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Out with the Old in with the New?

After reaffirming he won’t be taking the opportunity to bring any additional squad members in during January’s transfer window, Sir Alex Ferguson appears to be the only person on the planet who doesn’t think Manchester United have an urgent need for reinforcements in order to challenge for any major honours this season.

You have to question his stance as only last week he confirmed that if a young Bryan Robson or Roy Keane were available then Manchester United would be the first in the queue. So why is he ruling a January transfer out despite admitting the need for a new central midfielder?

But is it only central midfield where United need a new face?

Many United fans and critics alike have regularly pointed an accusing finger in the direction of Patrice Evra this season and also last season; some as far back as January 2007 at The Emirates Stadium.

Trailing one nil with just seven minutes remaining, Arsenal targeted United’s weak spot to clutch a win in the third minute of injury time through a well placed Thierry Henry header. Both of Arsenal’s goals were the product of attacks down United’s left with Evra found woefully out of position for the second and lazy and non-committal for the for the first. Yes his cross produced United’s only goal of the game that day, but that is the exception and not the rule when Evra marauds forward. I’m not the only person who thinks his starting position should be under serious threat and needs replacing with someone who provides the correct balance between attack and defence.

Then there’s the Da Silva twins who can’t make it through 90 minutes, many suggest their time at Old Trafford is drawing to an end. Their stagnant progression and ever presence in physio must be seen as a major reason why our fullback positions either have no competition for places or no dedicated player each week. Couple that with injuries and suspensions to our centre backs and the ever disrupted back four has suffered immensely, culminating in the horrific display against Manchester City.

There’s regular speculation about Dimitar Berbatov’s status at the club. Despite finishing as the clubs top goalscorer last season, Berba has made just ONE appearance from the kickoff in the Premier League thus far and has domestically only managed to find the net once…..and that was in the Carling Cup victory away to Aldershot.

After the disappointing exit from the Carling Cup at the hands of Crystal Palace in the quarter-final, United’s youngsters, who have been so willingly lauded by ex-players, fans, the media and Sir Alex himself, failed to display their true potential. It was however somewhat of a surprise that so many of the youngsters were played together that night rather than nurtured in with a blend of youth and experience as was the case in previous rounds.

Forums, blogs and even reputable media sources (if there is such a thing!) maintain that players such as Darron Gibson, Jonny Evans, Mame Diouf, Kiko Macheda and even Fletcher, Valencia, Anderson and Park Ji-Sung are not United quality; never have been; and never will be.

Surely that can’t be the case, can it? The majority of those players are title winners, some multiple title winners and they’re all full internationals.

So where’s the problem, what’s the truth? I mean, they can’t all be replaced in January even if the boss wanted to.

With just 24 days to go before the transfer circus rolls back into town, United are five points better off at this stage of the season than they were last year. At this stage last season the Reds hadn’t even won a game away from Old Trafford, this season they’re unbeaten on their travels having won five out of seven matches.

So what’s with all the panic? Thousands and thousands of people screaming for new players to be brought in to the squad can’t all be wrong despite the great start to the season. So who is it that’s really to blame, or is there nothing to be blamed for and everyone’s worrying for nothing? Who’s right, who’s lying, where’s the truth, what’s about to happen?

Who knows. But that doesn’t stop you having your say in this poll:


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[polldaddy poll=5737804]

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. John B

    December 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Which “younsters” even played against palace, park valencia gibson etc are not kids and the reserves like diouf and macheda are not the future,the actual kids were on the bench, this blog has got to be the most negative united blog on the internet, we do need reinforcements in midfield but we have also made one of our best league starts in the pl era!

    • Ian

      December 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      Negative? What’s negative about this post? I accept sometimes there is negativity on here but you’re contradicting yourself.

      The youngsters didn’t show their true potential – that’s a positive line
      5pts more than last season, unbeaten away etc – positive

      You say yourself there’s problems in midfield, how negative are you?!!

      I’m sure it also says that surely these players can’t all be bad – positive again

      I’m not sure you actually read it properly tbh.

    • Stephen

      December 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      Don’t bother posting here then mate, there are plenty of other sites.

      • Ian

        December 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

        TBF Stephen, everyone’s welcome no matter what their opinion, I wouldn’t suggest anyone finds somewher else, it’d be a useless if we all agreed on everything.

        Must admit tho John, your comment is a bit baffling.

        • Stephen

          December 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

          I consder myself told off Ian.. 😀

        • Ian

          December 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm

          🙂

  2. Zabberdast

    December 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Um, Berbatov scored against Benfica as well…

    • Ian

      December 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      It’s not taking CL stats into account, but you’re right, nice header. Cheers! Edited.

  3. pjch

    December 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Our start to the season is hiding problems at the club.We have got away with a poor midfield for far too long and SAF’s reliance on youngsters are about to bite us in the leg. With City spending freely on top quality players and SAF’s stubborness to strengthen in midfield will only result in us failing to win any trophies this season.We should progress tonight in the Champions League but then who we will end up playing next is a lottery because of poor selections and players not up to scratch. Barca and Real must be rubbing their hands at the thought of playing us – we just don’t score enough goals. I know many people don’t want to hear it but don’t blame the players, they may not be United quality(Bebe, Diouf et al) The blame should fall on who bought them.

  4. Ian

    December 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    The results even now after just an hour or two are fascinating.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      December 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      Good to see polls on the site… makes for good conversation.

  5. realist

    December 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    fortunately our boss who just happens to know what hes doing by the way, doesnt just buy players for the sake of winning one trophy, in any given season, regardless of how much chelski or citeh or any others spend! the bigger picture is always more important but some people, most it seems, cannot see this.
    what is going on with players coming through the system and players we are looking at buying only the boss knows. he will know what he wants, we dont. just sit back enjoy and support the lads. thats the luxury we have at this club, one that is not shared anywhere else in the world. if you cannot trust in SAF your stupid!

    • RedDevilEddy

      December 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Trust Sir Alex and win free candy

    • DesRed

      December 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      Well said realist and thats the truth of it. Too many spoilt fans throwing their toys out the pram when we don’t win everything all the time. There is no patience these days.

      The best thing about a barren run would be the fact that we could shed ourselves of these plastic types, the ones crowing that they no better than SAF because they won the league on football manager because they spent millions.

      If you cant trust fergie who can you trust?

  6. realist

    December 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    and before anyone cries, “can you not see our cm is not great.”
    my answer is yes, i can see this and so im sure can the manager, but he,d be silly for many reasons to say this in public! christ! :s

  7. disney

    December 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    other teams are to be blamed. They are certainly not doing well or united wuldnt have been second placed, then SAF wuld know he needs reinforcement. How can epl champions strugle to win teams like, swansea, norwich, aston villa, not to mention the newcastle game. We may b getin the wins but our game is owfull. I wish SAF watch FCB team B play yestaday. Those boy wuld embarase our first squad. Either replace your players or bring out the best in them.

  8. Stephen

    December 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Big game tonight, a win and a perfomance it essential. I would not be suprised to see Fergie pack the midfield and go with Rooney up top on his own. Benfica really will win, so I can see Fergie play his catious card and take a draw, which wouldn’t be ideal.

  9. RedDevilEddy

    December 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I’m surprised more people want to get rid of Diouf than Gibson… Whoever has seen our reserve team knows he is a good striker who scores plenty of goals. He’s as much a winger as Chicharito is, if he is to play for us again I wanna see him up front. Gibbo on the other hand has majorly dissapointed whenever played, even in his favorite position. He did well against Crystal Palace, but the lad is a waste at this club. Both Tunnicliffe and Pogba look better.

    • Stephen

      December 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Really?! 😯 Both are poor, but Diouf is garbage. Gibson has a cracking shot and I felt he had a decent game against Palace. Diouf has no chance of making it at OT and really was a waste of money, a Fergie punt which went way of the pear.

  10. RedDevilEddy

    December 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Ian, why am I allowed to like or dislike my own comment now? Of course I like my comment, I’m awesome and amazing and so was my point, but why do I have to high five myself? 😀

    • Ian

      December 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Regretabbly I played about with something and now it won’t revert back, will sort it. (unless of course you need it to stay so you at least get one like!!?)

      • RedDevilEddy

        December 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm

        Naah, I’m arite! 😀 This isn’t youtube or Facebook, don’t really take much into the like-dislike system. Prefer replies much more!

        • [OPTI]Madschester United

          December 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm

          LIKE!

  11. Craig Mc

    December 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I struggled to do the poll properly Ian – because in some polls I wanted to vote for more than one person – and we could only pick one choice 😀 . To my mind we need a top class striker who is as prolific as Van Persie (but not as injury prone, or Ronaldo, even Drogba always gets goals) unless playing against Man Utd. Someone who you know is going to score more than he misses – just finding such player, but they are out there – get searching. A great flair player who can create and score goals in AMF. A destroyer who can very effectively break up play and dominantly control midfield for a whole game. I think we will need to get a top class replacement for Rio soon too – so we have more optioons to go with the excellent Smalling. Jones I love but never as a CH – sorry! I don’t want much do I? 😆

    • Ian

      December 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      Craig, are you female? That’s a lot of wants and needs mate!? 🙂 😆

      • Moscow is my heaven

        December 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm

        It is the least you can expect of a fan who supports the best club in the world. For a club of our resources, it shouldn’t be a big ask. Unless of course, our expectations have diminished 🙄

      • Craig Mc

        December 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

        😆 😆 😆 Well my Missus thinks my Nani affection is bordering on gaydom, so don’t give her more fuel to her fire 🙄 .

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      December 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Chicharito is your answer for striker (prolific, not injury prone, scores more than misses). Chicharito has played more than 2 seasons straight since coming to united (Guadalahara, World Cup, United, Mexico, United) so his injuries are to be expected… but he is not injury prone, I would say.

      On midfield, we have two destroyers: Carrick and Fletcher (maybe even Jonesy) who can all break up play. On controlling games, you are right, Carrick can do this but not against the best (like Scholesy used to).

      Regarding flair — could not be stated more clearly! We need a creative midfielder to be our midfield star. Someone pointed out that Anderson has great vision, but his passing does not match it. Cleverly might be the missing link, but it seems like he is quite injury prone (I remember he got hurt long-term during his stint at Watford two years ago, too). I think having another young creative player (GÖTZE) would be magnificent for Cleverly and our team and would allow Anderson to leave club if Fergie saw this fitting.

      I am not worried about defense — Smalling and Evans are good choices for Rio as long as Vidic stays at Utd.

      I am not really worried about our team currently, because we are a work in progress, yet setting our own records in the process (points, goal difference) — as Eddy pointed out.

      The future is red, that I am sure of. Let Fergie get the nails in the right place and we will be sturdy for years!

      BELIEVE!!!

      • Stephen

        December 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm

        Spot on.

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        December 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm

        Instead of disliking the comment, can *you* explain what is missing and where I fall short of you agreeing with me?

  12. Moscow is my heaven

    December 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    The new rating system is confusing me. Can’t we just keep it simple?

    • Ian

      December 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm

      It’s going mate, don’t worry.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        December 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

        Thanks Rimmers, you always look after us 🙂

  13. donibrasco

    December 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I wish you had put up the whole squad instead of a selected few.Why are we quick to include mostly players who never play when the major problem is the guys that play week in week out?
    Rooney is English and everybody’s favorite,but my question is,as a striker at the best team in the world,who plays 90 minutes every game he is fit,how come every season,bar last he averages the same amount of goals as his side kicks? Every one is going to jump on me with-he works hard for the team blah blah.So you mean i can be employed as a striker,but decide to play well in defence and thats okay? If the other strikers were given the same amount of playing time he gets and score what he scores,would that be considered a job well done?
    The midfield baffles me too.Every year,every man and his dog can see its our weakest link but the manager decides it is good the way it is.We got raped by Barca twice because if that same area and learned nothing.

  14. Daniele

    December 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Call me negative,naive,blind or whatever but i think it’s time we bring things onto a new level. I agree that we should sign a couple of world class players, hard as they are to come by, but if some fans are so much better than Fergie, why are they not managing United?
    I mean, surely we could have, and probably should have, signed Snejider,Ozil and Toure or Van der Vaart, but how many other players that could make a difference are available out there? Let’s face it, world class players aren’t put on the market so, instead of just coming out with the “we should sign” rant (way too easy IMO), why don’t some fans mention a few names as well? If you’re so much better than Fergie, surely you can come up with a list of names that have so far been ignored.
    I don’t think that Fergie has all of a sudden gone mental and decided that not signing players is the best policy to follow. We need to sign players and I agree that Diouf, Macheda and co aren’t United quality but having a go at Park and Valencia?!
    Blind faith is bad, but signing players just for the sake of it or because we want to emulate city or chelsea in the transfer market would be even worse. I, for one, trust Fergie.

    Forget about january, if we don’t go through tonight we could have a much bigger issue to deal with.

  15. [OPTI]Madschester United

    December 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Also surprised no one on here has mentioned the increase in debt this quarter over last… andersred is all over it.

  16. AndyCR7

    December 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    De Gea
    Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
    Nani, Jones, Giggs, Park
    Young
    Rooney

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      December 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      how do you know tactic? Couldn’t it be:

      De Gea
      Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
      Nani, Jones, Park, Young
      Giggs
      Rooney

      ?

      • AndyCR7

        December 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm

        UEFA says it’s

        De Gea
        Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
        Park, Giggs, Jones, Young
        Nani
        Rooney

        😛

  17. Owen

    December 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-sung start in midfield

    Welcome to Manchester United… 😈

    • Eddie Griffin

      December 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      It’s a big game, Park’s got a proven rep as a big-game player, and Giggsy is, well, Giggsy. I’ve nothing against the selections in the least.

  18. Owen

    December 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Man Utd v Stoke Europa League Final

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