Some people would argue that we are in a crisis. Hard to disagree when they come up with points such as, “How many of our players would get in to any other top side in the world. The answer would be only a handful; Van Persie, Carrick and Rooney. Rafael and David De Gea also possibilities but that’s about it. It’s easy to say, but a couple of big signings and small changes could change things dramatically.
At Left back, we have Patrice Evra. He’s been magnificent over the years and been loyal. Still decent at going forward but defending he’s been very poor and that is the main priority. He’s almost always poor against Tottenham (and largely due to Lennon) but the latest defeat at home was as though it was his debut. His positioning was awful!
Possible replacements are Southampton’s Luke Shaw and Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao. Luke Shaw is only 18 and is one of the most sought after players in Southampton’s latest generation of talented players and it’s because of that he would cost £20+ million (and also due to the fact he’s signed a new contract recently and is English of course). Fabio Coentrao who nearly came to United on a loan in the summer is also a terrific left back and has experience behind him playing in the Champions League and having already 43 caps for Portugal. He is still only 25 and having to play second fiddle to Marcelo means he wouldn’t be as expensive as Luke Shaw.
In the middle of the park, it’s obvious we need a CM and one that would speed up the play since it’s so slow. By the time we’re near the oppositions final third they have their team back in shape and organised. Cleverley has produced some good displays recently but still don’t think he is good enough for Manchester United (and hasn’t been the same since Kevin Davies injured him at the Reebok) compared to midfielders the other big teams have got. You look at Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and even City, and you will agree Cleverley is not good enough for a place in the starting eleven (yet). Anderson has had plenty of chances and his time is up for me.
Cabaye and Vidal have had plenty of shouts but I can’t see Juventus selling their midfield power house and Cabaye isn’t ‘world class’ for me. A player who would sit perfectly next to or just in front of Carrick is ?lkay Gündo?an. He is only 23, already with 137 appearances in the Bundesliga and was their catalyst to reaching the Champions League final last season. Also, for a possible world class central midfielder at approximately £25mil, he’s relatively cheap, especially in today’s market. If United were to get him in January, he would be available in the Champions League this season, having not featured for Dortmund. Other possibilities would be Alonso with only 6 months left on his contract and Mata. The problem Mata would bring is Rooney would still play off the top and Mata would have to play on the left, where he won’t be as useful.
I think the final improvement needed to be made is on the wing. Januzaj has made an amazing impact coming on the scene like he has, but he isn’t ready yet. He’ll slowly improve and fill his shirt like Cristiano did. Young, Nani and Valencia have all been very poor for me. United have always had very good wingers in Beckham and Giggs and it was always going to be difficult replacing them. It shows how weak they are when we can’t play Nani and have to play Valencia because he’s better defensively. Would you ever see Ribery or Robben dropped because they want to be defensive? You teach them to defend and if they can’t you have to replace them! Valencia is good but nothing more and at United you need to be more than just good. 423 out of 533 crosses have been unsuccessful this season (a league high) which just proves the wingers have been poor. Young was a poor buy and think he’d be good for a mid table team. Nani is very inconsistent and can’t beat the first man when delivering set pieces, but he’s shown glimpses of what he can do (which is what is annoying). Unlike Valencia, Nani is good on the ball and not just go on the outside every time. He can cut in, he’s both footed and has a decent shot on him. If I was to play any of them 3 it would be him.
Angel Di Maria is an option; however he would be a risk in the Premier League as he’s not the strongest of players. I would love to get Reus in but I from what I have read, I don’t think he wants to come. However there is always hope as his buyout clause is supposedly £29.3 million. A possible makeweight for the deal could be Kagawa. Although I like Kagawa a lot and he is a very gifted player, his best position is off the forward and unfortunately for him Rooney is playing there. That only leaves one position and I don’t think he is good enough on the wing.
Another improvement could be made at CB, where Vidic and Rio are nearing the end of their careers and you wouldn’t think Smalling and Evans are the best CB’s you’ll come across, although they’ve done pretty well there together recently. United need a CB but I don’t think it’s necessarily an urgent position we need to improve on.
Coentrao probably wouldn’t cost any more than £15 million. A world class winger and a CM would cost United more or less £60 million. For example IF United got Gündo?an and Reus (admittedly unlikely) All of a sudden, you have an attacking six of Nani/Valencia, Carrick, Gündo?an, Reus, Rooney and Van Persie. Now that attack would be feared. £75 million may seem a lot but we’ve been told he has that and with a few departures, it wouldn’t be as much. The question is would they want to come?
One of the plusses has been the young players that have improved so much. David De Gea already up there with the best in the league, and the likes of Welbeck, Januzaj and Phil Jones has been terrific this season. Even Evans and Smalling have put their shifts in. We’ve still got a very young team so the future isn’t too dull!
David Moyes wasn’t my favourite choice either but now we’ve got him, we have to back him. He hasn’t done well in his interviews with what he’s said and his defensive substitutions but he’s slowly improving. I think he made a big mistake changing the backroom staff straight away but it was a bold decision and easy to say in hindsight. I think Sir Alex Ferguson has to take some responsibility, as the team is simply not good enough. He may have left a championship winning side, but that’s only because all the other teams underperformed and well we did have Sir Alex.
All our Premier League opponents recruited and strengthened in the summer whereas United, criminally, didn’t.
I can’t see us winning the league any more. The title is City’s to lose. As long as we get in the top 4, do well in the CL and maybe win the Carling Cup or F.A Cup, considering the circumstances, it will have been a successful season.
I would just like to add that I’ve been to several away games this year including Liverpool, Hull, Villa, Stoke and Leverkusen. One thing we haven’t lost is our atmosphere. If anything it has improved even more. I think the supporters realise the position we are in and have backed Moyes!