Saturday, January 02, 2010

No prospect of any big name transfers; is the current United squad on the road to nowhere?

United have just enjoyed one of the most successful decade's in the club's history, Ferguson is in his 24th season as manager; quite incredibly from 1990 to 2000 he won an average of just over 1.3 trophies; from 2000 until 2009 the manager and his team have won on average just over 1.2 trophies and there's the prospect of more in the current season, which could see the manager improve his average next May. No matter what happens in the next few weeks and month's Ferguson is the most successful British manager ever and his achievements are nothing short of remarkable.

But as we head into a new decade, now seems like a good time to take stock and look forward to what we the fans' can expect from the current United squad.

We will run through the current squad and give predictions about each player's prospects.

Van der Sar:
United's veteran first-stopper is currently out of action due to the club giving him time off on compassionate grounds, it isn't known when he is likely to return, but whenever that maybe he is unlikely to be playing for the club in two years time. Verdict: Retirement round the corner

Neville: Another veteran who has served the club well, after what has largely been a trouble free career, sadly injuries are now taking their toll and so it is only a matter of time before Neville retires. Verdict: Retirement beckons

Evra: Enjoying arguably his best season to date, and has been close to picking up the man of the match award on numerous occasions. Verdict: At 28 years of age the popular French defender is good for another few seasons yet.

Hargreaves: A brilliant central midfield player whose career has been blighted by injuries and nothing is certain about his playing future. Verdict: Uncertain future in the game

Ferdinand: Having a poor season that has been blighted by injuries. Verdict: Uncertain future

Brown: Good for a few seasons yet, but has never been able to hold down a regular starting place. Verdict: More than useful squad player

Owen: Plucked from the brink of possible early retirement or life playing for a Premier League also-ran.Verdict: Uncertain future at United despite making a solid contribution has been unable to hold down a starting place

Anderson: After making an impressive start to his United career has been unable to carve out a regular starting place in central midfield. It was hoped Anderson would be the long term successor to Paul Scholes. Verdict: Has done well in some games this season, but he must improve

Berbatov: Despite all too fleeting moments of inspiration, the Bulgarian hasn't lived up to expectations and his £30m price tag. Verdict: Unlikely to be still at United in three years time

Rooney: The jewel in the crown. Enjoying his most successful season to date in front of goal, no wonder reports are linking him with a move to Real Madrid. Verdict: The cornerstone of the current squad and if Fergie is going to successfully rebuild his team then Rooney needs to be at the heart of it

Foster: Supposedly technically brilliant, but has been prone to high-profile mistakes and his kicking is poor. Verdict: Has been overtaken in the pecking order by Kuszczak, unlikely to still be a United player in 12 months time

Giggs: One of the stars of the season and deserves the plaudits and gongs that he has deservedly won: Verdict: Good for one more season

Park: Divides opinion among the fans', but the majority see him as little more than a worker who lacks genuine star quality. Verdict: Wouldn't be missed if he was sold, isn't United quality

Tosic: A lot was expected of the young Serbian but he has been unable to break into the squad on a regular basis: Verdict: Exit door beckons

Vidic: A brilliant defender who will be badly missed if and when he joins Madrid next summer: Verdict: Exit door beckons

Carrick: Was bought for a lot of money, was dropped earlier in the season and spent a lot of time on the bench, but has managed to work his way back into regular contention for a starting place. Verdict: Good for a few seasons providing he can maintain a level of consistency

Nani: Hopelessly inconsistent: Verdict: Exit door beckons

Scholes: Unlike Ryan Giggs, who seems to get better with age, Scholes has had a season of highs and lows: Verdict: Retirement round the corner

Welbeck: The jury is very much out on Welbeck who has had a mixed season to date: Verdict: Could easily follow the likes of David Healy out of the Old Trafford exit door - needs to improve in just about every aspect of his game, but he has a chance

F Da Silva: Said to be technically the better of the Brazilian twins, but like his brother has suffered with injuries: Verdict: A great prospect, but one who needs to improve his defending

R Da Silva: After making a stunning impact in his first season, the Brazilian has suffered with injuries: Verdict: A great prospect, but one who needs to improve his defending

O'Shea: Has had a good season, but is out injured currently: Verdict: Will do well to hold off the challenge of Rafael, a good squad player who will be around for a few seasons

Evans: Reliable and steady, but out injured currently: Verdict: Could go on to have a great United career

Fletcher: The Scot's worth has grown over the last couple of seasons, despite some technical weaknesses in his game, namely sloppy distribution he is currently United's best central midfield player: Verdict: Needs more competition for his starting place, but good for a few seasons yet

Valencia: Following a big-money move in the summer, the Ecuadorian can be well pleased with his first season so far: Verdict: Will hopefully get better with time as he gets more confidence, a better long-term prospect than Park

Obertan: Despite limited opportunities, has shown genuine promise. The young French winger isn't a 'head down and run' type. Verdict: Could go on to prove to be a very astute signing

Macheda: Has been unable to build on his first few appearances for the club in which he made a dramatic impact: Verdict: In the eyes of many observers has gone backwards and it's why his future may well be at another club. Macheda has the ability, but the fans are starting to wonder what is going wrong with his career

Gibson: A player who has proven he has an eye and boot for goal, but despite his goal scoring prowess from midfield his portly strolling style is reminiscent of former Liverpool star Jan Molby. Verdict: The Jury is currently out on Gibson's prospects

Kuszczak: After a very dodgy start to his United career in which he looked technically suspect in just about all aspects of what is expected has enjoyed a good run in the absence of van der Sar and has ousted Foster as the number two keeper;Verdict: Needs to maintain his current level of consistency - has a chance

Sections of the media have been suggesting Ferguson is rebuilding his squad; but with the manager going on record stating he is unlikely to be adding to the squad in January, because of a perceived lack of value and with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of players who could be about to retire and for other reasons, then it is difficult to see this team winning yet more silverware without a lot of money being spent next summer to replace players like Ferdinand, Vidic and Van der Sar.

If we factor in the fact that United definitely need another top quality forward plus a world-class central midfield player, then there's much work to be done in relation to the so called rebuilding process.

Ferguson's own future as United manager will come to an end in the next few seasons, but in the short-term he has work cut out if he's going to maintain his record of high achieving.


  1. This is just a suggestion to manchester united, the greatest football club in the world - please try bidding for Joe Hart. Edwin Van Der Saar is the best goalkeeper without a doubt, but him retiring is a big possibility. What if Vidic leaves?

  2. I feel the most disappointing player this season has been Berbatov without a shadow of a doubt. With the exit of Ronaldo, it was believed he will now be playing in a favored 4-4-2 system and can feed off Rooney's brilliance to bag a few goals, but he has flattered to deceive one time too many. His work rate is embarrasing and he frankly doesn't contribute anywhere near enough to the attacking play. I feel if we can get a solid goal-scoring centre forward to partner Rooney, a lot of problems in the other areas of the pitch can be put off for the time being, because frankly if the conversion rate had been higher this season, despite all the defensive problems, we'd have had daylight between ourselves and Chelsea.

    I'd love to see someone like Higuain or Pato or Aguero partner Rooney up front, people who guarantee goals whenever they wear a boot. Berbatov should leave in the summer and be replaced by any of the aforementioned forwards, because at this rate, I fear for Rooney, I feel he might burn out very early in his career.

  3. Abhilash,

    I agree with you ref Berbatov; he has been embarrassing at times, take the Wigan game for an example of that.

    With reference to the future, if you run through my verdicts on the squad and you agree with my assessement then there's nothing but trouble ahead, that is there is unless Fergie is given a lot of cash to spend.

    There must be a serious danger of flogging Rooney to death and of course there's the World Cup coming up too - another good reason for Ferguson to pull his finger out in the summer...


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