Friday, June 12, 2009

Life after Ronaldo: Fergie's transfer options look grim...

United fans are today coming to terms with the fact that Ronaldo is soon to be a Real Madrid player, it doesn't get much worse than that, but it soon could be if Tevez quits as expected.

Many fans want to know who made the decision to sell Ronaldo, some reports suggest it might have been the Glazer family, others say Ferguson made a promise to the player twelve months ago stating that he could leave if he was still unhappy at the season end, the latter is fast becoming the popular view.

Neither Fergie nor the club are ever likely to reveal the real truth because they will be charged with misleading supporters, many will have bought replica Ronaldo shirts in the last few weeks and some may not have renewed their season-tickets if they'd been aware of the facts.

Moving forward, United need to regroup and it is to be hoped that Fergie has a plan, because if he was aware that Ronaldo might well leave along with Tevez then he is facing nothing short of a striker crisis.

So who are the players on Fergie's radar? The reality is Franck Ribery is unlikely to become a United player; he is hot property and like or not, the truth is despite often being labelled as the "world's biggest club" the champions have rarely been able to attract stars at the very top of their game from the continent.

Veron only came to Old Trafford because of a row over his passport in Italy, Cantona wasn't a big star before he arrived at United and there were no other serious bidders for Van Nistelrooy. United actually stumbled upon Ronaldo in a pre-season friendly, it was players like Gary Neville who persuaded the manager to sign him.

So given the fact that United are unlikely to solve their striker problems this summer, what does Ferguson do next? Do not rule out retirement, it is a very strong possibility.

Fergie has a massive problem on his hands because he isn't looking for just one world class striker, but quite probably two. The best he can hope for is to sign unproven Atonio Valencia, again there are no other serious bidders - not even Manchester City want him as far as we know. United might end up with a Real Madrid cast-off like Huntelaar, other than that I'm personally at a loss to suggest which big names might fancy a move to Old Trafford.

It could take United years to reach another Champions League final, and I do not expect Fergie to be in charge when it next happens. United's best hope for the future is to find the next Ronaldo or David Beckham and make them into the players that they became, the club can justifiably say they can do that probably better than anyone else, at least they have done under Ferguson.

Finally, to the fools who say United had to accept £80m, if United end up trophyless and out of the Champions League the season after next that £80m will look like the bad business it surely is, though we have to accept that maybe Ferguson had no choice but to allow the player to leave. There is however no excuse concerning the Tevez debacle; United, Ferguson and Gill look to have made a complete balls of that one.

18 comments:

  1. This blog has got to be the most pessimistic on the web. Utd will come good, they always do.

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  2. United in the end, done the right thing, cristiano is a fabulous player but im sorry most utd fans would agree that his attitude became increasingly frustrating. big players have come and gone at utd and i have faith in fergie and the scouts, to pinpoint the right players for the club. we do not necessarily need to get a like for like replacement for ronaldo, my best guess is fergie might change the way we play and purchase a winger and striker.

    fergie team talk ahead of next season will be made easy by the departure of ronaldo, he will want his players to prove to everyone that united was not all about ronaldo.

    so everything is not as grim as you are saying. united will still be the team to beat next year in league

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  3. You sound like a Chelsea Or Arsenal supporter matey..........

    Carry on worrying because next season United will be even more devestating without Ronaldo!

    I have seen them plat scintilating football with Nani in Ron's Position - so watch out Premier League here we come again lol!!!

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  4. You sound like either an Arsenal or Chelsea Sado matey!

    I think the premiership will be taken by surprise next season with the way United play! - I have been very impressed with the way Nani has played in the Ronaldo role & thats why he was bought, as his eventual replacement.

    Sit back relax lol (Don't suppose you will)and watch United Storm to the title, with just a couple of tweeks here and there!

    Remember my prediction!

    You heard it first here!

    Stu

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  5. I make no apologies for posting I how I see it. IF anyone wants to put forward there own list of "realistic" transfer targets then let's see them...

    The current outlook is as bad as I can remember in recent times in regards to transfer targets.

    Yes, United do go on and that will hopefully continue to happen, but if you've been reading my blog over the last 24 hours you will know I'm referring to the short term - that is the next three seasons.

    I honestly do not expect United to win anything next season and probably for a few seasons. It's a bit like Wenger continually allowing big stars to leave and oh how Arsenal have paid a price. But unlike Wenger, Fergie doesnt have a record of balancing the books while at the same time producing competitive teams, Fergie has relied more on the cheque book and as I've already pointed out, still we have been unable to attract the world's top players.

    I hope I am wrong, but I am attempting to give you an a more realistic view of how it really looks, because (a) it will not turn out to be good business in the short or medium or long term (b) who do we buy in the short term? It is one thing people like Andy Gray saying "be careful with the money..." that is empty drivel with no suggestions regarding what Fergie might do.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions. But I cannot and will not accept this news is good for United from any standpoint.

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  6. You are a doomds day merchant this friday morning. Why do I ask are you trying to pin the blame of Ronaldos departure on the Glaziers? If they were the culprits they would have done so last summer and we all would have supported their decision but they didn't. Why blame SAF?? Did you expect him to go to LA begging the most self centered player on earth to stay? You must be off your rocker. Ronaldo gave us plenty but very few of us are crying about his departure and why is that? That is the question you should have put to your readers. And the answer in one big chorus would be we had enough of his petulance and me me me attitude, he tired us trying to defend the undefendable when all he wanted is to play for RM. His heart & soul were not with us and the quicker you understand that the better for you. As for Tevez we all loved the guy but I for one do not think he is worth 35 million and he was also in Ronaldo mood during the tail end of the season. that changed my mind about him especially if he goes to Citeh because it is the money that will send him there. No European CL. Do you think we really think the same of the guy after stating he would not mind even joining Liverpool besides Citeh?? I would rather play with Welbeck & Macheda and by the way they are both excellent players.

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  7. Georgie: No we wouldn't have supported the "Glaziers" if they'd decided to sell last summer.

    I am not blaming Fergie for the sale of Ronaldo. I have been asking who made the decision, but it seems it might have been an agreement between player and manager - we will never know (until Fergie writes another book).

    Gill and Fergie are totally to blame for the Tevez situation, despite what you've posted I'd keep Tevez...

    Welbeck isn't going to make it at United, trust me on that and remind me if I'm wrong, what's more Campbell is a better player.

    Macheda has a chance and I hope he takes it, but he lacks experience and placing the burden on him is unfair.

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  8. The horrible thing is that Madrid can make that money back in a year or so in player endorsements, like they did on Beckham. They bloody started making a profit on him in the second season.

    This is a bad piece of business, but you can't keep a player against his wishes. Please Ferguson/United management, use this huge amount of cash to sign Benzema and Tevez, and scout some winger real fast.

    And everyone, lets look at our Champions League campaign this season, how much of it hinged on Ronaldo's magic now and then, even though he had an average season. So I think its a fair assessment to say that United will be far from a Champions League final next season. I'm not sure about the Premier League though, because most of United's squad is still intact, and that is one formidable squad which can possibly see off the likes of Villa, Blackburn, etc. week after week.

    I'm really really hoping against hope that United make some solid signings really fast, but the last few years have been truly glorious, so maybe our luck was bound to run out.

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  9. Uday, as ever you post a lot of sense.

    I can actually see United going for Zlatan Ibrahimovic if they lose Tevez. IMO he'd be a good option for United...much better than Berbatov.

    I'd personally get rid of Nani and Berbatov (but no one wants them) neither are what we need, the former is too wasteful in possession, the latter doesn't work hard enough full stop and flatters to deceive.

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  10. Stu,.

    How on earth are United going to be more devastating without Ronaldo?

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  11. Losing Ronaldo is going to have its short term repercussions for sure..but there is no point in being so pessimistic before the start of a new season for the loss of one 'great' player. No one is bigger than the club. Yes, Fergie and Co. could have been more honest with us, but this is football and shit happens. On the bright side, our attacking play no longer needs to be directed at one person and hopefully we sign replacements(not necessarily superstars) who fill the void in the coming years. As a club and supporters of it, we need to move on.

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  12. I say good riddance: a bloody good player but his attitude and egomania is in ther long term poisonous to a club: not only did we have to play others - especially rooney - out of position to find the space for his ego, but his me me me approach cost the team at crucial times. OK, his best play in the past three years largely compensated for this, but IF he had been playing more for the team, maybe that first ten minutes against barcelona, could, for example, have had a better outcome. OK, he could have scored himself, but his selfish play must surely have affected his teammates?

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  13. Very obviously, I agree that replacing Ronaldo would be extremely arduous, to say the least.

    Even with our newly augmented war chest, it is unlikely that we would 'do crazy things' to get Ribery.
    But to get Benzema(weirdly, another player who loves to play in Spain) and
    Silva is not beyond us.And Benzema would more than make up for the goals that Ronaldo would have scored.Moreover, he is a much better option than Tevez. We dont need industry and tenacity.We have enough of it. We need a penalty box predator, who would score truck loads of goals.

    One of the few significant things that Berbatov did after arriving at OT was to unsettle an in-form Tevez. Berbatov will continue to remain over Tevez in the pecking order. So Tevez, even with Ronaldo gone, will only be used as a sub, with Rooney and Berbatov being the starters. My point: 35 mill for a bench warmer is ludicrous.In my opinion, its Benzema(who has a big fan in SAF) who can keep Berbatov by the sidelines, where he deserves to be.

    So lets forget about Tevez and Ronaldo.It has happened before, and as before, the club will get around it.

    By the way, to say we wont win anything next year, even before the season has actually started, was kinda sensationalistic.

    Also the thing about Fergie's retirement, there is 0 % chance it would happen.Because it would imply that the mighty SAF cannot live to succeed in the post-Ronaldo era . He, being the character he is, wouldn't want to throw in the towel and leave like that.

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  14. What about Eto'o? What are the chances of his arrival?

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  15. Harikesh Reddy,

    I could see Benzema scoring the goals for United, he would be another Andy Cole IMO, but the problem is will we get him? From what I've read he has no desire to play in England so that one is a none starter.

    Regarding Berbatov, the jury was very much out on him before he arrived. It was hoped he'd bring something different to the table, but simply doesn't do enough off the ball and he had no impact in the big games.

    Many fans have said that Rooney and Tevez are too similar, that notion is wrong - we won a major double the season before last with those two and Ronaldo up front.

    I stand by what I've been posting, it will take United three seasons to recover - possibly longer if as I strongly suspect we have a change of manager soon. What I will say is if United do manage to sign Benzema then that might change things, but I've been posting my views with conviction that it will not happen.

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  16. Uday,

    Bizarrely, you might say, I don't think Eto'o is the right man for us right now, he's more of Michael Owen type who does his best work inside or just outside the box.

    United need a strong pacey target man who can score bags of goals. Eto'o has some of the qualities but he's not a target man. Over the three games against United in the last two seasons he wasn't that special at all, but of course he scored in the final.

    I do like Eto'o though and if Barca were willing to sell I'd take him, but I'm just not 100% sure he'd be the best solution.

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  17. UPDATE ON TEVEZ: I have heard from an impeccable source (someone close to Fergie) that Tevez has agreed to sign for City on wages of £160,000 a week.

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  18. Are you sure? If Tevez leaves, it means we're really in dipshit. First Ronaldo and now Tevez, how are we supposed to cope in the next season?

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