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Alex Ferguson: Chelsea have only themselves to blame for slump


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Sir Alex Ferguson has set his sights on capitalising on Chelsea's slump after suggesting they have only themselves to blame because of their summer transfer business and the departure of so many experienced players.The Manchester United manager believes the Premier League champions left themselves vulnerable after selling Ricardo Carvalho and Deco, as well as releasing Joe Cole, Michael Ballack and Juliano Belletti, and bringing in only two new signings, Ramires and Yossi Benayoun.

United, who have set a club record of being unbeaten in their first 16 league matches, have taken advantage of Chelsea's run of only one win in their past seven games to move three points clear of Carlo Ancelotti's team at the top of the table, with a game in hand, going into Sunday's meeting at Stamford Bridge.

Ferguson said: "Ballack's contract came to an end. Belletti's contract came to an end. They have been replacing these players with younger ones such as [Danny] Sturridge and the young boy [Josh] McEachran. So maybe that's why their results have been erratic. Their plan was always to start introducing younger players and I think that's a good thing but it can backfire if you get injuries."

Chelsea have slipped to fourth, having been without Frank Lampard for almost all of the season, lost John Terry for various games because of recurrent injury problems, and had to wait for Didier Drogba to recover from malaria. Benayoun is out until April with a snapped achilles and José Bosingwa is now missing with a hamstring injury, having only recently returned from a year on the sidelines.

United have also had considerable injury problems – at one point they were unable to call upon 10 players – but Ferguson believes he is benefiting from having a larger squad now Chelsea have reduced their numbers. Eighteen different players have scored for United this season and Ferguson, speaking about Chelsea, added: "You need big squads these days because the number of matches and the intensity of matches does produce injuries. There's no question that having a big squad helps."

He is right. The club basically committed suicide by going into the new season with the smallest squad in the league. Fine cost-cutting is admirable and I look forward to the club becoming self-sufficient. But we could have been smart and picked up decent players (not World beaters) at a low cost in the summer to add to the squad. Utd don't have the best players in the World but they have enough to allow for rotation in case injuries or loss of form happen to their better players.

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Although it's hard to come to terms with this, what he is saying is true. However, we will fight back and win the Premier League. I have no doubt in my mind. It's not as serious as he's making it sound though. We will prove that when we beat United :D.

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Like the other threat, I couldnt find where he said "Chelsea only have themselves to blame for slump"...Im tired of the british press. They are always trying to create some buzz to sell more newspapers or to make a game look more exciting.

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