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Scholesy’s back. One step up and two steps back for United?

Amid all the controversy that, at least for the blue half of Manchester, surrounded Sunday’s FA Cup fixture, one might be forgiven for almost forgetting something that transcended the meanings of those 90 minutes – Paul Scholes is back.

Following his retirement in May, the United legend announced his comeback to help the club in a time of difficulty, in a totally unexpected move for most of the public.

Scholes had been coaching the reserves for six months and claimed that he “had missed football too much”, hence his decision to knock on Ferguson’s door to declare himself available for the remainder of the season.

As much as his decision took the gloss off the eagerly awaited fixture immediately before kick off, it then went lost in the post match interviews, before sparking different reactions on Monday’s papers.

Legacy in danger? Masterstroke? The debate is likely to linger on for the rest of season.

First and foremost, let’s set the record straight. Paul Scholes is one of the most gifted midfielders to have graced English football in the last 40 years and, something of a rarity these days, has always been an example on and off the pitch.

His records are unquestionable and his loyalty to United undisputed such as his cult hero among the fans.

Many, myself included, thought it was somehow unjust that the greatest midfielder of his generation should retire from the game after losing a Champions League final but, as we know, fairytale ends are hard to come by in football.

Xavi and Iniesta, sublime playmakers in a Barcelona that might well be in the process of defining a football age, have often spoken of their admiration for the United number 18 (or 22 if you prefer the, less romantic, 2012 version) and even the great Zinedine Zidane left no room for doubts when asked who was the best player he had ever faced. “Paul Scholes”, replied Zizou.

While United fans would have been filled with emotions and some might have shed a tear or two as the Ginger Ninja entered the pitch once more, a few questions would have emerged in the back of their minds.

It is legitimate to wonder why United have resorted to bring a player back from retirement, rather than spending money on new players in a position that has been United’s weak link for some time now.

Furthermore, what does this mean for United’s youngsters? For a club that has always believed in young players, isn’t it somehow odd to favour a 37-year-old ahead of a 18-year-old prospect?

There are, as we shall see, no definitive answers to these questions.

1)     What does this mean for the rest of the season?

Scholes’ return would have probably never happened had United not faced such a big injury crisis in the engine room. After a blistering start to the campaign, which saw Anderson and Cleverley grow into the box-to-box midfielders that United’s fans had hoped to see, the system showed its flaws. Nowadays basically every team employs a holding midfielder to screen the back four from counter attacks but, without such a figure, the defence is left exposed as the two midfielders push up.

Cleverley looked ready to step in Scholes’ boots, and started the season in fine form, displaying the sort of passes and runs that earned him praise and comparison to his illustrious predecessor. Young Tom then fell victim of a horrendous Kevin Davies’ tackle against Bolton in August, before making his comeback against Aldershot in early October. Unfortunately he lasted only an hour in his following game – against Everton – before succumbing to another injury. His comeback plans have been delayed and he has yet to play in 2012.

Like Cleverley, Anderson had started the season in scintillating form, providing energy and runs into the box and, amazingly enough, even goals. In short, for the first time since joining from Porto, he looked close to the finished article.

A dip in form coincided with Cleverley’s absence and the Brazilian was then a victim of injury himself, after a flared-up knee sidelined him for two months.

With Cleverley and Anderson both out of the picture, responsibility fell on the shoulders of one of the most debated players in United’s recent history: Michael Carrick.

The Geordie, often accused of being uninventive and scared of going forward, after a couple of shaky performances has grown into a new defensive role, without abandoning his passing duties. He might not be in the mould of Xavi (but, frankly, who is?) but United’s number 16 has one of the best range of passing in the Premier League and has recently shown to be more than a decent tackler as well, even if some sections of the fans remain unconvinced.

Tackling would have normally been part of Darren Fletcher’s duties but the Scot took a – long – break from football to nurse a serious medical condition and Phil Jones has filled in brilliantly. Despite believing he’s a centre-back, the youngster has a Robsonesque aura when deployed in midfield.

Ryan Giggs has, again, being excellent in midfield but United simply can not afford to field two wingers in the middle of the park has they have done against Blackburn, particularly when one of them is 38.

With Gibson joining Everton for £1M – another cut price sale? – it’s obvious that Scholes hasn’t been brought back just to warm the bench.

During the latter days of Scholes’ United career, Anderson, Carrick and Fletcher have partnered him in midfield, so adapting won’t be an issue. While he might not start many games, a fit Paul Scholes can unlock defences like no one else. That final pass is exactly what United have lacked in some games this season, so it’s not madness to see him coming on for the last 30 minutes of a game, with United needing calm and composure.

Obviously a lot will depend on his performances, but it’s unlikely to see Scholes starting ahead of Cleverley, once the latter will have made his comeback from injury, but the thought of Scholes playing alongside Carrick and Jones in a 4-5-1 formation isn’t as absurd as it might seem. It would have to be, admittedly, the exception and not the rule but with big games away from home from here to May, that sort of midfield would offer muscle, strength and skills.

While many seem to have forgotten about it, United are still involved in three different competitions which means that Scholes could see a lot more action than initially thought.

Last but not least, Paul Scholes’ experience could prove invaluable in the dressing room during the run-in, the man definitely knows how to win a trophy.

2)     What does this mean for the future?

One of the first arguments to arise after Scholes announced his return was that his decision would stop the development of some of United’s young players in its tracks.

While Scholes is definitely not the long-term solution United needed (and still need), it’s somehow off the mark to see his comeback as a detrimental decision.

Paul Pogba, deemed by many to be a future star, has been in the spotlight recently after his agent tried to engineer a move to Inter Milan – and a better paycheck – for his protégé. Pogba is definitely a quality player but is a player that, bar the occasional cameo, hasn’t even featured in the Carling Cup, ready to be thrown in at the deep end of a Premier League game? Fergie’s conduct seems to suggest otherwise.

With Ryan Tunnicliffe on loan at Peterborough and Ravel Morrison officially up for sale – Fergie has dealt with volatile characters in the past and Morrison could regret leaving United, maybe for the rest of his career– and the other youngsters too raw to make leap to the first team, it’s a easy to see how the issue is actually not an issue at all, particularly considering that Scholes will be a United player only for another four and a half months. If anything, training and playing with Paul Scholes could help Tom Cleverley to improve even more.

Most medias have claimed that Scholes’return is a case of papering over the cracks if English football has ever seen one and, in truth, they are right to an extent.

Injuries might have torn through United’s midfield this season but no one can deny that United have to go out and spend on one, preferably two, world class midfielders.

The candidates for the job have been earmarked for some time now, give or take a name or two, but nothing has been done, which brings us to…

3) What does this mean financially?

After the Champions League and Premier League double in 2007-08 and another title and Champions League final the following year, United saw the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. This meant that the style of football had to be changed, albeit not completely, to accommodate new signings.

Only after the disappointing defeat in Rome, though, central midfield emerged as the key issue for Ferguson. That night in the Olympic Stadium, a Barcelona team that was starting to re-write the books ran rings around United midfielders, the Reds unable to prevent them to pass the ball around and, tellingly, unable to do anything with the ball themselves.

Initially the cause was laid solely on Darren Fletcher’s absence. The Scot had been in superb form during the season but a red card in the second leg of the semifinal prevented him from taking part in the final.

The problem though, was much deeper and it was to emerge again in the following season, making it impossible to ignore and almost derailing United’s quest for more trophies.

Injuries and players underperforming didn’t help, while superb performances from players deployed out of position – Ryan Giggs – have papered over the cracks for a few seasons now.

United last signed a midfielder in 2007, when Owen Hargreaves and Anderson moved from Bayern Munich and Porto.

During each transfer window that has gone by since then United fans have grown desperate for a central midfielder that could unlock defences and dictate the play – others have craved a midfielder destroyer as well, but we will leave this for another time – in an era when the Premier League saw the emergence of Luka Modric, Samir Nasri, Mikel Arteta, Rafel Van der Vaart and David Silva.

After splashing out a combined £56 million over the 2006-07 summers for Carrick, Anderson and Hargreaves, United have spent in the region of £140 million (£122.15 million declared, to which we have to add the transfers whose fees were not disclosed) and not a single penny was spent on a central midfielder.

Ferguson has always claimed that there was no value in the transfer window but it’s a statement hard to back up when one looks at the £6 million Spurs paid for Van der Vaart or the £3.5 Newcastle paid for Tiote – a different kind of player, but it illustrates the point – while even Silva and Modric went for considerably less than £30 million (Silva’s fee was undisclosed but believed to around £25 million, while Modric set Spurs back £16.5 million).

Even more astonishingly, since the 2007-08 season, United are ranked below not only Manchester City and Chelsea in terms of net spending, but also below Liverpool, Stoke, Aston Villa and Sunderland.

The Green and Gold campaign lost some of its momentum last year and for all his public support to the Glazers, by choosing to bring back a club legend from retirement instead of investing, Fergie has basically admitted what has been known for years.

United are no longer a force in the transfer market, due to an alarming lack of funds.

Paul Scholes’ return is a welcome one and he will undoubtedly help the team on the pitch and in dressing room, without jeopardizing his wonderful legacy and, in the long term, it might benefit United a lot more than it’s imaginable at the moment.

Recalling a retired player, rather than publicly accusing the Glazers, to show that his hands are tied, would be a typical Fergie move, wouldn’t it?

Time will tell, meanwhile, welcome back Scholesy.


Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)






  1. Moscow is my heaven

    January 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    The return of Scholes was embarassing.

    From being favourites for the Champions League Final 2009, to the present, how the mighty have fallen. We won the league last season with 80 points at one point having to desperately beat off a Chelsea side in alarming decline who were 15 points behind us a few months before the end of the season.

    Our financial muscle does not exist, which marks Fergie out as a liar. If it did exist, then he would be a coward for not using it to purchase world class players who are fit to play in a United shirt. I saw Old Trafford desecrated by a City side who toyed with a midfield of Anderson and Fletcher. I saw us travel to Basel for a must-not-lose Champions League survival game with a midfield combination of a 38 year old winger and a 19 year old defender, thereby screwing up the easiest group in the competition. I saw perhaps the most condemning pair of defeats with such perfect timing to utterly undermine Fergie’s claim that we had strength in depth. I have seen Barcelona purchase David Villa, Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas, bringing through the likes of Pedro and Thiago. That hurts. We no longer have a team able to compete with the top clubs, and the reality will hit with such force that Fergie’s miracles may not pull us out again if we do not spend the summer wisely.

    I love my football club, but I have a disliking for too many of our players. I love Fergie, but I hate his cowardly tactics and lying policy towards the fans. We are not children Fergie, to be filled with false promises and deceived so easily by cheap tricks like using Pogba to put off midfield signings, or claiming that there is no value in the market. I hate David Gill, the despicable c*** is like a mediary between the Glazers and the consequences of their ownership. There is a lot wrong with this club, and I fear we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      January 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: I know how you feel, but I cannot stand the Barca admiration. They spend themselves into debt without a bloody American. They’re buying short-term success.

      Without the American’s we would be ruling Europe. Glazers are the problem both LONG and SHORT term.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        January 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm

        @[OPTI]Madschester United: OPTI mate, you know that I regularly describe Barca as the greatest evil in world football. I wasn’t using them as an example of economic success. I was just highlighting how much both clubs headed in opposite directions after Rome 2009 in terms of team quality.

        Mind you, The Special One holds a 5 point lead over them in La Liga, and his teams do not relinquish that kind of lead.

  2. Daniele

    January 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I agree with most of the points you make mate. However, the comparison between our financial power and Barcelona’s is flawed. Barcelona are in debts, huge ones and they’ve only benefited from a very different approach from the Spanish banks compared to what United would face here if they were to turn to some of the major English banks.
    I couldn’t agree more with the rest, you’re spot on as far as the Glazers and Gill are concerned but I believe that Fergie has and will always have United closer to his heart than anything else and will always act in the club’s best interest. After all, the fact that he doesn’t criticise the Glazers in public doesn’t say much. Have you ever seen him criticising a player in public? Me neither.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      January 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Yeah, I suppose Barcelona are a bit extreme in comparison, but even the likes of Spurs and Newcastle have made astute signings, some of them no brainers, which makes our transfer policy all the more exasperating.

      Fergie always proves the doubters wrong, that’s why he’s been here for a quarter of a century, but it is becoming more and more difficult for him to pull a rabbit out of the hat with the current finances at the club.

  3. RedDevilEddy

    January 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I loved this, excellent read and I’m glad Scholesy has returned! In a way it’s frustrating to see United take back Scholesy rather than invest in a new midfielder, but maybe Sir Alex’ faith in Cleverley and Pogba is genuine. Cleverley we all know what can do, and he seems to take the pressure of playing for United with both hands, loving every minute of it. Ability wise, Pogba is ready for the first team, but mentally he seems years away. I’ve seen him for the reserves, he doesn’t look anything like the player he’s been for the first team. He looks frightened, scared to do the right thing and instead opts for the safest option. He’s a beast, as a midfielder he’s got everything needed. But he’s only 18, from a foreign country, and asking him to be himself and play like he doesn’t have a care in the world when performing in front of 76,000 people + millions of TV-viewers in a must-win game isn’t easy. He needs experience, and most of all he needs to be brave. I’ve issued this before, playing Pogba too often right now may destroy his whole career. One confident pass that goes astray and leads to us conceding a goal may ruin him, he looks arrogant for the reserves but it’s a totally different scenario! He needs time, and I expect Fergie to be patient.

    As for Scholesy himself, I think he is a good addition. We’ve conceded waaaaaaaaaay too many goals this season following a bad pass, hurrying into decisions and basically looking nervous. We conceded a goal from his mistake against City, but he’s rusty and that can be expected. We’ve conceded an incredible amout of goals this season, 3 against Basel, Blackburn and Newcastle, then 6 against City…. It’s not very United is it? I don’t think Scholesy has arrived because we need a “killer pass”, I think we’ll mostly use him only to keep possession and keep the lead. The more we have the ball, the lesser chance oppositions have of scoring, and looking at it that way Paul Scholes is a vital addition to this squad.

  4. tonymontanna4united

    January 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    To be honest, whilst i always loved scholesy, i found myself rather frustrated and angry upon hearing the news of his return.
    Frustrated and angry mainly because it was a pointless move in all honesty, for a player who really adds very little to the team, and a move which only enforces the opinion that we are skint as the articles poses.
    Going back in for a player who has retired, whose legs went 2 years ago, who looked off the pace in his final 18 months, albeit apart from a run of decent form at the start of last season, and were supposed to believe this is some kind of master stroke?
    Sorry but not for me. Scholesy adds nothing to this team that we dont already have.
    Yet because of his name, reputation and relationship with fergie, we can expect to see him starting most weeks, meaning further disjointed performances, meaning a shift in position from carrick back to defensive screen, and basically twice the workload for whoever his central midfield partner so happens to be.
    Sounds like more harm than good in my opinion.
    Rather than pissing about and bringing back 37/38 year olds, we should be spending some of this imaginary money weve been told so much about, spending it on players who can make a difference to the midfield so that we dont have to resort to prizing back old timers for one last hoorah.
    Just seems like a sign of desperation to me, further compounded by fergies statement not 48 hours earlier, that we werent into signing 2nd rate players. No just near 40 year old has beens who will be kept around so as to avoid having to find replacements for them eh 🙄

    • Ian

      January 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Agreed Tony.

      Bring back a 27 year old Scholes (but not one 33+) and it makes a huge difference but he’s ‘gone’ since he lost that ability to penetrate a defence running from midfield.

      The funniest thing for me with the whole Scholes thing is, he suddenly became the greatest player to ever wear the shirt the minute Xavi and Iniesta said what they said. Up until that point he wasn’t ‘as’ well appreciated or complimented as he has been since, yet the time he was at his best was getting into the box. His passing is good yes but that wasn’t always what stood out, that came later the further back he dropped.

      Similarly, no one but no one predicted Zeli Fryers to be the player to see the fastest promotion via the academy and the reserves into forst team football…..however!….all of a sudden people have ‘always rated him’ and think ‘he’s got huge potential’

      It’s all a load of bollocks really, people should spend a season watching football with no commentators, no media, no twitter etc etc so they can make their own mind up. Would be interesting to look at who’s saying what WITHOUT the aid of others’ opinions.

      I’m not levelling that at anyone on here btw just in general. Too many ‘experts’ just regurgetating the words of people they read and hear.

      Scholes was a great player on his day and had a great career but thanks to Xavi he became a god, without him saying that then Scholes would remain as just another legend like Beckham etc who were good good players but not in that ‘special’ bracket like Best, Charlton, Robson, Schmeichel, Ronaldo.

      His return is a backward step for me. Never have I known United go backwards at a time like this, they’ve always turned to youth and said…there you go son, here’s your chance. Show us what you can do.

      Know idea why it hasn’t happened this time but itMs worried me that’s for sure.

      • tonymontanna4united

        January 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm

        @Ian: Yeah i know what you mean mate, but in fairness i would say that the quotes from the likes of zidane, edgar davids, lippi and such, about scholes and what a great player he was, were made yonks before xavi opened his mouth so it wasnt everyone, but agree on the whole it seems all it takes is one barca player/coach/legend, opening his mouth speaking about any given subject for the rest of the world to soon follow suit and agree practically word for word with whats been said. The media and general footballing worlds love affair with barcelona and the way it seems they can never do any wrong pisses me off no end. A great club, but god how i dislike them.

  5. Moscow is my heaven

    January 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    As a side topic, Fergie’s communication with the fans has now become defunct. His press conferences sidestep all the concerns of the fans because all critical press have been eliminated at Carrington. On the rare occasions that he is pressed into answering one of those ‘uncomfortable’ questions, he provides only evasive, or even myopic answers.

    Some may call it clever in terms of limiting the media exposure, but I would argue that the censorship safety bubble is starting to lose Fergie’s touch with reality.

    “You just hope you don’t drop as many points as the rest.”

    Really Fergie? Really?

  6. colver

    January 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I have no problem with having Scholes as a useful sub to bring on to protect a lead. But his return does not obviate the pressing need to buy a new central midfielder.

    I agree we do not have unlimited funds. But we did spend £60 million this summer.

    De Gea may well prove to be a great long term signings but there were other keepers who would have been quite adequate at half the price. Save £10 million.

    Ashley Young wasn’t really necessary. His injury has had no effect at all and Valencia and Nani have shown they are by far our best wingers. Save £15 million

    Jones is a fan’s and redrants favourite and i guess his versatility has been useful this season.

    Even so had we bought a cheaper keeper and not bought Young we would have had around £20-30 million for a new central midfielder and that would have probably kept us in the Champions League and earned us at least an extra six points by now (when you consider all the games we’ve played with makeshift midfields)

  7. [OPTI]Madschester United

    January 14, 2012 at 2:23 am

    “Gary Neville was having a piss one day, 45 yards away, by a fence,” Ferguson remembers. “Scholes whacked him right in the arse.”


  8. [OPTI]Madschester United

    January 14, 2012 at 2:38 am


    Instead of talking about what could’ve and should’ve been, let’s discuss what CAN be done with the CURRENT squad — all this whining about, “if we have save 10 p’s here and 10 p’s there, we could have gotten a bag of nuts” is tiring — I did not hear you all whine about not needing Young after 8-2 or his 5 assists.

    We’re better than that.

    Let’s refocus discussion on current squad.

    We need to buy a Midfielder — obviously!!! However, with Gibson gone, the Scholes addition seems more unlikely as a stand-alone solution to our midfield problem. That is, why would Fergie realize our midfield problem, bring in Scholes (who surely is no more than capable body), but then release GIbson to Everton for negligible amounts? Was Gibson on huge wages? NO! Was he whining to the press? NO! Do we need cover in the midfield? YES! So why sell Gibson????? Unless….
    1) Another player is coming this January (and soon)
    2) Pogba / Morrison are getting games ASAP
    3) Fergie is to play De Gea in Midfield along with Scholes. 😆

    Surely (1) and (2) can be the ONLY options (as I believe Fergie knows about our Midfield Problem); however, with the youngsters resisting new contracts, option (1) is looking the most likely.

    Summary: Fergie is buying a CM or two this January.

    Disagree? Where is my reasoning flawed? Is Fergie really gone off the rocker and does he believe that 37 year old Scholes + Carrick + Anderson + 38 year old Giggs + injured{Fletcher, Cleverly} = United Quality Midfield? Do you believe this can be?

    • tonymontanna4united

      January 14, 2012 at 3:02 am

      @[OPTI]Madschester United: Cant see it tbh mate. Carrick, giggs, scholes and anderson all fit as of now, clevs returning in a few weeks, and the likes of jonesy and park able to fill in when needed, im pretty much 100% certain that fergie will be rather happy with that and we’ll just leave things be tbh.
      The gibson sale was probably authorised for no particular reason, other than to give gibson some playing time and to get his name off the wage bill. £30k odd a week might not be much, but with glazernomics and all i suppose every lose end gets tied up where moneys concerned.
      So no, unfortunately i reckon as per, we’ll sit on our hands and let another transfer window go by doing diddly squat.
      Which would be a mistake pure and simple as far as im concerned, when were seriously lacking in key personnel due to this injury crisis that seems to occur every sodding year, but in any case were clearly in need of a few quality additions within the squad before the injuries came into play.
      Id say at the very least we should be bringing in a defender of some sort and a midfielder.
      Either a CB like samba, alex going cheap who could do a job, or simply move smalling back centrally and go for a full back.
      As for midfield, well any one of rodwell, martinez, sandro, tiote, cabaye, shaqiri, basically anyone under the age of 38 whose fit and ready and able to kick a ball should be under consideration.
      Hell even joe allen of swansea bloody city if you watch him, looks a little gem and would be a damn better option than half our squad these days.
      Thats what we should be doing anyway, but it seems these days we’d rather spend our time persuading 38 year olds to come back and play, forgetting the very reason said player retired in the first place, and still hype it up as a masterstroke of some sort. Pathetic.

  9. [OPTI]Madschester United

    January 14, 2012 at 2:44 am


    Recent income tax laws in Spain, whereby foreign players must now pay 54 percent [taxes] since the abolishment of the ‘Beckham Law’

    What is the rate for PL players??

    • Onkar

      January 15, 2012 at 7:42 am

      @[OPTI]Madschester United: As far as my knowledge goes the tax rate applicable for PL Players is 50%. So it will be a plus for PL Teams in terms of their wage bill management.

  10. [OPTI]Madschester United

    January 14, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Finally, Cahill will not play against United (not that it SHOULD matter), as he signed an 80K/week deal with Chelsea today.

  11. [OPTI]Madschester United

    January 14, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Finally^2: Fergie about Scholes’ return:

    “But we didn’t let any of the players know [about Scholes coming out of retirement] simply because of the impact value.

    “We were going away from home in a very difficult FA Cup tie against City.

    “We had 5,000 fans at that end of the ground and as soon as they knew his name was on the team sheet they were fantastic, there was a great response.



  12. Rahul

    January 14, 2012 at 9:17 am

    A very good read indeed. Nice work. (I have posted this on a forum I hope you don’t mind)

    I have mentioned it before as well and I’ll say it again SAF probably doesn’t want to spend big in a hurry on a Central Midfielder right now. He knows we have problems and hence he has considered bringing back Scholes.

    If you are comparing Value for money with Rafael Van Der Vaarth going cheaply at Spurs it wouldn’t be correct. The initial few games in the first season Rafa played in the hole behind the striker and not in the central midfield where we are lacking quality and players. Similarly if we had gone on and signed Sneijder the move wouldn’t have worked as he also plays in the hole behind the striker. We already have Rooney doing that work for us and he is pretty good at running the show for us.

    I also feel that SAF is a hypocrite , he clearly mentioned last year that he hasn’t signed any player over the age of 35 when there was talks about Beckham returning back. I think he forgot that we signed Edwin Van Der Saar from fulham and Henrik Larrson(a loan move). A similar move for Beckham would have been good this season as well as he has been playing in the MLS and he would seriously be in better match condition that Scholes , saying that I feel SAF is in his last 2 years at OT and he probably wants to leave a solid foundation of youth mixed with experience for the new manager and he doesn’t want to spend too much.

  13. colver

    January 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    That is, why would Fergie realize our midfield problem, bring in Scholes (who surely is no more than capable body), but then release GIbson to Everton for negligible amounts?

    Gibson was released because his contract is due to expire and Ferguson does not rate him having already played Rooney, Jones, Park and Rafael ahead of Gibson. Also do not underestimate Ferguson’s ability to bear a grudge. Gibson was out with Rooney on that night when Rooney got the mega fine.

    1) Another player is coming this January (and soon)

    Ferguson has already said there is no value in the market and the best clubs don’t let their players go mid-season and he won’t buy someone who isnt good enough.
    2) Pogba / Morrison are getting games ASAP

    Morrison is on his way out. Ferguson refuses to meet his crazy wage demands and is not impressed with Morrison’s attitude.

    Ferguson is far too risk averse to throw Pogba in the deep end at this stage of the season when he is hell bent on catching City.

    3) Fergie is to play De Gea in Midfield along with Scholes.

    Now this sounds far more likely than the two possibilities above!

    Summary: Fergie is buying a CM or two this January.

    Disagree? Where is my reasoning flawed?

    1. Assuming we have money to burn
    2. Assuming that Ferguson consider Scholes and Giggs finished…Giggs has had his fair share of games this season including must-win games such as the Basle tie and Scholes will also get his fair share.
    3. Assuming Ferguson is objective enough to see our lack of quality in midfield. All he cares about is numbers and as we have the following players capable of playing in central midfield:

    Carrick, Cleverely, Anderson, Giggs, Scholes, Park, Jones

    he will feel adequately covered numerically

    Besides if you compare to last season we have gained Cleverly and Jones and besides the loss of Fletcher and Gibson have the same midfield options.


    Ferguson just cares about making up the numbers in central midfield and will always trust Scholes and Giggs over unproven youngsters.

    Red Ranters care about having a quality central midfield that can compete with the best teams and would rather we promote youngsters with upside potential rather than sticking with Scholes and Giggs

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