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Should Saha leave Manchester United?

Louis Saha’s injury problems in the second half of the season caused many Manchester United fans (and the press) to do a complete backflip in their opinion of the striker. Where Saha was once thought to be better for Manchester United than Ruud van Nistelrooy, the moment Saha got injured and took a long time to recover the fans turned on him, questioning his dedication and his value to Manchester United.

Saha is, and will always be, a decent backup striker at a club like Manchester United. He had a great few months at the start of the season – and he was rightly applauded for his efforts. In an ideal world though, I’d have someone else play alongside Rooney up front.

I don’t think Saha should, or will, leave Manchester United. United don’t throw out players because of injury problems – they do it when the boss is mad at them (Ruud, Keano, Becks, Stam), when they have no future at the club (Veron, Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson) or when the player wants more regular football but isn’t getting it (Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, David Jones, Forlan).

Saha has no such problems. He’s still needed at the club – he’s definitely ahead of Rossi, Dong, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Alan Smith in the striking pecking order – and he’s getting good football at the moment (when fit) so there are few problems there.

Is Fergie mad at Saha? Is the Manchester United management questioning Saha’s dedication? Ferguson said towards the end of the season that Saha was fit but was not 100% mentally – that he wasn’t fully confident with himself so he was still being rested.

Ferguson is a master of man management – if there’s anyone who can get Saha going again, it’s Ferguson.

If United are going to sell a striker, they’ll sell Alan Smith – Ole is in his final year, we’ve spent a couple of years getting Dong and Rossi is still young. Whether United get a new striker or not, Saha should stay – simply because he would still be our 3rd best striker.

That is, unless you want Alan Smith on the bench as your goal-scoring / match-changing ace. Due respect to Smudger, but he’s not a better striker – at least not after playing an year in midfield and then another year injured.

So – why do you want Manchester United to sell Saha when we need him next season?



  1. shannonmoss

    1 June 2007 at 13:04

    i totally agree to your view….

    Very much my opinion.

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  3. Alexisonfire17

    1 June 2007 at 15:50

    Never thought Saha was better than Ruud. I want Saha to leave because yes he is injury prone but mainly because i think we need better starting quality, we can do better and need to sell to get that, Saha could fetch a decent price even with his injury rep. I know that sounds harsh but truth is i’ve never really been a Saha fan, his only advantage IMO is his speed and lots of people can offer that. I prefer Smithy because i do believe he can turn a game with his attitude, determination and passion. He’s more likely to fight for his place and not give up and he gives us something different upfront. He’s still got it and i’d give him one more season to prove it.
    We need a new striker though but someone of world class quality (Eto’o, Berb etc) seems out now so Huntelaar would do the job for me and i’d like Rossi to be given a chance.
    I would not feel confident with Saha as partner to Rooney and would prefer to have Smith as third choice as i don’t think Saha could take that. You also mentioned in your post that player-manager relations is obv going to be a factor, who knows what has gone on and if SAF is still confident in Saha, no smoke without fire(unless it’s from the sun 😉 )
    Next season: Rooney/New striker/Rossi/Smith with Dong on loan and Ole still availiable but merging into training staff. Would be perfection for me.
    Saying this, although i’m not a big fan i have nothing against him personally. I just think he’d do better elsewhere and that we could too. Who knows?all this talk could have him fired up and ready for next season where he’ll bag us 25 goals and all us doubters will get ‘i told you so’s’. Stranger things have happened and i’d be more than happy for him to prove me wrong. I just don’t see it happening.

  4. richpenguin

    1 June 2007 at 16:17

    I agree with all of this, particularly:

    Louis Saha’s injury problems in the second half of the season caused many Manchester United fans (and the press) to do a complete backflip in their opinion of the striker… He had a great few months at the start of the season – and he was rightly applauded for his efforts.

    I think if we were left with Saha / Rooney / Anderson / Smith / Rossi as our striking pool (particularly given that Ronaldo and Giggs can play through the middle if needed), we’d be fine. I like Saha – I think he has all the attributes – speed, ability to beat people, good in the air, can score from outside the area, drops deep to pick up the ball if needed. All those things link in really well with our style of play – fluid, quick, lots of crosses. If he had stayed fit for the whole season, he’d have ended up with 25 goals, no problem.

    That said, he’ll never be absolutely top class. Berbatov is a better version of him. Tevez too. Don’t know enough about Torres or David Villa (anyone else shed some light?) But the type of striker I’d hate to see us buy is someone whose sole contribution to the game is scoring. I’m putting Eto’o firmly in this category, and Michael Owen – invisible outside the penalty area. To be in the current team, you need to be able to be involved all the time, not just pop up and score the goals.

    Whilst we’re on the subject, and if today’s rumours have any substance – Anelka?!

  5. Alexisonfire17

    1 June 2007 at 16:38

    Anelka FOR 8 MIL wouldn’t be good business IMO. Rather keep Saha. Another option- KLOSE going for 5 MIL. Apparently. Would be top notch and we wouldn’t have to be breaking the bank either.

  6. Niall Doc

    1 June 2007 at 17:08

    I can’t believe people still doubt Saha. At the start of the year he was banging in the goals and was doing much more for the team. I feel he is the main reason we are more fluid now , when we had Ruud he was scoring for fun but he slowed up our play – with Saha we can play the United way.. fast attacking football. I agree we need one more striker hopefully Huntelaar as he is the type of player we are going for young and full of potential and we MUST give Rossi a chance ths year or risk losing him because hes not getting first team football. Rooney/Saha/Huntelaar/Smith/Rossi/Dong/Ole
    not a bad strike force eh?

  7. Jordan

    1 June 2007 at 17:31

    I agree. To be honest I’ve not really been a fan of Saha, and yes i was one of those fans who shouted at Ferguson to sell him. But for other reasons, yes admittedly Saha is a pretty good striker, but you have to face it that he’s not Man U material. Sell Smith keep Saha as back up.

  8. dbeech

    1 June 2007 at 17:56

    Someone should sneak into the United dressing room after a training session and throw a boot at Saha when he and Fergie have their back turned.

  9. BootifullGame

    1 June 2007 at 18:03

    I agree that we need Saha, or more acurately, we need a striker like Saha. Having a striker that is mentally reluctant to get involved at crucial times of the season is sure to get on Fergie’s goat. Thats a given.
    His thinly disguised swipe at Saha after the West Ham game said as much.
    Smudger would play through the pain barrier without question, but doesn’t posess the game changing quality of a player like Saha. The way he threw himself on that live hand grenade at Anfield the other year, good old Private Smudge, taking one for the team. I think he has earnt the right for a clean slate this term. He brings a work ethic and passion to us when he plays. And if that alone has carried Fletch for the last four years, then i certainly think Smudger has more to offer than The Scottish Player. Give him a chance i say.
    As for Saha, i’m undecided. I love what he brings to a game, but also find him frustrating as hell at times.
    If we do buy another striker then i think Saha might be off. Anderson certainly has similar qualities to Saha, with the exception of heading. We don’t however have another Alan Smith.
    Who’d be a Premiership manager, eh.

  10. Liam O'Kelly

    1 June 2007 at 18:17

    i think that if united do buy a new striker then Saha would be unneeded. Even when he wasn’t injured in the second half of the season he couldn’t score but the fact that he did so well in the first half of the season which was probably his longest spell at united without injury is something to look at. Saha has been at the club for a few seasons and has been injured more than not.

  11. BootifullGame

    1 June 2007 at 18:51

    On paper it looks like we have plenty of attcking otions. Saha, Smith, Rooney, Ole, Rossi, Anderson, Ronaldo, Giggs etc.
    Admittedly Ronaldo and giggsa are not out and out strikers, but they have both rotated through that postion. And done well.
    surley if United do plump for another hit man, it would surley spell the end for one or two of them.
    Ole, almost certainly won’t be leaving. A coaching role could well beckon.
    The only two real possbibilities are Smudger or Saha. I can’t see them both leaving, and would certainly like to see Smudger given at least a full season up front. I think he has earned it.
    On the other hand Saha is a quality striker with bags too offer. Speed, Control, Good touch, great in the air and good with both feet. BUT…you probably won’t get a full season out of him. ever.
    Smudger is not your fluid, speedy, tricky fella like Saha, but he does offer something that United have lacked at times this year. Bite. He’s a good target man too, can hold the ball up well, works like a dog and given enough time could begin to show some real quality. He won’t be first choice, but is an option that we sometimes haven’t had this season, and missed.
    My heart says keep Smudger, because he has really thrown himself into the cause since his controversial switch from Leeds. Give the lad a chance.
    Saha, for my mind, backed away from the challenge a little towards the end of the season, and while it didn’t cost us the Premiership, who knows what might have happened had Louis been more “up for it”.
    Ifs and buts, i know, but you gotta be hungry enough for it, and im not too sure how hungry Saha was.
    In my opinion.

  12. Anup Mathew

    1 June 2007 at 19:18

    I’d gone thru all the comments regarding Saha. I agree with the friends who wants saha to leave, but who will replace saha?? and remember that ‘Striker’s Slot’ will be decisive next year. Thankfully we didnt had that much of a problem with that this season. We hav to find an ace striker who scores freely like Rudd. Otherwise we will waste such beautiful(Dream) midfielders like anything. Think of rooney, ronaldo,giggs,hargreeves playing attacking futbol along with a “golden striker” mhhh, i cant wait for the next season. Sir. Alex Pls do something…

  13. adil muhozi alhinai

    1 June 2007 at 21:06

    we need saha for season whilst rossi develops, 08/09 he should leave if 0/08 was hit by injuries again, he scored 13 goals before his injury, that not bad, and anyone remeber his goal against chelsea, that was top quality, we should pray his injuries go away if not, rossi, dong smith and OGS is enough cover for one position, and do not forget anderson can play attacking midfielder/winger/forward/striker right left and center aswell

  14. villa

    1 June 2007 at 21:41

    i don’t think saha will leave but i don’t regard him highly as a striker. I think Ole is a much better striker an Smith is as good a striker.I think manu can do with a better striker.

  15. Tomas

    1 June 2007 at 22:35

    I think a lot of people in here underestimate the quality of Saha. He’s a prolific striker when in form. I consider him to be among the top 5 in the premiership, and I believe SAF does the same.

    He’s got it all (exceot maybe from a top quality passing game and coolness when facing the keeper alone). He’s fast, strong, can finish with both feet and head, and he’s used to the game in England. There’s no question that if SAF wants to bring back Rossi, we should sell Smith, since he could still bring in a decent amount of money. Smith is simply not as skilled as Saha…there’s no arguing that. Smith may have heart, but with merely 5-10 goals a season, he’s not good enough to be 3rd striker. He’s not good enough to start, and he’s not a good enough goal scorer to be a sub.

    I’d like to see Rossi back, because I think he can really have a good season next year. The only problem with that is Saha. If Saha is injured once again, Rossi may be too young and inexperienced to be 2nd striker.

  16. King Kong

    2 June 2007 at 01:56

    No for Anelka. Anelka will destroy the chemistry of United, I repeat what did United do to deserve player such as Anelka?
    Mike Owen is the my 1st choice if we’re about to let Saha go (a swap could be possible). I know its hard for Smith to be considered a consistent goal scorer, especially after 1 yr playing midfield and 1yr of injury. But most if not all United fans love Smudge’s dedication and tirelessness.
    just my 2 cents

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  18. Jonathan

    2 June 2007 at 11:06

    Saha undoubtedly if fit and can contribute to URD at the crucial stages of the season is a really good player – he offers different options to the system, but and this is really crucial giving that he is being paid high wages – even when injured – UTD have to have players who are not injury prone – SAHA is injury prone and there is no evidence that this will change – whilst Ronaldo plays as a striker with Portugal – and we now have NANI – there are options already open, however an out and out striker
    such as ETO – Hutellaar or Alaves from the Dutch league could all give us a dimension in attack which would be awesome – I must admit that rarely have I been so excited at the prospect of a new season. Ialso think that UTD need to bring Pique back immediately and begin to give him games – he has really developed into a fantastic player.

  19. Keith Moses Kaira II

    2 June 2007 at 11:11

    IF we can get Anelka or D. Bent to come, we should sell Smith instead. Saha will always be great option to have.

  20. a-rod

    2 June 2007 at 21:32

    You know what really annoys me, I have read so many comments about how saha should leave from websites like youtube, skysports, football artciles, and ect. What people don’t get is what saha has provided for manchester united in the past few years. In his first season full season with man utd he scored 22 goals and was praised by manchester united. He then practically missed the whole 2004/2005 campaign due to injury and the arrival of wayne rooney. Everyone forgot about Saha and they were focused on what a great partnership rooney and van nisterooy had. For the start of the 2005-2006 campaign. Sir Alex Ferguson dropped Saha down to the reserves team but reassured Saha that he would make his comeback. Saha did the unthinkable by scoring 15 goals in the second half of the season mostly on the bench, made France’s world cup squad, and drove van nisterooy out of old trafford. i’m basically saying saha worked his ass off for manchester united and now everyone wants him to leave. sir alex ferguson still has faith in him so he is not going anywhere. they will try get saha over his injury problem by having surgery or whatever. He is a complete forward which you rarely see out there in the world and has the potential to be one of the best strikers in the world. Its destiny that 2007-2008 season will be saha’s comeback year.

  21. Ahmed Bilal

    3 June 2007 at 11:36

    lol @ dbeech 😛

  22. karl

    4 June 2007 at 18:50

    Agree with the articel 100%.
    Still think SAF should sign a ‘lethal’, cheap, ‘golden-oldie’ striker though and give Rossi a realistic chance. Dong perhaps to another premiership club on loan.

  23. chris

    8 June 2007 at 16:24

    At the minute i think utd have a good young team. However, the front line looks slightly too young! With Rooney, Ronaldo, Rossi etc. I think Utd should invest in a young striker that will grow and mature at Utd into a great player. I also think they need to buy an older more experienced natural goal scorer, except for Ronaldo, who has really been prolific for Utd? We need an experienced striker, a player who can turn on the style in Europe especially. I think this where are younger players show their nerves and in experience of playing at the top level which is understandable. I think a singin such as Miraslov Close, Anelka etc would do Manchester Utd the world of good in Europe.
    C’mon Utd!! 🙂

  24. William

    11 June 2007 at 18:21

    I totally agree with the idea that Saha is a go no were player for a club like Man Utd. United need a player like Saha or more so playing like Saha. Saha is a key player and a goal seeker if facing a goal post. Man Utd can do without players like Alan smith. The problem to be solved is Man Utd need still good strikers that can play along side Saha or without saha BUT Saha should still be maintained at Man Utd. He has his own suprising ways of playing the ball.
    Rossi is another upcoming striker who will be key and will more likely be like how Rud Van used to play when he is in the box area.

  25. Conor

    13 June 2007 at 14:03

    SELL HIM! to tottenham, they never found a replacement for injury prone darren anderton.

  26. toq

    26 June 2007 at 13:47

    i pick obafemi martins as utd’s strike force alongside rooney…

  27. Vineesh

    16 July 2007 at 13:21

    I am just picking this up because of the Tevez situation developing. Lets assume United does get him.
    In that case, What Changes?
    In my opinion we still should sell Smith and Smith only because he deserves to play more but we cant accommodate him in our plans once someone like Tevez gets ahead in the striker order.
    And I will keep Saha and Rossi as my backup strikers. I really dont understand why Rossi is being put up for sale. Thats ridiculous. he is young and never got a chance to show it here. He was exceptional for the reserves, played well for Parma and will become a poacher as good as Ruud but at the same time allow United’s free flowing football to continue.
    Ole cant be sold… he is a legend and I want him to back us up when needed. He will retire at the end of this season.

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