Sir Alex Ferguson is considering abandoning defence altogether, so exasperated has he become at Manchester United's failure to tighten up at the back.
United head into Saturday's Old Trafford encounter with West Brom seven points clear of Manchester City, but a 4-3 Boxing Day triumph over Newcastle means United have now conceded 28 Premier League goals, more than in their entire title-winning campaigns of 2007, 2008 and 2009.
They have conceded 38 goals in all competitions and kept just four clean sheets, and Ferguson said: "You analyse it in every possible detail and try to get a constant thread that tells me we have to do this or that - and it just doesn't appear."
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