Ferguson on striker dilemma: ‘It's complicated’

Many a Facebook user will sympathize with Sir Alex’s non-committal on his relationship status with his Manchester United strikers.

‘It’s complicated’ has become a handy euphemism for undefined relationships that are characterized by non-committal from one or more parties.

Perhaps the couple in question were once in a committed and monogamous romantic relationship, perhaps not. Perhaps they are in the process of evaluating their commitment to the relationship or perhaps they simply don’t wish to publicly define their relationship at all. It is indeed ‘complicated’.

Translated into the world of professional football, ‘it’s complicated’ means very much the same, in my estimation. Sir Alex Ferguson has four strikers vying for one centre-forward position in his team and he has a constant selection headache on his hands, often resolved by squad rotation.

When asked about his intentions towards Robert Lewandowski, the Scot responded:

“Yes, but Bayern Munich are strong with that too. We just have to wait and see where we are in terms of if we win the league. Then it may be different.”

“Big signings? You are normally talking about forwards but it’s complicated enough as it is with the forwards I’ve got,” he added.

As any good manager knows all too well, you can’t please everyone – not all the time, anyway – there is always going to be someone on the periphery who wants more. Like any astute ‘player’, he’s keeping his relationships with each individual a private matter – likely so he doesn’t lose the affections any of them.

Robin van Persie is the equivalent of his ‘main squeeze’, Wayne Rooney something of an old flame, whilst Javier Hernandez is his future and, as for Danny Welbeck, well he’s just not that into him.

Enter Robert Lewandowski. The Borussia Dortmund goal-machine is still entangled in a Bundesliga break up. He looks set to leave this summer, perhaps for Bayern Munich. But, as with any love-triangle, United and Bayern both have cruel intentions of luring him away from his current ties.

The Pole’s potential arrival at Old Trafford is a cumbersome prospect for Sir Alex Ferguson – he runs the risk of jeopardising his already complicated relationships with his frontmen.

Old flame Wayne Rooney is already being courted by a very wealthy suitor, a smooth operator in the form of Paris Saint-Germain whilst Chicharito will eventually need assurances on his future.

Welbeck will eventually get bored of being strung along for the ride and any advances made towards Lewandowski would surely rock the boat with the Dutchman.

It’s complicated. Perhaps too complicated. For Sir Alex Ferguson to propose a move for Lewandowski, he would have to resign himself to flinging one of his current four strikers. The problem is that he won’t want anyone else to have any of them.

Breaking up is hard to do, as the song goes. But, alas, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. The only certainty this summer for Ferguson is it will be complicated.

image: © West McGowan

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