Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fergie hints at transfer changes: United set to settle for second best?

On the very morning The Times reported a hike in the Glazers interest payments in relation to their huge debts, United fans will have been slightly surprised - but one suspects, not shocked - by Fergie's latest comments about the current squad. The manager has hinted there's little prospect of the club bringing in players of the required quality that will ensure the team can compete on all fronts next season.

Instead of spending big, Fergie says he's going to put his trust in new signings Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling, in addition to the players who are already at the club.

Fergie was speaking to the press in New York ahead of United's four game tour of North America. In essence, the manager is hinting the club can longer compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.

There is no question the current United squad has stood still in the last twelve months following the high-profile departures of Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Chelsea won the title race; they did so without being outstanding and lost six league games along the way. Only two seasons ago, the Premier League was regarded by many as the best league in Europe, but no more.

The fact that United finished runner-up to Chelsea was no great crumb of comfort; nor was the fact that Liverpool finished seventh and that Arsenal have stood still too. The harsh truth of the matter is, the United squad that included Ronaldo and Tevez would have cantered to the title.

Fergie says there might be one addition to the current squad; it is to be hoped that player is a goal scorer, because Fergie was forced to flog Rooney to death last season and it will be very interesting to see how he well he recovers following what is likely to be an arduous World Cup campaign this summer. Rooney is in serious danger of suffering from burn-out.

In relation to the manager's 'no value' comments; Fergie could have tried to sign Lucio and Sneijder for a combined fee of 20m Euros - instead Jose Mourinho snapped them up. United fan's know all about Ivica Olic, he is one of the leading goal scorers in this season's Champions League, but many supporters will be surprised to learn the Croatian signed for Bayern Munich on a free transfer in 2009. The players listed above underscore the point that there most definitely IS value to be had for those managers who do their homework.

Putting aside the comments about 'value', you also begin to wonder if the Glazers have put the screws on Fergie following the money lavished on Carrick and Berbatov. Fergie spent nearly £50m to bring the pair to Old Trafford and according to the transfer grapeline, we hear both could be moved on this summer. Fergie has hinted Berbatov is staying put; but you wonder if that's because the club could be looking at a potential £15m loss on player for signed for £30m. It could well be the same scenario as far as Carrick is concerned; Fergie signed the former Spurs player for £18m, but how much is he worth now?

Despite what Fergie says, the current squad isn't good enough; there are problems in all departments: Rio Ferdinand is injury prone, Scholes has one season left in him at best - there is no heir apparent in central midfield. The problems up front are well documented; it is the same in the goalkeeping department. Fergie must think the fans' are daft he seriously thinks we believe this clap-trap about being good enough going forward with the current squad.


  1. Good article. The squad is OK if our target is to finish in the top 4, but not if we want to be the best in Europe.

  2. your absolutely right he thinks wer are fools its just apity some other fans will now start saying we are good enough

  3. the man utd management is taking the fans for fools

  4. Or Fergie is just trying to lower expectations so that we don't get pillaged for transfer fees. If he announces that he will rebuild the squad, prices of players will jump higher than they are (The White Hart Lane Effect). See what happens first and let's hope we bring in some established players.

  5. Evgenni,

    Funny you should mention the rebuilding word, because it was only last week that Fergie hinted he'd be doing business. Maybe the goal-posts have been moved following the news that the Glazers are set to be hit with fines in relation to loan agreements?

    But I do hope you're right and just maybe for once United are trying to dampen expectations of the fans and selling clubs alike.

  6. James you reference the Times article, but that article's head line was misleading. The first line states, but doesn't make clear, that United could potentially be hit with the increase. The article DOES NOT say that it will, it just argues that it is likely. So we don't know, we have to wait for the announcement that goes to the bond holders soon.

    On another note, we really can't say anything about transfers until the window closes. Then we will know what is really going on.

  7. James,

    There's no doubt the Glazers have laden the club down with debts irrespective of this announcement, which most definitely isn't helping the manager.

    On the day that Barcelona signed David Villa for £34m and with the prospect of signing Fabregas for another £30m our manager is scratching around and talking about "lack of value". To me it is a worrying sign.

    But you're quite right about actions speaking louder than words with reference to possible deals.


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