Sir Alex Ferguson admits striker headache

14 July 2011 02:45
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has acknowledged he will have a tough job giving all his strikers adequate time on the pitch this season.

With Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck returning from loan spells away from Old Trafford, Michael Owen retained after signing a one-year contract extension and the partnership of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez proving potent enough to keep the joint Golden Boot winner, Dimitar Berbatov, out of the side for the big games towards the end of the campaign, Ferguson has a six-strong battery of frontmen.

Back with a bang: Federico Macheda returned from loan to Manchester United and scored twice against New England Revolution

In the goals: Michael Owen scored for Manchester United to give his manager a selection headache for the season ahead

Given such numbers, it would be no surprise if Ferguson utilised the loan system once more, or even sold Berbatov - as looked likely when he did not even make the bench for May's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona at Wembley.

For now, Ferguson has to try to squeeze them all in.

Golden Boot: Dimitar Berbatov was the Premier League's top scorer last season, but faces competition for his place

Main man: Wayne Rooney is likely to be Ferguson's first choice striker next season

Hernandez's absence from the opening section of United's five-match United States tour is a help.

It will not be long before the Mexican returns, though. And then the problems begin.

'The problem for all the strikers last year was that the form of Hernandez was just too good,' said Ferguson.

'We couldn't leave him out, which caused a headache for me.

'I am going to be picking from six strikers, which isn't a bad thing but sometimes that can be a confusing aspect of team choices.'

Too good: Javier Hernandez had a brilliant first season at Manchester United

After a goalless first half, United cut loose immediately after the break, belting four past a New England Revolution outfit that were unable to cope with their visitors' attacking prowess despite them boasting superior fitness levels.

Owen broke the deadlock with a stylish finish before Macheda bagged two, indicating a difficult six months at Sampdoria has not left a scar.

'Macheda's finishes were first class," said Ferguson.

'He is special. At 19 years of age, we still have great hopes for him.'

Dilemma: Ferguson says he will have six top strikers to chose from next season

And the Italian teenage is pleased to be back among friends at Old Trafford after admitting that he did not enjoy his spell in his homeland.

Macheda believes he has grown up in his time away from United and is keen to fight for his place with the Barclays Premier League champions.

'I am very happy because I had a difficult six months,' said Macheda.

'I am not scarred by it, you learn a lot from bad experiences.

'I grew up as a man. I have another mentality now.

'When you leave Manchester United, go somewhere else and come back, you realise how different it all is.

'It is better to work really hard and I hope to stay here.'

 All the latest Manchester United news, features and opinionNew England Revolution 1 Manchester United 4: Ashley Young makes winning start to Red Devils careerAshley Young delighted after making his Manchester United debutRooney: I'm not interested in Real Madrid or Barcelona - I'll be at United for a long time

Source: Daily_Mail