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29/07/2009 06:40

Papers: No guarantees

Sir Alex: Unbalanced Real will struggle
Sir Alex Ferguson has poured scorn on Real Madrid's attempts to buy their way back to the summit of European football and said the Spanish club's summer spending spree has created an unbalanced squad which will struggle to make an impact. The Manchester United manager said his club would survive the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo and that the team to fear in Europe was still Barcelona. He joked Real's squad was so unbalanced he half-expected Ronaldo to be used as a centre-half. Speaking at the launch of the Audi Cup, a four-team tournament comprising United, Boca Juniors, Bayern Munich and Milan, Ferguson cited the fall of Sunderland in 1958 as an example of where money can take you in football. "Sunderland spent so much money that they became known as 'The Bank of England club'," he said. "They didn't win anything and in the end they got themselves relegated. I am not saying that Real Madrid will get relegated but they will still have plenty of problems with balance. I do not know how [Madrid coach] Manuel Pellegrini plans to pick his side because it has no balance. I told Ronaldo before he flew out that he will end up playing centre-half because I don't think they have one. Barcelona are different because they have grown their squad properly and added one or two players each season. They have a fantastic midfield and they will be once again a threat to everyone taking part in the Champions League."
Tim Rich, The Guardian

After Sir Alex revealed Owen Hargreaves is still recovering from double knee surgery in America, some of the tabloids are speculating that the midfielder has suffered another setback and could be ruled out until Christmas.

Meanwhile, the United boss has admitted he did not use Dimitar Berbatov to his full potential last season. The boss said: "We know exactly how to use him now - further up the pitch, playing as a centre-forward."

Round Up By Gemma Thompson


Premier League