Friday, July 23, 2010

Is Ferguson really in the dark over big money move?

United are midway through the US tour and Ferguson has been speaking to the press in response to questions about the future of his star defender Nemanja Vidic. The Serbian has been constantly linked with Real Madrid over the last few weeks. Reports recently claimed that Vidic's agent had been told not to speak to anyone about the impending move - since then, it has gone quiet - but nonetheless, it seems likely the player will be joining Jose Mourinho at his new club - it is thought to be a case of when and not if.

Ferguson didn't speak at length, but he did respond to questions about Vidic's future when admitting he could offer no guarantees "I can't clarify it at all," said the United manager.

Asked if Vidic will still be a Manchester United player next season Fergie added "I believe so".

It is inconceivable that Ferguson does not know what is happening regarding Vidic's future, however, the very fact that the manager responded to questions could be viewed as encouraging amidst talk of a possible contract extension.

Vidic is every bit as important to United as Wayne Rooney - all successful teams have leaders down the spine of the side and there's no doubting the defender's importance in the back-four. It is therefore vital Vidic's future at the club is assured.

No matter if Real Madrid come knocking with £30m - United would not go out and replace the Serbian, like-for-like, because as we saw following the sale of Ronaldo, only a fraction of the Real Madrid money was used to strengthen the team.

United paid the price for not adding to the squad last season when going backwards when losing seven Premier League games, being dumped out of the FA Cup by a third division club and performing poorly in the latter stages of the Champions League.

As things stand and despite what Ferguson says, the decline is likely to continue and that is likely be the scenario even if Vidic stays because the manager needs to bring in more quality.

If Vidic leaves this summer, we could see United not qualifying for next season's Champions League. If anyone believes United will not be badly affected by the loss of Vidic they are kidding themselves and bluntly they do not appreciate Vidic's importance to the team.

Ferguson's problems are likely to be compounded the loss of Rio Ferdinand as his continued problems could well spell the end for the new England captain.

Many United fans will not be looking forward to the prospect of Ferguson relying on rookie defender Chris Smalling alongside Jonny Evans, but it is looking inreasingly likely that will be prove to be the case.

Ferguson missed out when not competing for the services of Simon Kjaer who has signed for Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg for just £10m - the same fee United shelled out to acquire Smalling. Steve McClaren had reportedly told his new employers "to do all they could" to bring the 21 year-old Danish International to the German club. Ferguson recently told the media that he'd bought at the right time - presumably in reference to the deals that saw Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling coming to United.

Given the choice though, surely many fans would have preferred United to have signed Kjaer who looked very useful during the World Cup. Having played in Serie A for Palermo and at the World Cup this summer, the Dane had more experience than Smalling, but like Smalling he too lacks the experience Ferguson usually looks for when recruiting central defenders.

It wasn't that long ago that Ferguson was preaching the virtues of signing central defenders who'd proven themselves and had learnt from making their mistakes along the way. In his autobiography "Alex Ferguson - Managing My Life", this is what Fergie had to say about Steve Bruce, his former captain "there is, no point in being effective at the front if you are rickety at the back... I would have to find a centre-back partnership that would turn out consistently, week after week.
"The number of games Bruce had played for Norwich City was greater than the aggregate appearances of Paul MgGrath and Kevin Moran combined. Far from being a risk, the big Geordie was a banker"...

Clearly, Ferguson shouldn't need to be reminded about the importance of harnessing experience and quality at the back in equal measure, but if Vidic leaves to join Real Madrid, United could well be rickety at the back...


  1. Dude you really need to start writing positive things, there a many positives at the club to counteract the negative.

  2. Thanks. I share the same opinion. I hope United can give him a pay rise of 100k. Ferdinand can get 120K and i dont see why vidic is given 70k. It's not fair and vidic might feel he is not wanted by the club. Not sure how the wages is rated.

  3. The Simon Kjaer thing has annoyed me. The thought we spent the same sort of money on Smalling is a total joke - a guy who was playing non league football not so long ago. Give it a couple seasons and Kjaer will be linked with english clubs again for twice that price.

    There is also takl that the price on Ozil has dropped a great deal as a result of him turning down a new contract - £12m! thats a bargain and once again we will sit by and watch someone else sign a player we should have been going all out on. Fergie whinges about value in the transfer market - 10m for Kjaer is a bargain, 12m for Ozil is a bargain... 7m for Smalling is a complete joke.

  4. Dave,

    I'll be totally honest with you, I've only seen fleeting glimpses of Smalling and Kjaer, but from I've seen the Dane looks to be the better of the two and he can certainly pass the ball well.

    I saw some clips of Smalling on MOTD and frankly, he looked dire.

    IF you go off Ferguson's previous comments abuot signing experienced central defenders who've made their mistakes before coming to OT and then compare his most recent comments about Smalling they are in marked contrast.

    The situation is this, it appears Ferguson is making a massive gamble on this player - it is bordering on wreckless in that we could be about to lose Vidic.

    IF Smalling had been bought for the future and assuming Vidic stays then that's slightly different... a lot hinges on Vidic staying..

  5. FBHOTW,

    I don't think I'm being negative at all - as ever I'm giving an honest assessment of how I see United's squad right now.

    IF you think I'm being negative, take a look at the poll on the right. The majority of fans' who've voted so far see Hernandez and Rafael as the two who are most likely to succeed this season. I totally agree with that.

    As for the rest of our young players I'm not so sure and here again this is broadly in line with the rest of the fans' who've taken the trouble vote on the younger players....

    So with that in mind, please go ahead and tell us all why we should be so optimistic about the challenges ahead. Remember, Fergie has serious issues at the heart of the back four and in central midfield where he needs to find someone like Ozil or Sneijder.

    It is vital the centre-back pairing is solid and reliable - all the successful sides under Ferguson have fulfilled that criterion.

  6. KK,

    I agree with you and I hope this is about money - but I'm not convinced it is actually. But for sure, at times Vidic has gone about things the wrong way last season.

  7. Vidic has apparently agreed a new deal. This is very good news for United.

  8. James, sorry mate but your blog is the most consistently negative thing I read. Every other day there is something slagging off Fergie, his decisions, actions, comments etc. I think you need to take a deep breath and try and write something a little more constructive.

  9. Yeah. Let's hope he doesnt change his mind as the deal is not sign yet.

  10. Great news about Vidic agreeing a new deal. Lets hope we can put the Evra talk to bed now.

    Hopefully the extra money in his pocket will settle him back in the side and we will see the Vidic we saw in 08/09 more than the unsettled Vidic of 09/10.

  11. Dave et al,

    I'm hoping this isn't some sort of elaborate PR stunt in bid to drive up those ticket sales (have you see the news about tickets going on open sale?). Vidic or his agent hasn't commented yet, but yes, if he signs it is the best news we've had all summer.

  12. Simon,

    I'm not here to bloke smoke up Ferguson's arse. If you want to me to constantly praise United then I'm afraid this is the wrong blog for you.

    I will however praise the team and the manager when they deserve it. But when the manager or players gets it wrong I will continue to question them.

    In case you don't know, a lot of fans' are seriously pissed off with Ferguson on a number of fronts - but personally I'm less than happy with him because he publicly supports the Glazers.
    The reason we haven't been able to bring the type of players to United that would keep us on top is entirely down to the owners.

    Ferguson is the greatest British manager in history, but since the late 90s he's been very good when he's been allowed to spend heavily (see Fergies transfer link in the left hand sidebar). We are about to find out how good he is without any money...

    The Glazers are not the only issue.

    Football is a game of opinions and as I've pointed out, Fergie has made a lot of blunders when either going for the wrong player or not even trying to bring the right player to the club, as is the case with Sneijder; but, like I say that is just my opinion - it counts for nothing - apart from the fact many fans' would probably agree on the players in question.


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