Manchester United 3 v Manchester City 2. Isn’t life great? Somehow a win like today’s Charity Shield comeback of comebacks seems so much sweeter and so much more rewarding than if we had beaten them 4-0. Nothing makes you feel better about your team, it’s prospects for the future and it’s overall makeup than an outstanding come from behind victory against a hated derby rival.
2011-12 is already stacking up as an interesting season for Manchester United. After several years of very little spending or action in the off-season, Fergie has spent mucho dinero this summer in the hope that he can make his team younger and better. In with the new, David De Gea, Phil Jones, Ashley Young and dare I forecast the possibility of Wesley Sneijder to come. Only Liverpool has been as active in rebuilding their club as we have.
Saturday’s 2-1 win over Barcelona doesn’t come remotely close to erasing the disappointment of losing a second Champions League final in three seasons to them, and it doesn’t provide any definitive evidence that the Barcelona-Manchester United gap has been bridged even slightly, but even though it was a friendly, it could serve as a table-setter for individual and collective success this season.
When one sits back to construct lists of the best players on a team or the best players of all time, obviously the position has to be taken into account. And let’s face it, one position that comes with players who showed true skill, pedigree and a touch of class is that of the center forward. Manchester United has been blessed throughout its history with extraordinary center forwards who transcended their position, redefined the duties of that position and above all either created or scored plenty of goals or both.
The finale of Manchester United’s tour of the U.S. kicks off in a few short minutes, and while it goes down as only a preseason friendly, it’s not a stretch to say that tonight’s clash against Barcelona will serve as a good barometer for where United are heading into the new season.
With a little over a month left in the summer transfer window, it’s still uncertain whether or not we’ll see ‘Manchester United have signed [insert desired target here]‘ at least one more time before the window shuts. Given what David Gill said earlier this week, the chances are more in favor of it occurring than some feel, but that’s something we won’t find out for certain until after United have returned to English soil. So, for the moment, there’s only so much that can be said, speculated, and guestimated about who, if/when, and why/why not.