“War-chest”. A word with which football has become familiar to in the last couple of seasons, and one which has been thrown about by the Manchester United’s hierarchy with the same frequency with which Antonio Valencia misplaces a cross or loses possession.
Sir Alex Ferguson was allegedly given a sizeable budget to spend in his last season, but £24m were enough to secure Robin Van Persie’s services, while David Moyes has seemingly had a “war-chest” since arriving at Old Trafford, with Ed Woodward famously assuring him and us last summer that “United could compete with everybody in the transfer market,” which doesn’t really explain why we ended up signing Marouane Fellaini on deadline day.
David Moyes has insisted that he’s the right man for the job at Manchester United, despite the horrendous season the Reds have so far endured and the United manager has warned that it was “always going to take time” to rebuild the team he was left with by Sir Alex Ferguson.
With United now resigned to miss out on the Champions League for the first time in 19 years, next summer’s transfer window could define the club’s medium and long term future, given that United will have to replace the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra as well as – hopefully – signing a midfielder or two.
Roy Keane believes Manchester United’s dismal season is the result of years spent cutting corners in the transfer market and David Moyes will need to bring in “five or six” players in the summer, a revamp that Keano has described as something that should be embraced, by the club’s hierarchy and supporters alike.
United’s woes plunged to a whole new level on Sunday, when United struggled to find the net against bottom of the table Fulham, before netting twice in three minutes only to concede yet another late equaliser, as they did against Southampton and Cardiff earlier in the season.
Michael Carrick has warned United fans that things might have to get worse before they eventually get better at Old Trafford and that this season’s demise is made worse because of how used United were to dominate opponents in England over the last two decades.
Having conceded a late equaliser against Fulham on Sunday, United will almost surely miss out on Champions League football for the first time in 19 years, while even a place in the Europa League seems in danger at the moment, given the dismal record David Moyes’ men have put together since the turn of the year.
David Moyes described his Manchester United side as “diabolical” – even though the right adjective is a lot more damning and a lot less politically correct – after United gifted bottom of the table Fulham a point yesterday, with Darren Bent scoring a late equaliser, after United had turned things around.
Down 1-0 after Steve Sidwell had opened the scoring, United toiled away for another hour, piling up countless crosses in the visitors’ box and wasting a couple of good chances, though they continued to look incredibly pedestrian, even when Robin Van Persie and Michael Carrick scored two late goals that had looked to clinch a win.
The United manager was shocked by his side’s mental frailties and rued the equaliser, which left United nine points adrift of fourth place.
Nemanja Vidic has confirmed he will leave Manchester United when his contract expires in the summer, bringing an end to his eight-year spell at Old Trafford and confirming the rumours that have linked the Serbian defender with a move to away from the Premier League for quite some time.
Lately, the United captain’s influence has been limited by two serious knee injuries over the last three seasons, which reduced his physical impact and forced him to sit out long spells of United’s campaigns, with Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes wary of managing the Serbian’s fitness in order to get the best of out him.
Darren Fletcher insisted that he is lucky to be playing football again, after a chronic bowel disease looked to have ended his career, forcing the Scotland international to miss almost two seasons as he sought to overcome his condition.
Having been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2011, Fletcher underwent surgery in January 2013 but, despite receiving treatment, his return was far from a certainty and the man who had emerged as a pivotal figure for United over the 2008-09 season was restricted to a mere 20 appearances in two seasons.
Ryan Giggs has described Juan Mata as a potential United legend, claiming that the 25-year-old Spanish has all it takes to establish himself at United and go down as one of the Old Trafford greats, fully justifying the club-record fee United splashed out to secure his services.
Mata arrived from Chelsea for £37.1m in the January transfer window, a transfer as unexpected as it was welcomed by players and fans alike, and Giggs believes the Spanish playmaker could be mentioned in the same bracket of Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham by the time he retires.