Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fergie won't win back title by shopping in the bargain basement...

In the wake of a disappointing season end and seemingly with little prospect of any proven star quality signings this summer, Fergie spoke to the media this week in defence of his paymasters when explaining the logic behind his team-building plans for the future. Fergie claims the Glazers are 'great owners' - it is enough to make you want to vomit, given the club is mired in so much debt. What next, will Fergie try to convince us that smoking is actually good for you? Suffice to say the fans do not enjoy these bouts of public 'boot-licking' in support of the Glazer regime.

Fergie also suggested the fans' don't appreciate the fact that the club have recently agreed to spend £20m on Chris Smalling, Javier Hernandez and Mame Diouf. The truth is, few will have been impressed by Fergie's insight: £20m isn't a lot of money. However, if any one of the three actually comes good then it could well turn out to be money well spent. On the admittedly limited evidence of what we have seen so far of Mame Diouf, it doesn't look like the Senegalese striker will cut it at United, but time will ultimately tell.

Fergie has made a habit of banging on about lack of value in the transfer market and at a time when the United manager is seemingly unable to compete with domestic rivals like City and Chelsea for big name signings, there's a point that we all to need to understand: Ultimately, it doesn't matter how much money is spent to bring a player to Old Trafford; the important thing is IT HAS TO BE THE RIGHT PLAYER. In other words, the manager and his scouting team have to have done their homework. Think, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Denis Irwin and Eric Cantona: three inspired signings that went on to be true United legends who were signed for proverbial peanuts.

The manager hasn't helped his own case for spending big with some of his most recent signings: Berbatov hasn't been a disaster, but it's telling that in the biggest of fixtures Fergie has ditched 4-4-2 and consigned the Bulgarian to bench warming - it doesn't matter how many times Fergie tells us "Berbatov is a great player", his own actions speak louder than any words. One suspects Fergie might even be trying to convince himself. There's no doubting Berbatov's talent, but his application leaves an awful lot to be desired - he will NEVER be a major United star in the eyes of many supporters.

Michael Carrick is another former Spurs player who has seemingly fallen from grace and here again United paid too much for him when splashing out £18m. It would surprise few if both Carrick and Berbatov were sold, because that will happen either this summer or very soon after, it is only a matter of when.

At a time when Fergie is scratching around for money and new talent you do wonder if United are on the road to nowhere? But, if we are to believe Fergie, he can spend the Ronaldo money: the fans' will only believe the manager when and if he goes out and brings some proven quality to the squad - going off his most recent comments it seems that won't be happening any time soon, not unless Fergie is being cute with the media.

The summer transfer heat is on the manager: the fans' only want to see the very best players at United, but with little room to manoeuvre due to lack of funds, the supporters hopes don't look like being matched with action by the manager.


  1. - 20m is, in fact a lot of money
    - it is, in fact, a inflated transfer marked with ridiculous prices
    - and last but not least, if SAF is to bring in a star player over 21 it will be at the cost of another because our 25man squad for next season is already full..

    would you just cut one of our existing players and pay over the odds for a replacement? I would at least wait for the absolute right time and player.

  2. It is easy to make negative comments without standing up and saying Sir Alex should buy X,Y or Z so all this article does is snipe at the manager without actually saying who we should buy as this would open yourself open to criticism. Like so many all we hear is we should spend BIG on players no one ever say who we should spend BIG on.

  3. Fuck...this is true and depressing at the same time

  4. Well written James! I totally agree with you here, even though you're a bit harsh with Carrick... He has had a couple of very good seasons, but he has forgotten where the goal is and that is my major concern with the midfield.

  5. Well written and refreshing to hear someone saying it how it really is... The signings so far are far from "marquee" which is what made us so strong up until the purse strings were tightened by the Glazers. We'd win the league and then pull off a couple of record signings (and world class signings might I add). Now we're trawling around bargain basement buying players from 'The Norwegian second division, wingers from ligue 1 in France who couldn't make Bordeaux's first team, and now we back up our talismanic striker with one who is proven in..... Mexico!
    It grates every time Fergie states the market is inflated at the moment... Did he forget that the sale of our prized asset Ronaldo for a world record fee is one of the key drivers of the current market?

    Maybe we've been spoilt over the years being the richest club in the world able to go after the worlds best talent. It is sad to contemplate that the next couple of seasons could be fergies last and with adequate funding behind him we could add the one or two key players we need to add that extra spark, create something from nothing and take us to Champions League glory. In reality we're forced to look for unestablished players who need time to bed in and develop or free transfers of players who are past it.

    It looks like we're stuck with the Glazers for a while, let's just hope we can make the transfers we need this summer to be in genuine contention on all fronts next year.

  6. Oz Red,

    I agree with all of that. I cannot really add any more to your comments.

  7. Amen to that Oz...

    However, I feel that SAF has had decent funding, but poor use of the funds these last seasons... 30M for berbie...
    I just don't understand why we didn't buy any of the madristas... Sneijder, Van der Vaart or Robben... that was just plain poor work I recon, but I might be wrong. Gibson will never make utd better, but Anderson might. It's poor to move Giggsy in centrally in stead of matching Anderson. Scholes has done very well, but we need to replace him... hopefully Kaka:) We're well off with forwards I think: Rooney, Owen, Berbatov and Macheda. What we lack is proper service from midfield. That has always been a strength, but it has deteriorated now. Fletcher will be useful in a holding position, but I'd replace him with Essien in a heartbeat:) Valencia is to simple to stop for good backs and has poor crossing-abilities. Nani should occupy right and van der vaart left

  8. Maybe manutd supporter shud be a bit patient...Remember when he sold beckham, he bought a relatively unknown Ronaldo...think again..this can happen again...

  9. Brian,

    If I was paid to do Fergie's scouting I'd fancy my chances of doing a better job than those tasked with doing the job right now based on some recent signings. But, for the record before he was sold to Inter I was touting Lucio on here. Right now, I think I'd go for Aguero if money wasn't an issue. But, obviously I'm not paid to be a full time scout and so I don't have time to watch every prospective new player.

  10. Trends and Macros,

    TO be honest I've never rated Carrick. I don't see what all the fuss is about. He cost us dearly this season too. I think he'll soon be history if the right offer comes along, but that is a very big if.

  11. Too be honest, we are not one of the biggest club in europe anymore. Do the opponent fear us? No. We cant win champions league with youngster. When fergie plays all below 25 years old youngster and win it then tell me he can and does. If not, i dont believe youngster win us champions league. Youngster might be able to win us BPL and it's a big if. But do you think our youngster is better than the golden generation? Out of 100%, there is a possibility of 5% to succeed. Our club is not moving forward so dont say we are being greedy. Not arrogant but better.

  12. I don't think Ferguson necessarily needs to spend big and bring in star players, but he does need to spend well. As has been pointed out Sneijder would have been a great signing and for £13m an absolute steal. He would have offered that advanced creativity that we have so lacked since Scholes has dropped deeper. Carrick and Scholes are fantastic passers but having someone further up the field able to pull off something audacious in a central position is needed.
    If Joe Cole goes to Tottenham this summer on a free transfer I will be very disappointed, he could definitely add something to the team and may well fill the gap between the 'quarterbacks' in midfield and our forwards. I reckon that someone in that position could be what's needed for Berbatov to shine – for all the criticism that he has received he does tend to receive the ball in well worked but isolated space.
    Alongside Cole, or someone similar, I would love to see Jack Rodwell come in, if he is available for £15m as has been touted by the media then he would be an absolute steal. An alternative to Fletcher, who has shown that his action man performances cant be sustained in multiple consecutive matches, and with the ability to drop into defence with our first choice pairing looking increasingly fragile.
    Another striker would be nice but if just one of our 2nd tier striker choices comes good this season then it wouldn't be absolutely needed.

  13. Notoeverything,

    Apart from your comments about Carrick who I don't rate, I agree with most of your other points. Fergie most definitely does need to spend well. I quite like the look of Rodwell, I wouldn't mind Cole too, but I'm 100% convince we need another goal-scorer. Mark my words, Rooney will be clapped out at the beginning of next season. I predict it will take until at least the Autumn until we see anything like Rooney's best and we sure as hell cannot rely on Berbatov.

  14. KK,

    From what I've seen, there's not many to really shout about in the reserves, apart Fabio da Silva. Macheda has a nice touch on the ball, but he's too slow/one paced. I guess Obertan has a chance too, apart from that, who else? I don't expect Gibson to make it, I predict he will be moved on sooner or later.

  15. You are right it's not about the money it's about signing the right player. We have failed at doing this for few transfer windows. The fact is smaller clubs have caught onto the fact that they can get maximum funds for their quality players. Fergie needs to realise football world has changed. If Cantona, Andy Cole, Yorke and Solskjaer were playing in this time in football, and we were trying to sign them they would probably go for about 30-35m each...and most likely more.
    Fact is, We need quality in the club, we have a great youth system we don't need to be signing juniors, let the academy do that. Signing a player from Mexico with no European experience at all is not the answer as well. The squad is clearly weakened since last season, and fans are noticing other clubs like City and Chelsea getting stronger and this is what is worrying them. If we keep avoiding the obvious we are going to get left behind.

  16. From what i seen and know from the reserve team, i know there are some who are talented. But not sure if they can make it. Obertan, Fabio will definitely have a big chance. The rest i agree with you is a big if. We need a striker. A good striker. Rooney will not be available for the start of the season for his extend holiday after world cup. Nani, Rio, Evra all are taking long holiday and we are so short of players by then. We will see if we buy any players in the summer. If it stay as it is. We won't win and play attractively.

  17. Jared,

    I agree with you. Signing a Mexican seems to me like a risky business; latino types don't settle well in the UK at least not traditionally. There's a whole bunch of reasons why the Hernandez deal could go wrong and yet Fergie recently said that his future at the club is GUARANTEED: It was a ridiculous statement, there are NO guarantees in football.

    I think the Mexican might have been brought to the club with a view to enhancing United's profile in Mexico (and North America where there's a lot of Mexican's).


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