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01/10/2012 09:37

Papers: Vidic blow crucial

Alan Shearer writes in The Sun

Losing Vidic will cost United the title
It's early days in the title race but already Manchester United have been dealt a huge blow from which they will not recover. Before the season started I did not think they were strong enough to win the title despite all their new signings. With the loss of Nemanja Vidic now for two months I am even more convinced that the Premier League trophy will either be staying put or heading to Stamford Bridge. For me, they are looking a lot more vulnerable now. On Saturday against Tottenham Alex Ferguson’s men were cruelly exposed by the pace of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker. Jonny Evans is a decent defender but he is no Nemanja Vidic. While Rio Ferdinand can still do a job at the top level, he is not the defender he was five years ago. The same can be said of Patrice Evra, whose form continues to nosedive. On the opposite flank I like Rafael going forward. As a pure defender however it is slightly different. Witness how easily he was turned in the build-up to Tottenham’s third goal. It seems that Sir Alex does not know who his best goalkeeper is either. David De Gea still looks a nervous wreck at times when the ball is being hoisted into a group of bodies in his box. Anders Lindegaard looks a better bet right now - but is he the long-term answer?

Elsewhere, The Mirror claim Scott Wootton is on "red alert" for a place in United's back four against CFR Cluj on Tuesday night. The young defender impressed greatly on his senior debut against Newcastle United in last week's Capital One Cup win.

Former referee Graham Poll disagreed with Sir Alex's claim that United should have had more than four minutes' injury time on Saturday, but does propose a new method of keeping time in football matches in his Daily Mail column. "Why not forget the 45 minutes each half and replace it with 30 minutes ball-in-play time?" he suggests. "This would mean players trying to waste time would gain nothing because the clock isn't running until the ball is back in play."

More: Report - United 2 Tottenham 3

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