Sep 03

United’s summer of sheer ineptitude

Tag: Manchester United,Opinion Piece @ 9:39 pm

The morning after the night before felt discouraging and underwhelming, the disappointment amplified by a summer of empty promises.

United fans went to bed dreaming of Ander Herrera and Sami Khedira and woke up to the news that Marouane Fellaini had become a Manchester United player overnight.

The Belgian could well prove an astute signing but the harsh truth is that United forked out £27m when, less than a month ago, they could had signed the same player for £23.5m.

David Moyes’ decision to let Fellaini’s release clause expire in a bid to secure a cheaper deal for the former Everton man backfired spectacularly, while the farce surrounding the offers for Ander Herrera and Fabio Coentrao provided the fitting end to a summer throughout which the club despite sheer ineptitude and arrogance.

With Sir Alex Ferguson retiring, United were expected to enter a new era with a bold and resolute approach, one through which Moyes could have been presented with a solid shot at silverware in his first season at the club.

Instead, they bottled it.

Hindsight is a luxury available at a premium in football, but Moyes should have been given more time to build his squad than the two months of dithering he oversaw since he began working on July 1.

The former Everton manager spoke of the enormity of the job awaiting him, on the pitch as well as off it, and could have done with an expert guide to assist him through the rough seas that is the transfer window.

Moyes’ ability to work on a limited budget proved of little relief to his new club, while his decision to sign Marouane Fellaini will offer more ammunitions to the legion of fans believing that the Scotsman’s only strategy was to turn to his former club.

Moyes, however, can feel himself let down as much as the fans themselves, who were promised a luxury weekend away and were left with the equivalent of a steak night in the local pub.

While Chelsea and Manchester City strengthen their teams, United we’re left chasing unrealistic targets, displaying remarkable arrogance by thinking that the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas would decline the chance to join Bayern Munich and stay at Barcelona to become United’s marquee signings.

United simply do not have the same pulling power of other European heavyweights, nor the organisation needed to supply to the lack of financial resources available to the likes of City, Chelsea, Monaco and PSG.

Furthermore, despite an alarming lack of option in the middle of the park, the club insisted with its pursuit of a left-back, while banking on the fans’ gullibility to perpetuate the lie that a deal for Cristiano Ronaldo was being thought about.

United fans believing that the Glazers have done nothing but helping the club since the takeover have very little to complain about Ed Woodward’s incapacity, for he’s the man who brokered the deal through which the Glazers assumed control of the club in 2005.

Having been promoted to replace David Gill, Woodward was never likely to bite the hand that was feeding him and quietly went about his business, one in which commercial partners are more important than footballers.

Those who believe that United didn’t need reinforcements as they won the league at a canter last season clearly ignore that, to name but three clubs, Bayern Munich – treble winners last season – Barcelona – Spanish champions in 2012-13 – and Juventus – Serie A winners in the last two seasons – concluded their business by late June.

With David Moyes left to deal with Wayne Rooney’s malaise – arguably United’s only success this summer was standing up to Mourinho – targets disappeared at an alarmingly quick rate, forcing United to scrape around the barrel of deadline day like a drunken man desperate to find a bar still open after midnight.

The farcical circumstances that surrounded the failed attempts to sign Ander Herrera and Fabio Coentrao dashed any hope that United could save their summer on deadline day, while Moyes’ stubborn refusal to meet any release clause could become concerning.

Furthermore, Fellaini had obviously been United’s plan A all along and David Moyes could have done with him in the middle of the park against Liverpool – a club that, painful as it might sound, has operated infinitely better than United this summer – so why wait until the 11th hour?

Fellaini is undoubtedly an improvement on the paucity of options that had crippled United’s midfield until yesterday, but another addition would have been incredibly beneficial, particularly considering that Moyes has failed to get right of the likes of Anderson and Ashley Young.

The summer of 2013 will be remembered as the summer when Gareth Bale became the world’s most expensive footballer, Spurs went on a spending spree and even Arsenal broke the bank for a top player.

United, meanwhile, passed on the opportunity to strengthen their squad. As they say, it’s the hope that kills you.

Related items from Red Rants:

Tags: Manchester United · Opinion Piece

64 Responses to “United’s summer of sheer ineptitude”

  • Whine whine whine. It’s pathetic. If you would mock another team for crying over the transfer window, maybe try a tiniest amount of restraint. Very sad, not that United only got Fellaini, but that so many United fans are childish crybabies who literally cannot feature a United squad that won the league, plus Zaha and plus Fellaini competing for trophies. Very sad. That such people could call themselves supporters is astounding.

    • @Ben: I think you’re missing the point Ben. I’m with you when it comes to believing the squad is good enough with the addition of Fellaini but you have to accept the clubs conduct has brought about all this toxic castigation. It will pass, unfortunately International break is the last thing we needed. A game sooner rather than later would douse the flames.

      Just chill out, if you’re right time will tell.

      • United brought this upon themselves????

        What does support mean to you? Does supporting a team that has covered itself in so much glory mean so little, that literally any dip in form, any difficulty in the transfer market justifies this type of vitriol??? Does that actually make sense to you?

        I completely concede that it’s been disappointing on many fronts.

        But to only say that, to only comment on that, is to miss the point entirely.

        This is a great club. This is the club that you all say that you love.

        So maybe, you who rain criticism on the fucking club are the ones that need to chill out. Because I have been a fan for a long time, and I would not trade the memories this club has given me for anything. If it’s not enough for you, honestly, assess if this is the club for you. Because if this is the club for you, scornfully calling people delusional for talking about the talent in the squad is probably something that doesn’t make much sense. And if you think the squad is so poor, and won’t do anything again, won’t win any more trophies, then by all means, I feel certain Citeh will take you in.

        • @Ben: think you nead to take your head out of the sand and get off your fuckin high horse.Seems anyone who disagrees with your opinion about how the club is run is disloyal to you. Give me fuckin brake. You never heard of free speech. This is GB 2013 not 1970′ East Germany. Can’t even be bothered to explain why I think your views are wrong.You have completely one dimensional view off utd so not gonna waste my time.

        • Well said Red Baron. Head in the sand is exactly how I would characterise Ben. I’d say he was a “glass half full” type of person but he’s so deluded he would probably tell you the glass is not just half full, it’s practically overflowing.

        • @Ben: Seriously, are you a member of some neo-fascist skinhead movement because your extremism and call for law and order is a bit unnerving and scary? Just who the fuck do you think you are to demand we follow your way of thinking? I offer mine and hope the majority agree but I do not force it down their throats and demand they follow me or I will call them names, insult them and demand they get gassed.
          You need to grow up and wake up. Keep carrying your views and your anger the way you do and soon you won’t even have the glass half full fans agreeing or liking you either. You’re just so angry, bitter and rude. You’d make a great New York cop. You’re probably quite the bully in your personal life. Sure I could be wrong but your attitude and attacks on this blog to fellow supporters is shocking. Hooligans act and talk like you. They aren’t true fans, they just need the team colors to have some form of allegiance to band around so they can rumble. Be nicer and more respectful of people and you never know, more people might come around to your way of thinking. Forcing them and ordering them to do so will not work, and it will not make ensure your longevity on this blog.

      • @Ian: Ooooh it hurts, doesn’t it Ben. That nagging feeling that you’ve had for the last several years, the one that has kept you awake at night, the one that you are trying so hard to bury with your rambling tantrums,… you know what I mean, it’s called the truth!!
        I know it’s very hard for you to except, and that’s understandable for one so uber-devoted as you. But, Ben, you need to start manning-up to the situation, mate, take the pain, Ben – treat the pain as if it’s now as normal as picking your nose. It’s important, Ben, it really is, because the pain is going to get much worse before it gets any better!

        • @Redrich:

          United is a great club. That is the truth. Last season, we got the title back, and went some way to avenging Citeh getting it. That’s the truth. And I am looking forward to seeing the squad grow and mature, and get better.

          More of this patronizing nonsense.

          If you find nothing worth you time at United, go elsewhere.

          I love United. I wake up every morning thinking about the club. I spend all week wanting to catch the next game. That’s the truth. If you aren’t excited by United any more, that’s on you pal. I love this club, can’t get enough, cannot wait till the next game. That’s the only truth there is about me and United.

          But I do feel very sorry that you’re so unhappy with the club. Perhaps you could watch golf on Tv, something less demanding of your support.

        • Ben

          Grog’s in dispute with you sooooooo……so will I be!



    • @ben, you’re right to stand up and remind people that we have a strong squad.

      You’re missing the point. We went public offering cesc and barca 25m for his services, then we upped it to 30m. How niave and arrogant is that? Cesc was sold to barca for 30m … You think he’s worth less now? Shocking conduct.

      We then ignore the release clause on Fellini and pay 4m extra ……. Quite insulting at a time when fans are feeling the pennies pinch.

      We fail to even meet any any release clause. It is simply not good enough for he biggest club in the world.

      All the above plus the debacle with Herrera and seemingly non interest in thiago and oil is, IMO, not encouraging.

      It’s as though fergie and gill left no handover notes.

      • The Fabregas non-event is worse than that. I assumed the player (or his agent) had given us some genuine encouragement. I didn’t for one moment realise we were bidding for a player who wouldn’t come, from a club that wouldn’t sell, with money insufficient to do the job.
        I wonder what Moyes’ agenda was in this pantomime? All I can come up with is that it was to distract us mugs from the reality that we had no £60M war chest which was touted back in July, and no intention to fix the roof (our midfield) before the stormy season.

    • Just in case you have not noticed,you condescending little troll….He has not picked Saha yet…..but has picked some obvious sub-standard players…….

    • tonymontanna4united

      @Ben: You keep saying this, but where has anyone on here said the squad is crap.
      People have got a problem with the way we’ve gone about our business this summer, blindly bidding for players and making us look arrogant, cheap skate and incompetent, and I think after losing someone like Fergie we expected more than just Fellaini.
      That doesn’t mean we think the squad is crap, or that we won’t be competitive, just that imo and a lot of other people’s opinions, this squad doesn’t measure up to United squads of the past, it does have holes in the squad in a couple of positions that have been obvious for years, and with the great man now gone who was able to get the side punching above it’s weight, it would have been nice to have gone out and addressed those issues to make life easier for Moyes.
      I actually agree with your point lower down that neither City nor Chelski are all that great, but they have added depth to their squads and in Chelski’s case, probably have the best manager in world football running things now as opposed to some of the clowns they’ve had in charge previously. That will make a difference and improve them both.
      I’m not sure if after losing Fergie, you could really call Fellaini coming as being all that much of an improvement, and that’s a concern.

  • September’s games will soon be with us……..The performances on and off the pitch are NOT at the highest level….I want Moyes to succeed but he must get his eyes out of the headlights……Deadwood has no excuses……needs to be sacked…….A while out of the top 4….would be fine so long as we get rid of those muppets …the Glazers……

  • I guess on some level, you’re all disappointed, and this is all you can do, have this public cry, and this pity party, holding your weeping friends about how badly United has mistreated you. Shocking behavior. Shocking. You say the club standards have slipped. I say, I had no idea how low the quality of fans had slipped. Into the gutter.

    • Interesting Ben but you are missing the point. I have supported United since the 1960′s and don’t want a repeat of the 1970′s and 8o’s. Unfortunately the way we have conducted ourselves over this transfer window has been amateurish at best. The refusal to activate Fellainis release clause and then pay £4M more than that is scandalous. The Herrara affair is wowful because as usual we refuse to pay the asking price. According to The Mirror Ozil was offered to us 2 weeks ago. In the meantime all the top clubs have strengthened more than we have.
      I always look at a side and ask the simple question how many of their players would get into the United side, but then how many of this United side would get into the other top clubs in England and Europe – not many I fear.
      Don’t castigate United fans for questioning the running of the club and the way they conduct business. Always remember the famous words of SAF when he said there was in value in the market and then went and spent £7M on Bebe.

    • @Ben: Keep drinking the MUTV Kool-Aid Ben!

      • Or you know, being moderately excited about United’s season???

        When did it become wrong to be excited for a United side’s new season, the season after they win the league? At what point did that become something that one gets insulted about?

        I’ll keep saying it, because there is no response to it

        This team won the league last season.

        You take that side, you add Zaha

        you add Fellaini

        you and Januzaj and Lingard

        That is a good looking team.

        I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that as a Manchester United fan, I had to drink the Citeh/Chelsea Kool-aid. I didn’t realize I had to fawn over those sides, and pretend they have absolutely no issues. Because they do. And they’re going to drop points, and they’re going to struggle. Because they are far from being the complete article.

        • @Ben: I dont think anyone is denying that we have some promising youth and the additions are positive.

          everyone is getting on you cuz you are not embarrassed by our silly season dealings.

          I agree with you on being excited to see the new look and how it will work. but im also embarrassed at how we look to the world. you know asking 5 girls to the dance and ending up wit the big ugly one at the last hour…

          time will only tell if she is the one to put out though so lets hope this big harry lassie likes to fek 8)

      • @The Truth: There is no reasoning with him.

  • These are the same people who dislike Rooney, cause he is not happy in the club (let me remind you Ronaldo) and the same people who will accept every “exotic” name over a European one.

    Is Herrera proven? No.
    Is Coentrao a respectul DEFENSIVE left back? No. Just a great attacking one.
    Is Khedira over-rated? Fuck yeah!

    Did we spend 3.5m more than we should for a muscular, good for EPL player? We did. 3.5-4 million buy you nothing of course…

    So, what’s all the fuss? We can now play Carrick-Fellaini-Kagawa (or Rooney) …. Fellaini- Kagawa – Anderson (or Cleverley) ……..even a Fellaini – Kagawa – Rooney is possible now.

    • @Warzycha: Okay, so if Herrera, Coentrao and Khedira are so bad, shouldn’t you be concerned that Moyes tried to sign all three?

    • @Warzycha: real bought khedira for less then 10 mill.euro,and he is one of the leaders in germanys national side,,you are wrong about khedira

    • The best thing you can do is try to watch a little more football than you have been watching lately. Sami Khedhira is one of the top central midfielders in world football right now. Fabio Coentrao is also amongst the top leftbacks in the world. Only someone who has not watched these two players much,can claim otherwise. Broaden your scope and watch a little more football if you can because your assessment is shocking

      • @Jay Wire:

        that’s my point of view and is formed after watching spanish brazilian and english football….sometimes juventus and psg

        I just don’t rate sami …. :/

  • The Daily Express are reporting that Everton recieved 23.5m from United; the rest is the money they saved by not having to pay Fellaini his loyalty bonus for the last 2 years of his contract. He gave that up when he handed in a transfer request in order ro help push the move through. I’m impressed that Fellaini felt that strongly….Im sure he doesnt love the club but at least he put his money where his mouth is. He has more than doubled his wages of course but its clear he hasn’t come just for the bumper pay days he wants to win trophies and play a major part in achieving success with and for United. He is a limited player but we will benefit from his presence if not his underwhelming pace and lack of vision and technical ability.

    Ben…the vast majority of negative posts made by United fans across the web that Ive seen are in response to Woodward and the Glazers rather than the players or Moyes…..although there is a bit of understandable doubt and concern at the lack of pace, energy and creativity shown in most of our games so far even if we have more possession. I echo the sentiments that a few seasons out of the top four in return for the disappearance of the Glazers would be worth it. I don’t think we have a divine right to continued success it has to be earned every year and this year more than most its going to take a massive effort against clubs that have been massively strengthened. Its very early days, Moyes deserves our backing and patience

    • Citeh and Chelsea are being massively overestimated. They both have serious issues, serious issues they have not resolved.

      Though I am sure they are just tickled pink that so many United fans are so convinced that they are worlds better. Really says a lot about United fans at the moment, that no one seems to recall the DESPICABLE defending by Citeh against Cardiff. Or, the very unconvincing performances by Chelsea. Both those sides are works in progress. Neither are the finished article. Every team is going to drop points.

      If I compare the anfield loss vs. Citeh’s loss against Cardiff, which is more worrying for their respective fans? In what world is a loss away 1-0 at anfield worse than a newly promoted club scoring three goals against a feeble Citeh defense.

      And with Chelsea, at United we always have world class strikers, so we seem to overlook this when a team lacks it, Chelsea don’t have a striker. Eto’o???? Are you all really so certain that Eto’o is going to light the league on fire?

      United are positioned well in the league now, and have as good a chance as anyone to win it, and much better than the vast majority of sides.

      • @Ben: “If I compare the anfield loss vs. Citeh’s loss against Cardiff, which is more worrying for their respective fans? In what world is a loss away 1-0 at anfield worse than a newly promoted club scoring three goals against a feeble Citeh defense.”

        I dunno, at least City scored twice in that game. I don’t think we’d have scored at Anfield even if we’d played till midnight. That’s my concern.

        • We played a slow static lineup. It’s not super surprising we didn’t score. But if you say there is not quality in the squad, it’s nonsense. Zaha, Kagawa, Nani starting instead of subbing, of course we could have scored, of course we could have won. No doubt about that. And I would much rather have a game where the team goes out, plays disciplined but non-imaginative ball and loses to a freak goal, then a game where United shows it cannot defend at all.

          We know there are goals in this team. Period. That’s a fact. If United don’t score in a game, no one can say they are a team that can’t or won’t score.

          But a team that can’t reliably defend, that is a much much bigger problem.

          United can defend. United can score. United have reinforced their midfield. If I were Citeh I’d be more worried, same goes for Chelsea.

        • I never said there wasn’t quality in the squad. Does Moyes know how to use it, that’s the question.

      • @Ben: Regardless of their issues, their owners are willing to spend and buy players the managers deem necessary to iron out those problems. The Glazer’s are not. Sheikh Monsour and Abramovich bought the club as a hobby because they love football. The Glazer’s love money and know and care nothing for the game and the fans. Wake up or please, shut up.

        • @Grognard:

          Do you or do you not agree that both Citeh, and Chelsea have major issues with their teams, right now???

          Did Chelsea fix their offense with Eto’o?

          Did Citeh fix their defense with that Martín Demichelis??? Really??? Are you saying that 32 year old Demichelis is adequate cover for Kompany, in whose absence Citeh is incapable of defending set pieces?

          These are facts to back up opinions.

          What problems do United have that are that big? Midfield??? We lacked a strong midfielder that could impose himself, we bought that. Our wingers have been poor, Nani signed a new deal, we brought in Zaha. Not creative enough, we have Kagawa, januzaj, Lingard. Kagawa is ready now, Zaha is ready now.

          How is it not a valid opinion to say that Citeh will have struggles?

          How is it not valid to say Chelsea will have struggles.

          I have given you examples of how they will struggle. Real examples. Go look them up if you don’t believe me. Neither Citeh, nor Chelsea have been the world beaters you all make them out to be, and while I am giving concrete examples of why they will struggle, you don’t have any opposing point of view, except to be insulting and dismissive.

          That’s on you. That’s you not being able to discuss facts.

          And that’s the state of so much of United fandom. Startstruck by other teams, uncritiically fawning over them. It’s very sad.

    • @jimmymac62: Well said. Regardless of which players I like or not, I am behind them every game and support them and watch every game. Here in Canada I usually have to get up at 5:30 or 6:00am in the morning to watch them regardless of how well they play. But the people that run the club and coach do not get off so lucky. They are the brain trust and as far as I and the majority of fans are concerned, they are doing a piss poor job. And yet, I am still willing to support Moyes and give him time even though Woodward and the Glazer’s will do their best to undermine his attempts to improve the club.

    • @jimmymac62: Well said Jimmy! i second that, cept you wouldn’t find me reading The Daily Express, apart from that, spot on, LOL

  • It is the nature of the clubs dealings that have really angered the fans. The whole point of bringing Moyes in was to ensure Manchester United retained its class and conducted its affairs with professionalism and efficiency.

    Instead we have been made to look indecisive, naive, arrogant and desperate not to mention incredibly cheap.

    Fabregas was clearly the main target and it was worth a try even though it was unlikely Barcelona would sell after losing Thiago and there was no indication the player wanted to leave. But it was just stupid to start the bidding at anything less than £40M and we wasted precious weeks hoping that…well I really don’t know…did we expect Fabregas to force a move? Did we think that Barcelona would be so grateful we raised our bid from £25M to £30M that they would cave? Total nonsense.

    We then thought we could bully Everton into selling Baines and Fellaini for well below their joint valuation of £40M. So we started with a £28M joint bid. Naturally Everton were insulted and decided to tool us. In our arrogance we thought that we could ignore the buy out clause and believed the players would force a move on our terms.

    Once it was clear Everton were going to dig their heels in and hold us to ransom and Fellaini and Baines weren’t cooperating we then make desperate last minute bids for Herrera, Sneijder and De Rossi that again fall laughably below the valuations of the clubs

    As for the way we treated Herrera, effectively leaving him standing at the altar, agreeing terms only to bail at the last minute when we realized the Fellaini deal was back on, well it is disgraceful.

    Completely lacking any perception we fail to realize that Everton have decided to keep Baines and he isn’t going to force a move and leave it far too late to try and sign Coentrao and when we finally do make a move Real Madrid have already got the Ozil money and decide that in the end it is too much of an inconvenience to sell Coentra especially as their intended replacement had already signed for Benfica

    At the end of the day our Plan A was to sign Fabregas and our Plan B was to sign Fellaini and Baines. I do not think we had any serious interest in Herrera or De Rossi (who we could have probably signed earlier in the summer before he patched things up with the new coach).

    We failed with Plan A but that is no surprise and our only mistake was letting it drag on so long when it would have taken a five minute phone call to realize that Barcelona weren’t going to sell.

    We failed with Plan B considering early in the summer Everton were prepared to sell us Baines if we met their valuation and Fellaini had a buy out clause for £24M. Had we started the summer offering them £40M for the pair I think we could have done a deal.

    Plan C seems to have been to make desperate bids for every midfielder in Europe to either pressure Everton into selling for fear of ending up with an unhappy player on their hands or scare Fellaini into making a formal transfer request.

    Plan C was a roaring success! It is now common knowledge that we’ve failed with bids for De Rossi, Herrera, Sneijder and Khedira. But we got Fellaini and we can consider ourselves lucky that we only had to pay an extra £3.5M. And even Plan C wouldn’t have worked unless Fellaini had decided to help us out and submit a transfer request.

    • I do not buy into everything I read about transfers.

      But how about this:

      do not judge every single transfer approach as make or break.

      No other team does this. No other team treats every single transfer rumor as proof that they are either serious about competing, or not serious at all.

      Maybe Fellaini was the number 1 choice. Maybe that is all he thought we needed. I’m okay with that. I know it’s not what fans want. Maybe, fans do not have the same perspective.

      Fellaini makes completely different football possible for us. That is priceless. We have played the, let’s get a fantastically talented player whether they fit or not before. His name is Berbatov. And if you want to respect players, you shouldn’t bring them in unless you have a space for them in your squad. Fellaini has a space in this squad for sure. I respect the decision to just bring in Fellaini. If Moyes is happy with that, I will be happy to suspend judgement and watch the result.

      I think Fellaini really wants this, really wants this move, and really wants to do great for us. Good for him. This is not a ego move. He knows Real is not going to come calling for him next year. Do you understand why that makes him special? Do you understand what having players like this means for our squad? We could have picked up an Ozil, or a Modric, and we would have been forced to play them, no matter what. And if they got upset, if the club didn’t cater to them, they’d boohoo, and piss off in a season. And doubtless plenty of ‘supporters’ would take their side. Fellaini wants this, he’ll work for this, and he’ll put everything into succeeding here. Good on him, I can’t wait to see him bringing that passion and work to a United side that needs it.

      Taking all that into account, the transfer window was messy. It was stupid. There wasn’t a marquee signing. Granted.

      But this is a great side, that just gained a lot of new possibilities.

      I have no idea what the hell happened this transfer window. But I know we got the midfielder we needed. And as bad as it was, and as ugly as it looked, I cannot wait to see United get out there and play with some energy and passion, and at to the many many great moments they have given me.

      • @Ben: agree with you for fellaini,we need someone who really wants to play for utd,,,this are the players we need,ozil could have choosen utd two years ago,but he didnt…

      • @Ben: We all want to see the club go out and play with energy and passion. We just aren’t sure they are good enough anymore because unlike our competitors, we have done little to improve and we lost the biggest player on our club, Fergie. So while everyone is moving forward, we have gone backwards. Those are valid reasons for pessimism and cautious optimism.

        • @Grognard: He knows it mate, the poor bastard just can’t except it.
          Feel sorry, really :(

        • Rich? Are you really Grog’s second account?

        • @Grognard:

          Unlike our competitors???

          What would you say if United didn’t have a striker? What would you say to that? You have a boner for a team that doesn’t have one, so I guess you wouldn’t care if United didn’t. What if United had 0 cover at defense? And if one defensive player went out, United became incapable of defending set peices? Would that be an issue to you?

          There are teams like that. Team you absolutely LOVE. Teams that terrify. Teams that have those exact issues. And for all their spending, those problems remained unfixed. Sooooo, for all the, money will fix all issues, those teams, that you absolutely adore(sekritly support?) still have those issues now, after the window.

          But what about United? We had a midfield problem, and we bought exactly the type of midfielder we needed. That must be hard for you to wrap your head around. That those perfect squads you adore, had problems, and still have them, those teams that spend freely, and buy exactly how you would like. It must be strange for you to see them have issues, and spend bucket loads of cash, and still have the same issues.

          And how must it feel to have United have an issue, and buy a player to fix it. Bizarre. You can take your time, I’m sure your head is spinning.

        • If that were true, you would have good things to say after good performances Groggy. But you don’t.

          You don’t want to go to the tape, because you know what it shows. It shows bitter pessimism no matter what the result. You never, not with wins, not with anything, do you have anything positive to say. Not that you don’t drop the isolated grain of positivity, but you never do that without all these caveats and reasons why it actually isn’t good at all. Test me.

          Tell me to prove it. Because I can. I can prove no matter what, you never have anything to say about the club that is good. Just like I can prove you have said a minimum of 100 personally insulting things to people in this 1 weeek.

          Test me.

        • @Grognard: I’d be fine with a False 9 if I had a deep and awesome midfield. Barca, Spain and others have shown that out and out strikers are not vital. What is vital are quality wingers and midfielders.

        • @Grognard: Read my review of the game vs Swansea. Go back and read reviews I gave about games in the past. Go back and read reviews I gave about the club when Ronaldo was around and I was gushing with praise. You are so full of it mate. I call it as I see it. I was even positive about the Chelsea draw despite not scoring. Did you read that? :roll: :roll:

  • Don’t know if anyone has read Guillem Balague’s story about what actually happened with the Ander Herrera bid.All a bit strange what went down.the 3 “imposters” are actually lawyers from a prominent bilbao law firm who arsenal have used previously. All sounds a bit fishy and someone somewhere is telling porkies. Sad part to this drama was herrera was prepared to pay a chunk of his wages to make the deal go through. Don’t know to much about him, but seems we could of missed out on someone potentially to be very special due to penny pinching.

    • @The red baron: Yes, mate I’m reading confirmation of this now.
      The question I have is, who put out the “imposter” story??

      Interested parties would be United, the Law Firm and perhaps Herrera’s camp who had lots of interest in him going to OT.
      Keep your eyes on this one, it will be interesting to see how it pans out. :roll: :roll:

      • @Redrich: yeah, be in interesting to see the statement from the law firm when it’s released. Other part to this story is our interest will probably end there now considering his buy out clause goes up to €40 mill in january.If we’re not prepared to pay the buy out clause now, Not gonna happen once the fee goes up. Seems bilbao won’t negotiate on any fee, so a case of pay what they want or don’t even bother. I expect a €25 mill bid therefore to go in, in january :wink:

  • Come on Groggy, it’s simple enough.

    Do Citeh and Chelsea have the problems that I stated. It’s really easy.

    Did United pick up a midfielder?

    Considering United don’t have a paper thin back line, and do have strikers, and moved for a midfielder, are you saying with all that, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to think United will do well?

    Or you know, don’t answer those questions, pretend our competitors are invincible, and call anyone stupid and crazy that wants to support their team and believe in them, as opposed to drinking to Chelsea/Citeh kool-aid(to borrow a phrase from an erudite commentor).

    • @Ben: City and Chelsea are awesome looking clubs with world class managers. Yes they have heir weaknesses. The back four for City is a worry and the lack of striker power for Chelsea is a concern but both club have very strong talent in the midfield where the machine runs. But like Fergie, Mourinho and Pelligrini are probably worth 6 points a season on their own.

      United are not pushovers. There is quality there, nobody is disputing that. Where the problem is with midfield depth and creative quality. Not the hardest thing to fix and two more signings would have made us very strong. But Fellaini although he will help is not enough. Adding an Ozil or Mata would have made us awesome and a threat for Europe too.

      But Ben, you are really missing the point as to why people are upset. We love the squad, we are loyal to the players but the manager and Woodward misrepresented United. embarrassed us all and shamed the club with their antics and this will have long term ramification when it comes to trying to sign players in the future. Regardless of the Glazer’s, Fergie and Gill knew their business and were well respected and received throughout the football world. These new clowns have made United a laughing stock over their ineptitude and two man circus clown routine that culminated in them reneging on a deal and botching the paperwork for another at the last minute not to mention countless hopeless bids for players not interested in coming and having to pay 4 million more than they needed to to buy Fellaini. This was a soap opera of epic proportions and I for one feel humiliated as a fan as well as feeling let down, discouraged and fearful for the future. As well, the terrible lineup and tactics used in both the last two games has me very concerned despite the fact we have good players and so me really good young players who are wasting away while Giggs, Young and Cleverley get their get their weekly trot out.

      Only one team is perfect on paper and it’s that club in Germany whose name I won’t say because it always brings me grief. Every team has weaknesses but what is unforgivable is having a major weakness at the chief executive position as well as manager.

      • @Grognard:

        It was ragged for sure. However, no midfielder would have been infinitely worse. Everyone is ignoring that. Also, we weren’t 3 midfielders away. We were 1 midfielder away. We got a good midfielder, and probably more of the type we needed than if we went with a strictly creative type. Fellaini will be more versatile to the side than those types would have been. I would have preferred a second midfielder to shore things up, but the team is not 3 midfielders away. That’s like saying we need an entirely different midfield.

        City and Chelsea are awesome looking??? That’s a bit strong. Oh I know, it’s very popular to fawn over those two clubs.

        However, no striker is not a minor problem. That’s a crisis. No cover in the back four is the same. Those two teams have massive flaws. I get it, we have ‘no midfield’ and so any team with a flashy midfield gets your mouth watering. There are other elements to a team. And in those other elements, those two teams are massively flawed. And they will be exploited.

        The main point being, there is a difference between how it looks, and how it plays.

        Sure, the transfer season looked ugly. But you cannot overlook that Fellaini is here, and if you saw him rampage through our side and didn’t want him, I guess you saw something different than I did. And he’s here. Our biggest flaws, we have brought players in to fix.

        For Citeh’s and Chelsea’s problems they both bought last minute throwbacks to yesteryear. I think there is basically no chance that Fellaini will not have a bigger impact than Eto’o and Michelsomethingorother30something.

        Groggy, all you ever are is worried about United. Just as a challenge, is there any period on this blog where you are active, where I can find you saying anything except how doomed the club is? I’m curious.

        I have no issue with the casual fan that is disappointed with the transfer doings. I am disappointed. But I am not going on vitriolic rants of mockery against anyone that claims this club can do well.

        I give facts, and reasons. I back up what I say. And you just insult me. You call me deluded. You call me names. You mock me.

        But it’s curious you won’t address the facts.

        I say Citeh and Chelsea have major flaws. You level personal attack after personal attack. Finally your response is ‘yes, but they’re awesome!!!!’ with childish enthusiasm you squeek with glee. ‘Golly gee mister, don’t you know how swell Citeh and Chelsea are???’ you ask me bouncing up and down.

        Awesome looking clubs with huge flaws. Well surely they will take the title then. I guess I failed to grasp the awesomeness of the clubs while I was assessing the glaring flaws in actual parts of their squad, and so had neglected to rate their awesomeness. The love and admiration you have for those clubs warms the heart.

        It’s 3 weeks into a 38 week season. Don’t be daft, nobody is being wasted 3 weeks into a 38 week season. You know all that jazz you talk about giving Moyes a shot? That actually does mean you have to wait more than 3 fucking weeks before you flat out say he won’t play people in the squad. Assuming of course you meant by supporting Moyes that you could go longer than 3 weeks before making absolute negative generalizations about his squad selection, extrapolating that across the season, and giving the league trophy to either City or Chelsea, though perhaps they are both so awesome you could find a way for them to timeshare it.

  • i was reserving judgment to the end of the transfer window, but have to put the blame at Woodward’s feet. Didn’t see anything like this at Everton, so cannot blame Moyes. Looked at Woodward background and this is the first time he really had to deal with the player side of the club (correct me if I am wrong someone). He took the bargain hunter mode into the transfer market and got whooped … and unfortunately embarrassed the club too.
    The only ‘up’ side is that I doubt the Glazers, as American owners, can stomach being embarrassed in the media, especially since the club trades on the stock market. I trust that they will send Woodward a hard message and the next transfer window won’t be as embarrassing.

  • I’m not happy with the dealings. They were amateurish. I have actually said that many times Gator.


    And this is a big but

    I do not agree that the poor transfer dealings will for a CERTAINTY impact the club negatively on the pitch. I think it’s totally possible that Fellaini was the main target, and everything was a misguided attempt to force the price down, or get a player for cheaper. If that’s the case, I am very glad they bought Fellaini and not just some random midfielder that happened to cost a little bit less. It’s a completely possible situation that Fellaini was always the main target. And as much as some are unimpressed by him, I can see how given our midfield issues, a player like Fellaini makes many other playing styles possible. More so than an Ozil, and more so than a Herrera. I understand Ozil would have been more satisfying on a big name gauranteed wow factor level, and how mangled the Herrera business was. But at the end of the day, the midfielder that opens the most doors for us, the midfielder that wants to be here the most, ended up here.

    Here’s why people are mad at me, because I dare to suggest that for how spectacularly stupid, and ugly, and wasteful the window business was, it might not actually do massive damage on the pitch. That’s not a popular idea, because everyone right now is mad at how stupid everything was handled. That’s alright. But why lash out at someone stepping back and seeing the actual on the pitch impact.

    Think about it this way, what if none of the nonsense went down, and we buy Fellaini as soon as the window opens, and no one else. What would be the reaction? Here’s what I would think, that it would be muted. People would think, he’s not flashy, but he’ll work hard, he strengthens us. Some would bitch that with the whole world for his market he just went back to Everton. People wouldn’t be thrilled. But at the same time, there would not be this same widespread condemnation and almost panic.

    But, and this is important, the ugliness, does not affect the signing. He’s here. He’ll play. He’ll make a big impact. I think there is every reason to believe Fellaini could have a huge season for us, and many people that are unconvinced by him will grow to love him.

    I do not think it makes sense to extrapolate every future transfer season from this either, with claims that we’ll never buy a big player again. I can’t say that overnite we’ll suddenly turn into Real and have our own Lancashire Galacticos, but I would suspect things will get smoother.

    • @Ben: I don’t totally disagree with you Ben. I do think this gives our youth a chance but I am not happy with the way things were done. We talked to much and fished with dynamite and came up with one signing. Our dirty laundry was on display for all to see and that is disappointing. I would not simply describe it as amateurish and a bit closer to shambolic. We looked bad and continue to look bad as more players announce we made bids only to back out due to the cost. We look cheap and look incapable of closing deals for players. The lack of preparation was on display and didn’t make our club look good. Further, our owners look and are penny pinchers. We bought RVP really on the cheap all things considered and haven’t really ever splashed the cash on a player.

      I wouldn’t have been upset with the window if the club hadn’t made it seem like signing a certain type of player was so important and then fail so fantastically. The misleading nature of reports and statements was misleading but keeping the squad intact and adding Fellaini isn’t a bad summer. But the comments and attempts to sign players in such a public and frenzied manner was disappointing.

      With that said I don’t have diminished hopes for the season. I went in thinking we have a good squad that is only going to get better. We are young in nearly every position and for the most part each player is improving each season. Hopefully the lack of signings well mean more minutes for those young players to prove their worth.

      I don’t think we need to panic because of two games without goals. After the game I was filled with doubt. Then transfer day came and I raised my hopes a bit, but my wild fantasies didn’t pan out. Those last two results sucked but in retrospect our performances weren’t that bad. Against Chelsea we were the better team and I thought we had the better chances against Liverpool and should/could have come away with at least a draw on another day. It is always tough to lose to Liverpool but it is always tough to come away with points from Anfield too. Not to mention they are playing well and are 100% so far. It hurts but it is nothing to panic about, not this early in the season. We have every chance of repeating as champions. I agree with you that we don’t need to lose faith in the squad and manager because the ownership wants to penny pinch. I disagree that doing so is somehow ridiculous. I don’t agree with those who are upset for the right reasons because I understand it even I don’t fully agree. Doesn’t make them a bad or ungrateful fan. Maybe overly concerned but not ungrateful.

  • Let me just say this about this apparent distinction that United fans have about the quality of the team and the quality of our performance in the Transfer Window.
    If we were all so satisfied with the team, why was it that we were so dissatisfied with our performance in the window. If we have a good team why do we need to buy new ones? “Team goodenough, no new signings necessary” – it’s our mantra, right? Wrong!!

    Fellaini is our sole addition (apart from Zaha, who Moyes is not ready to blood) and so if we break it down we stand moderately better in CMF and worse in defence because Vidic, Rio and Evra are another year older. The front line does have RVP, who is a monstrous talent, but has no other partner in that category unless you include Rooney. The remains are still backups who pose no threat to most quality defences and who are really not that good because they are, as I said backups.
    That said Unites’s biggest chance of success is from solid performances from all our strikers. We are significantly stronger than Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs and perhaps City in this respect. Ferguson was a goal-scorer whore and he knew that by outmaneuvering his counterparts here, he had a significant edge in the BPL.

    The big problem for us is that we no longer have any creativity in the entire rest of the team. Fellaini might add some muscle, which we’ve lacked and is certainly another target for the wide men, but he is not the “genius” that can pick out the openings for our strikers. Do I have to go on about Cleverly and Anderson, and how Carrick cannot do it all by himself, or have we come to a consensus, finally, that this topic is moot.
    We have 3 active wingers, who between them couldn’t his the side of a barn from 10 yards out, and who either make decisions about which side of the the wing back to go or they don’t. In my opinion they do not make decisions or they make the wrong ones.
    If David Moyes has identified a problem area along our back line, it would surely be Evra. He is not only just getting beaten, but easily and significantly beaten. Evra is a joke of a defender, a total liability and certainly not what we need considering that the aging reliability of Rio And Vidic can easily be exposed by a swift, young striker.

    There are so many areas that our team is outclassed by teams in the BPL and Europe that I have to think that the ride back to the top will long and torturous.

    • I never said the people dissatisfied with the squad now were happy last season. I didn’t say that. The people bitching now were bitching when we won the title. That’s an important point. All the talk of all these players not being good enough, it’s old. And it’s not accurate. They were good enough, they did win the title.

      You are misrepresenting what I said. Maybe deliberately, maybe not. Couldn’t say.

      I am saying, the distinction between transfer market performance, and on pitch performance is a distinction that does not exist in the minds and opinions of men. It’s something you evaluate after the fact, based on actual data. Sooo, was last years on the pitch performance good enough to win the title? Based on available data, yes. So again, let’s take last years transfer performance, and look at that. Did we pick up a midfielder? Nope. So by current thinking, a miserable transfer cycle. And I would tend to agree. Now, we got Van Persie, so that brings the grade up quite a lot. Maybe that brings it to like a 6/10. Honestly, people give entirely too much credit for that purchase, since it left the neglected midfield neglected for another season. Now, then we evaluate the on the pitch performance, and we won the title. Now, you look at the transfer policy, and I think it would be fair to say that although the transfer performance was disappointing last season, the on the pitch performance was adequate, in that we won the title. See how that is not about if you feel it did something, or if the performances were pretty. It’s a fact based assessment. Did we fill positions we needed filled, and was the team good enough? They are related, but it’s entirely possible to not completely fill every lack in the team, without the team proving unable to win.

      So now we go to this season. How did we actually do for needed positions in the transfer market? We got our midfielder, and nothing else. I’d call it maybe 5/10 as to needs. Maybe more.

      But, Fellaini could have a huge impact. It’s very possible the team could go on, and win the league. Not as a result of the brilliant transfer maneuverings, but as a result of the team as it is, and SOME impact of the transfer market.

      Is it even necessary to put out the dollar figures vs. titles and results of our main rivals? Do I actually have to show how little results have accrued to so much spending?

      And even when City win, it’s with United having the most decimated squad all season, and City having the least injury time. That is a gigantic amount of luck. And even then, even a decimated United took them to the last minute of the last day. Although I recall there were plenty who thought City would unstoppable world beaters then just like they think that now. City seems to be a very popular team here. Without that massive advantage, how do City fare?

      Well, lets look what happens when Kompany is injured. They are incapable of defending set pieces. They are so stripped bare they have to move a midfielder into defense, because there is no one else capable. And THEN, they buy a 32 year old to shore up defense that could not get in any other teams back four. If you say that City buying everything into midfield and attack, and in the last couple days buying an aging defender after Kompany’s injury shows how absolutely bare their defense is shows a transfer strategy you believe we should follow, I will respectfully say that if United did that you would scream bloody murder. It is only convenient for you to overlook Citeh’s weaknesses to highlight United’s own. That’s a sad place to be as a United supporter.

      I could go into Chelseas weaknesses, but I already have to some extant, though I could at greater length. And again, these are weaknesses that have gone largely unaddressed.

      As to the side lacking talent, and creativity, I think that’s just absurd. You say Zaha isn’t ready. I say he is, and he will be played. Same with Kagawa. Same with Nani. They will get played. It’s too damn early to say they won’t be based on 3 games. I suspect if you dug at all, using a search engine you would find reasons for that, Kagawa doing international stuff, etc.

      As to Ferdinand, we have cover, we have Jones. Jones is a CB, and we need to play him there, and if Ferdinand were injured, or needs rest, that is exactly where he will play. Jones is the longterm replacement there.

      I still believe in Fabio, and even Buttner. Buttner looked much more solid defensively in preseason, and he’s another player that is desperate to succeed here. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get some time for all he adds in attack, and I think he will mature in defense. For as much as he’s not a great defender, neither is Evra, and Buttner has a world more upside, same with Fabio, either player, without much effort could be better defensively than Evra, and both are as good if not better now offensively. That’s a good position to watch, I think either players could step in, and their competing for the spot and only help them all grow.

      As to wingers, Zaha is ready now. And Nani is certainly ready to step up and have a big season. A side with both of them playing would be VERY dangerous to opposing sides. Wellbeck has been maligned, but I think the real problem is that there is just not enough speed and ability around him. When we play our slower, conservative sides, it is asking too much for the 1-2 truly class creative players we have to lift the entire team. We need to go ahead, roll the dice, and put on the pacey dangerous players, and more than just one or two, and I think Fellaini gives us that ability.

      Wingers look solid, the back is solid, the Strikers are an embarassment of riches, and the center is weak still, but much stronger. For players that are older, there are for the most part younger players ready to step up. Some may not be able to. That’s always how it is. You don’t get 2 starting 11′s.

      This is a strong side.

      It was a strong side before the transfer window, and that is an undeniable fact. It is a slightly stronger team afterwards.

      • @Ben: Its a worrying trend that moyes is showing going for defensive security rather than attcking flair United didnt win the titles and the name with our impenetrable defence it was fergie’s commitment to attack to score goals even when leading. And that is not something Moyes seems to share. Hope he breaks this trend and makes :oops: some inspired choices

        • @Bye Bye Fergie:

          I hope for that too. Early days though, and I think he was bound to play it safe early and feel the squad out a bit. I’m excited to seem some truly creative sides run out with Zaha, Nani, Kagawa on at the same time, and the very dynamic presence of Giggs on the bench, that lad adds more creativity from the bench than Ronaldo adds on the pitch.

      • @Ben: I haven’t commented on Red Rants in pushing 5 years. Thumbs up Ben, you speak the mind of loads of Man Utd fans. Where’s CraigMc by the way?

        • @WhiteY:

          Welcome back! :)

          Can’t say as I know where Craig is, but thank you very much for the compliment. I’ve been watching the blog for years, and I finally felt like enough is enough, these aggressive pessimistic, doom forecasting voices do not reflect what it is to be a United fan. As much of a downer as it is for me to read these uncritical polemics against United on a United fan blog, it was more depressing to say nothing.

          I want to celebrate this club with fellow fans. That makes me happy. I think that’s what fans of something do, they appreciate. I really hope new people get
          involved here and get commenting and sharing their love of the club and hopes for the club.

          Thank you very much.

      • @Ben: I was not responding to you at all.

  • I have to say I am finding the blog very taxing today so goodnight.

  • Good article in the Telegraph by Mark ogden regarding woodenhead.interesting to note how we’re conceived by other clubs.

  • In the UK, I always felt there was only 1 non intentional comedy double act Ed and Dave, Cameron and Miliband.
    Now there is a rival, Moyes and Woodward. Ander Herrera was deemed too expensive to pay the extra £5m for. What was Fellaini too cheap at £23.5 and too easy? So we dragged this and extra month, not having him available against Chelsea d Liverpool and paid £4.5m extra a month after his buyout clause has expired which was the difference of nearly £5m……….
    Grog and Ben, get a room! :lol:

Leave a Reply

Problem with comments? Please view our Comments Policy.

Switch to our mobile site