguson after the Fulham match.