Papers: Boss fixtures gripe
Sir Alex fumes at United away days
Sir Alex Ferguson has complained that Manchester United’s bid for a third consecutive Barclays Premier League title is being undermined by an unbalanced fixture list. United have taken a solitary point from their meetings with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, their main challengers for the title, but Ferguson believes that his team have been “handicapped” by an unforgiving programme. All six of United’s six Champions League group matches have been or will be followed by tough away assignments – against Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur – and Ferguson believes that the situation is unfair, even though he said that fatigue did not appear to be a contributing factor on Saturday. “They say the league is not handicapped, but I’m not so sure,” Ferguson said. “Having every game away from home following a European tie is not easy. Going from Celtic on Wednesday to play at Arsenal the following Saturday lunchtime is hard, although, funnily enough, I didn’t think it was a problem on this occasion.”Oliver Kay, The Times
Following Arsenal's win over United, Arsene Wenger
insists the title race will be the tightest ever because the whole Premier League has improved.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail
says Sir Alex
and his former captain Roy Keane
are expected at a seminar on Monday regarded as a make-or-break bid to halt the steady deterioration of the relationship between the game's authorities and its professionals.
In other news, the Mirror
claims United have been dealt a major blow after transfer target Karim Benzema
revealed he wants to join Barcelona or Real Madrid next summer. But, according to The Sun
, the Reds have agreed a deal to sign Leeds midfielder Fabian Delph
in January. The left-sided star, 18, has been watched by the Reds for months and a fee of close to £5million has been agreed.