Dec 03

“Time for Cleverley to kick on,” says Scholes

Tag: Manchester United News @ 12:16 pm

Manchester United v Sevilla - Rio Ferdinand TestimonialPaul Scholes has claimed that it’s time Tom Cleverley “kicked on” his Manchester United career, given the 24-year-old has so far “done okay” since returning to Old Trafford after loan spells at Wigan and Watford.

Scholesy’s statement echoes the thought of the large majority of Reds, who have grown frustrated at Cleverley’s inability to control game and failure to build on the promising signs he had shown when first arriving on the scene a couple of years ago, after graduating from the youth ranks.

“Tom has been there quite a few years now and has done okay,” Scholes told Eurosport UK at the premiere of The Class of ’92.

“But it’s time Tom kicked on. He does play a lot of games and he is a quality player. That is emphasised when he gets in the England squad. Now it’s time he went on to the next level at Manchester United.”

After Scholes retired for a second time at the end of last season, United have become even more reliant on Michael Carrick and with the Geordie midfielder out injured, David Moyes has turned to Ryan Giggs’ experience and Phil Jones’ dynamism to do the job in midfield, with neither Cleverley nor summer arrival Marouane Fellaini convincing in the role.

With Giggs unable to play two games in a week and Jones a converted centre-back, United have struggled enormously in the middle of the park and Cleverley has come under a lot of criticism for his sub-par performances.

Scholes, however, remains confident that Moyes will strengthen his squad in January if he feels he needs to.

“If the manager feels like he needs to go out and buy someone in January then I’m sure that’s what he’ll do,” explained Scholesy.

“There’s obviously been a lot of talk, especially because United aren’t doing as well as we’d all hoped, but it’s not my place to say whether he should go out and buy another midfielder.

“Adnan (Januzaj) has obviously broken through this year and has got great talent. He’s a really gifted lad and if he gets his head down and works hard then he’ll have a great career in the game.”

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Tags: Manchester United News

26 Responses to ““Time for Cleverley to kick on,” says Scholes”

  • NotamassivefanoftheGlazers!

    About time Clevers had a kick up the arse. Well said.

  • Don’t know when the penny’s gonna drop that cleverley is just not good enough. In my opinion he’d wouldn’t even stand out in a bottom to mid table team.If he’d not come through the youth system and being English, he wouldn’t of got anything like the game time under fergie.He might of showed promise earlier in his career, but he’s never lived up to the potential. Injuries have had a major impact on his career, which also seemed to affected his confidence, but football’s a tough world, so you either step up to the mark or move on. If we recruit a couple of high quality midfielders, his game time is going to be seriously limited, so I would of thought be best all round if he moved on.He doesn’t seem to have that “killer pass”in his arsenal, so to just keep always looking for a sideways pass in a game, just strikes of mediocrity. He reminds me of Ray “the crab”Wilkins, except don’t think he’s got one ounce of the vision he had.

    • The_Philosopher

      @THE RED BARON: Harsh words.

      I cannot help but agree, however.

      Cleverley doesn’t set the world alight but I would be happy to keep him around as a squad player.

      But if we were to get a real world class midfielder that would indeed mean that Clevs ain’t never gonna see a game in a long time.

      So might be best for him and everyone else to just sell him rather than have him waste his career on the bench like Anderson. . .

      • The_Philosopher

        @The_Philosopher: Speaking of which, why don’t we loan Anderson out in Januzary?

      • @The_Philosopher: Thing is, Football’s a harsh business.Thats why I’ve said previously, A manager must make his decisions on a purely footballing basis rather favouritism or loyalty.To be honest, I just can’t see him getting any better than what he is.You might get the odd good game, but in general you get joe average.If he’s just prepared to be a squad player at utd, might be all well and good, but you’d have to question the desire pf a player who’s prepared to mark time and just pick up there wage packet.You also have the issue when you have players like that (Anderson is the best example), of clogging up the system and stopping the progress of the younger players.In football you never know. Football in general is littered with storys of players who wer nothing special, yet once they’d moved, they took their game to the next level. The same could benefit cleverley.

  • Cleverley…….Lampard is still the man

  • I think Cleverley needs to play in a 3 man midfield or we will never get anything out of him. He is too lightweight to be used in a 2, especially with his other partner could be Fellaini or Jones, who is a centre back. He is also not a kid anymore and will never be World Class. Keep him a squad player, sell Anderson and pray for Fellaini. Fletcher may come back, but I won’t hold my breath. We just have to hope Giggs can still keep going until the Summer.

    • @Stephen: I agree regarding the 3-man midfield suggestion, however, it’s scandalous that he hasn’t taken his chance even when deployed in a different formation. Cleverley’s problem, in my opinion, is that he’s never had to fight for his place, but he’s secured it through a mixture of luck and paucity of options.

    • @Stephen:


      • @mike_macca: Macca. I’m not sure we’ve ever been introduced but I’m Ian and I run the site and moderate the comments.

        I asked you to contact me last week and I haven’t heard from you so I’ll do this publicly rather than privately.

        I’ve noticed you’ve taken a dislike to Stephen, that’s your prerogative, but when you make unnecessary comments like this one which obviously aren’t very well received by not only Stephen but by me and other visitors it’s time to highlight it and give you your first warning.

        You’re relatively new here so I don’t expect you to know the main rule I have which not to upset the atmosphere. The atmosphere on this blog is of paramount importance, please help us keep it as friendly as possible.

        If you’re unhappy with the warning you’re welcome to contact me.

        Thank you.

  • Cleverley gets too easily dominated in midfield. Yes he is very tidy, never gives the ball away but he also doesn’t make enough incisive passes. He takes the easy option and also doesn’t score enough. I also find it baffling why Rooney takes corners and not him. He was at one point Hodgson and Fergies first pick. But he doesn’t stamp his authority enough and games pass him by too much

  • I’m not his biggest fan. Based mostly on his last 18 months or so. But to be fair to him, a couple of season ago, him and Anderson started the season brilliantly. Some really quick, slick midfield play between them and we were playing some great football. Then we got murdered by City in the derby and Fergie totally changed the way we played. Since then, he’s been asked to play way too deep for my liking. It’s like Anderson all over again. Buy, or in Clevs case, develop, an exciting attacking prospect, then deploy him as a deep lying centre midfielder. Something neither Anderson or Cleverley are suited too. Cleverley had a pretty good spell at Watford, and was voted their player of the season, if i remember correctly. It’s not as if he’s never shown any promise.
    I do believe these two players (Ando + Clevs) more than any others have had their development stifled in the last four or five years.
    Cleverley seem to lack the courage or belief to be able to execute the kinds of passes that should be bread and butter to him. Now and again he’ll hit a sweet cross field ball or put a nice ball around the corner for a runner. But most of his day to day stuff is nearly alwasy below par.
    I hope he can “kick on”, but im not expecting too much.

    • The_Philosopher

      @BigRed: It’s a big shame the Cleverley Anderson combo didn’t get more games to work out the chemistry.

      • @The_Philosopher: I had hope for Cleverley although that has almost entirely evaporated now unfortunately. Someone who was at WHL on Sunday told me he “looked so small” compared with his Spurs counterparts. As for Anderson he is totally inadequate due to his limitations as a player, his continual injury and fitness issues and, at times, his unprofessional attitude. I have no idea why Fergie put up with it for so long before trying to ship him out. Must have been a favourite for some obscure reason. I wonder what United could get for him now? Not much I would think, which just about says it all.

      • @The_Philosopher: I agree. Anderson also showed great promise when he first arrived. Remember his first few games, he had Gerrard and then Febregas in his pocket for 90 minutes.
        Would have been great if they could both have developed the way we’d hoped when they were younger.

  • Phil Neville has stated that Fellaini is shy and is settling in, bare in mind we are in December Does that mean is wasn’t mentally strong enough for United? Seems a bit of a contradiction spending nearly £30m on a player whose character was in question. They said the same when he signed for Everton. Surely Zaha has to ask why he isn’t even getting on the bench if this is the case.

    • @Stephen: If Fellaini is shy then it might explain his lack of confidence. He has, after all, made quite a big step up coming to Utd. Perhaps the best thing that could happen is that a few of his team mates take him out this Christmas and all get rat arsed together. It might break the ice a little and help him feel a part of the set up. It would be a shame if his shyness stopped him reaching his potential. The Zaha issue is puzzling, it’s been said he has off field problems, but if true, then he had them at Palace and still played good football. I suppose different managers handle players in different ways.

    • Ha in that case it’s another reason to ask why, if they knew that about him already, they didn’t purchase him earlier on for the cheaper price of £22m to give him more time in pre-season to adapt/settle in etc.

  • Cleverly is a bit of an enigma, a good start that’s trailed off. I wonder if the problem is a lack of focus on a specific role or position. He’s not really a defensive midfielder, yet he can hardly be called an attacking midfieder, nor a playmaker, so what is he? I think that there are too many players at Utd being asked to play out of position and suffering as a result. Being a utility player is all well and good but it turns out a jack of all trades and master of none, and it’s a master that this Utd team is crying out for. Anderson is a good example, he came to Utd as a potential world class AM and was played by Fergie as a DM, and look how that turned out. I hope Moyes can identify Cleverly’s best position and focus on it, because we really don’t need another Anderson.

  • From what I’m getting and have been getting for a while is that everyone is convinced that we have a crap squad full of average and above average players. Which is not too distant from the truth. Tom Cleverely is a neat and tidy kind of player who tries to hard to be what he isn’t. He is trying to be Michael Carrick but does not have the skill set required for that job. He seems to have been inspired by the function of passes without knowing that they have to have a purpose. Timing and direction of passes is important and a general awareness of where the game is at each specific moment as well as being tactically effective. People wonder why we look completely rubbish when Carrick is not playing but they don’t understand just how critical his skillset,however simple,is to the balance of the team. When he passes backwards at times it’s defensive at times it’s offensive. That’s why he finds it easier to play with ball playing CBs like Rio and Evans. If he passes back sometimes he can see the game has opened up in front of the CB or GK. You can see him even directing them where they should pass or cross. It’s tactical awareness and vision. Pirlo plays in a very similar way. So you can hate all the back,passes but they have an important purpose. It really takes an obsession with football tactics to really appreciate just how good these guys are.

    But Cleverely tries to be a Michael Carrick but does not possess the tactical intelligence to make effective passes. And there lies the real problem. The issue of playing players out of position or more accurately out of role has been going on at United for the last several years and Moyes seems intent on continuing this ugly legacy. Cleverely is not a deep lying playmaker. At Wigan he was more a LAM more than anything. Similarly Anderson was raised an attacking midfielder but was first converted to a DM then to CMF or box to box as the islanders say. I’m not trying to say they are world class but I think they could perform better in roles more suited to them. If they want a playmaker then make a move for one. I don’t think it’s a money thing even. You look at a player like Kagawa. What was the point of buying him or attempting to buy Hazard when what you are looking for us a traditional winger.The likes of Navas could have been cheaper. Get a Lennon or any other boring winger rather than buy a complicated player and try and dumb him down. Phil Jones is a ronin kind of,player. No fixed role and that doesn’t help in my opinion

  • Red Astair

    I agree. Didn’t see your post before but I think it makes sense. The issue of utility players is a big deal. It could be one of the things that makes some players look terrible

  • The irony of course is that Pogba has been named best young player in Europe despite being a good few years younger than Cleverley. But of course Cleverley is still here because he bided his time, did the obligatory loan spells and was rewarded for his “loyalty”.

    The Fellaini transfer is a ridiculous blunder. Maybe he will eventually mature into a useful squad player. But at his age I doubt there is little room for further development.

    The answer to our problems is obvious. Raid Borussia Dortmund. They cannot compete with our wage structure and they have past form of being forced into selling their best players. With Kagawa we also have the ability to do a swap deal. Reus and Gundogan are both improvements on our existing midfield options while Subotic would fix our shaky defence.

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