Manchester United, as expected, put non-league Crawley Town out of the FA Cup in their 5th round tie at Old Trafford tonight.
But troubling Sir Alex Ferguson will be his sides poor performance as they only defeated the Blue Square Premier side 1-0, thanks to a Wes Brown header, and in particular the performances of some of Old Trafford’s nearly men.
Ferguson now must decide on what to do with some of his fringe players, in particular Gabriel Obertan, the French winger, and Bebe, who simply don’t look good enough to wear a Manchester United shirt.
Darron Gibson played well in patches, but at 23, is there really enough improvement to come from the Irish midfielder to incline Ferguson to stick by him?
Furthermore, the future of Michael Carrick must surely be called into question, as he once more played poorly and was overrun by a tigerish Crawley midfield – Carrick has looked short of confidence since he was comprehensively torn to pieces by Barcelona’s midfield duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the 2009 Champions League final in Rome, some 20 months ago.
United’s first XI may well be firing in the Premier League, with only one black mark to their name this season – the away defeat at Wolves – but Ferguson’s reserves would appear to be simply inadequate, and with the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Van Der Sar all needing replacing in the next 6-18 months, now is the time for Fergie to clear out the deadwood, and start his rebuilding program.