It would be fair to say that Manchester United have experienced their fair share of defensive worries over the past few weeks and that has undoubtedly contributed to their indifferent start to the new campaign.
Unfortunately, the situation does not seem to be easing, with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans continuing to suffer with the problems that have prevented them from playing this term.
Sir Alex Ferguson has seen his options in defence severely limited this term and has even been forced to rely on the likes of Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia to fill in when the crisis reached its peak. Fortunately, he now has Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both available, although the duo have not been without their problems in the past and it remains to be seen whether they'll be able to withstand the rigor of the next few weeks.
There was plenty of hope that both Evans and Jones would make comebacks and at least provide competition. However, even after he recovered from the back problem that kept him out of the opening games, Jones now looks set to miss the next couple of months after incurring a knee injury and having surgery.
It could be the fitness of Evans that worries Ferguson the most though. After starting for Northern Ireland at the weekend, the 25-year-old admitted that the game was not without problems and he had to play through the pain barrier.
He said, "I felt my ankle after about five minutes. It was the same one I had surgery on in the summer but I got a heavier strap put on it and I was able to carry on for the second half. I was disappointed I felt pain so quickly in the game but if I’m being honest, I always expected I would feel a little pain – just not that early."
Is this how you would celebrate if you've just scored an absolute belter of a goal for your country in the European Championships Semi-Finals against an old enemy, to give your team a 2-0 advantage after just over 40 minutes?!
No, I thought not - but rule nothing out when it comes to Mario Balotelli!
This has to be one of the very best own-goals EVER!
About 5 seconds previously the opposition goalkeeper is holding the ball, but before you know it the ball is in the back of the net at the other end, and the defender is holding his face in his hands! It must be one of the most direct own-goals ever!
The goalie gives the ball a tremendous boot down the pitch, so the defender in question tracks back with the on-running striker to try and reach the ball first.
How amazed would all your mates be if you dribbled past three of them before smashing it into the back of the net using your right leg to hit it from behind your left?
Now add pace, power, a few thousand fans, national television, and you'll see how impressive it is! The goal takes place a minute and a half in, and is a fantastic example of balance, precision, luck, and sheer cheek! Enjoy!
The man behind the inspection committee of the FIFA World Cup has been awarded the role of the ambassador for Latin America, according to the Free Bets website. The former president of the Chilean FA, who has played an integral role in the growth and development of the game across the region, is now tasked with helping to grow the Soccerex brand across the Central and South American continent.