|A strike force of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez would buoy any club [GALLO/GETTY]|
“It was our worst ever day. It’s the worst result in my history.”
These were the damning words of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson following his team’s 6-1 defeat to local rivals Manchester City on home turf.
It was a humiliating day for the proud Scot who has seen his team start the season in fantastic fashion. However, after a depressing 90 minutes on a sunny Sunday at Old Trafford, his season has been flipped on its head.
Anyone who follows football knows that Manchester United are not a side that are beaten 6-1.
The fact this result suggests a power switch from the red side of Manchester to the blue, must make it even harder for Ferguson to bear.
But if there is to be a remedy for Sir Alex’s derby hangover, it will be the news that on Monday Javier Hernandez pledged his future to United for the next five years.
A pea of promise
The 23-year-old, nicknamed “Chicharito”(meaning little pea in Spanish), has made a big impact in his first season, scoring 20 goals from 45 appearances in all competitions after arriving in July 2010 from his hometown club Chivas de Guadalajara.
“The last player I remember making an impact as big and as quickly as Javier is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he reminds me of Ole a lot,” said Ferguson.
“His talent for creating space in the box and his finishing ability mark him out as a natural goalscorer. Off the pitch, he
is a pleasure to manage. He works very hard and is a popular member of the squad.”
“The last player I remember making an impact as big and as quickly as Javier is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he reminds me of Ole a lot”
Professional footballers and a stable squad are paramount for Ferguson and tying down such a promising young talent is sure to make him more optimistic about the future.
If it does not then perhaps a visit to Aldershot Town’s modest Recreation Ground in the League Cup fourth round on Tuesday will.
For it could be worst for Ferguson, couldn’t it…
It would be harder to imagine a greater contrast between two grounds than Old Trafford and Aldershot’s basic home which only has stands on three sides and usually attracts crowds of around 2,000 for the Hampshire club’s matches in League Two (fourth tier).
However, the visit of the champions means the capacity has been increased to a sellout 7,300 for Tuesday’s game for which Ferguson is likely to name a much-changed side from the one that crashed so spectacularly to City.
While Sunday’s game ended with United suffering their worst defeat in decades, Aldershot, coached by the former Wimbledon and Bolton Wanderers striker Dean Holdsworth and the lowest ranked club left in the competition, are in relatively good spirits.
Their 5-2 win at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday was their best since they returned to the Football League in 2008 and whatever the outcome they will no doubt relish their first appearance in the last 16 of the competition.
Holdsworth, a winner against United in his playing days, told reporters at his pre-match news conference: “Having
Manchester United here is a privilege and an honour, and the important thing for us is that the players go out there full of confidence and are not overawed by the occasion.”
Aldershot have knocked out three clubs from higher divisions than themselves – West Ham United, Carlisle United and
Rochdale, and Holdsworth said: “It’s important that once the match starts, we play with no fear. It’s a huge challenge but we are looking forward to it.”
Aldershot manager Dean Holdsworth is looking forward to facing the English champions [GETTY]
It will not be their first match against United though, as they also played them in the League Cup in September 1970 when, before the days of squad rotation, a crowd of 18,000 at the Recreation Ground saw George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law all turn out for United.
They won 3-1 against the Shots, then, as now, in the fourth division.
Since then the fortunes of the two clubs could hardly have been more different with United now having won a record 19
league titles, and Aldershot happy to be in existence again after being disbanded and losing their League place in 1992.
However, while Alex Ferguson may get a buzz by comparing his club to Aldershot, he did not get to the top of his profession by resting on his laurels and basking in his team’s former glories.
Whether facing Manchester City or Aldershot, Ferguson goes out with his team to win.
After United’s most recent thrashing Ferguson said he couldn’t believe the scoreline.
But losing 6-1 to Aldershot… that really would be unbelievable.