Saturday, June 18, 2011

Transfer blow for United: Fergie to fudge midfield problems from within? Search for new blood continues...

Manchester United have been dealt another huge transfer blow with the news that Luka Modric has announced his intent to move to Chelsea. The Croatian has confirmed that he has a clause in his contract which allows him to talk to clubs' who are interested in acquiring the Spurs midfield maestro. Although it has been reported that Manchester United and rivals Manchester City were aware of the player's intention to remain in London, it is nonetheless a blow, because both club's have been strongly linked to the player in recent weeks.

Fergie´s number one transfer priority this summer was to find a long-term replacement for the legend that is Paul Scholes. Scholes has this week confirmed what many had suspected, that is it was his diminishing influence in the United squad which led to his decision to quit while still at the top. It was a perfectly understandable decision. While there's no doubt that Scholes was no longer integral to Fergie's plans, the departure of such a well respected player who has done so much for the champions over the years only serves to highlight the glaring issues within the United engine room.

United and the rest of Europe's leading clubs are playing catch-up with Barcelona who currently standalone when it comes to their collective style of play; Barca have the perfect system – one that suits the players within Pep Guardiola´s superb squad. It is stating the bleeding obvious that players of the quality of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta are a rarity - but when you harness all three in the same team, the end result is poetry in motion and it´s no wonder  Barca are sweeping all before them.

While we all look on and admire Barcelona, the rest strive to do something about the Catalans grip.

So the search for answers and new talent goes on for Fergie. The United manager was also strongly linked with Wesley Sneijder, but it looks as though he will be staying  with Inter Milan; of all the players who have been linked to United, the Dutchman was the one who really could have made the difference.

Sami Nasri continues to be linked with United as well as other predators, but Arsene Wenger is  doing all he can to ensure the Arsenal star remains in North London.

Given the problems and the lack of obvious targets, the United manager might well have no other option but to utilise the players already at his disposal, and it´s worth asking what is the point of wasting millions on players like Bebe who will not improve the squad?

United may well turn to Wayne Rooney to provide some of the answers in central midfield: Rooney can pass, tackle, run and score goals; in short he has all the attributes there is no doubt about that. However, if Fergie opts to deploy Rooney in a deeper lying role, he might well need to add another top quality striker to augment his armoury. The United manager could also put the brilliant da Silva twins to good use in the engine room; like Rooney they have the skills for the job, they just lack experience.

Whatever else happens in the transfer market this summer, United fans should not despair; Fergie has so far done a great job and everyone connected with the club will continue to have faith in the manager.


  1. What's the point in whinging about the likes of Bebe....his actual cost was circa 5m, and it was thought that it was worth a gamble. Doesn't look like its worked out but its no major catastrophe. Then there's the fact that only a few weeks into the transfer window you are acting as though we may as well throw the towel in with transfer targets just because Modric has said he'd like to stay in London. We may well get Sanchez and will probs sign a holding midfielder and/or attacking midfielder. We also have so real potential in the reserves that given a shout could be outstanding (Pogba).

  2. Good article,
    Spot on in my view.My only concern, as you have mentioned is by using players from within,is the lack of experience and players not use to those positions.

    I don't think Rooney should play as a midfielder,his temperament is questionable when things arent going well.His best place is off the striker linking midfield.

    Its great talking about the likes of Pogba, Welbeck and Macheda etc,but can they hack it,week in week out, when it really matters, like Chicarito,Smalling and Silva twins have?

    There's no problem with Modric going to chelsea,its his choice. There are other players around who I think is worth a gamble,such as Martin in France.

    I really hope something is done about that attacking maestro, that 3 yard dead ball specialist the "defensive" midfielder carrick.

  3. Fergie's No 1 transfer priority this summer was to replace Van Der Sar. By all accounts,this has been accomplished.

    Schole's has been a lessening influence in United's midfield for some time now and no matter what the manager does to United's midfield, they will NEVER play like Barcelona. Their midfield have grown up together and they can pass the ball in their sleep.

    That sort of football has never been the United way and Ferguson will not change his philosophy now. He will strive to have better player's in his side and to play the United way and I, for one, can't wait to see it.

  4. a cental midfield of anderson carrrick fletcher giggs with cleverly as back up doesn't look that good does it?

    we were short in this area last year and we have lost gibson (decent squad player) hargreaves (ok always injured) and scholes (his infulence was diminshing but still quality in short spells)

    If we can't get modric or sniejder there is still quality out there del rossi is proably a better central midfielder than either of them and defour is a v good prospect.

    Not so sure about adam but he maybe worth a punt just to annoy queen kenny

  5. I for one would like to see Pogba elevated to the first team squad and getting a few starts. From what I've seen of him I think he will be a world beater in one or two seasons. Cleverley also should be given some starts. If we do fail to get the marquee signing in midfield we are looking for it could be a blessing in disguise for the kids we have coming through. I do not think that Carrick should any longer be an automatic starter. Though he is useful to have as a squad player he is simply never going to set the world alight.

  6. with what we have do you think we have a chance if we face barca next year? i think not. i feel we need to improve our quality especially in midfield.

  7. Rooney is quite simply not good enough in a midfield role. He is an out and out striker, and it is only the lack of creative spark in central midfield that makes him look decent when dropping deep, trying to impersonate the genius that graced our turf for 17 years from 1994 till 2011. And he doesn't come close.

  8. I dont think any marquee midfield signings will be made. Would love to get Wesley Sneijder but its not going to happen. Unfortunately we'll end up making do with what we have in midfield. As said above hopefully some of the young midfielders come through but we definitely wont be anywhere near Barcelona next season. Also, agree that Rooney does not have the temperament for midfield, leave him where he is. As for Carrick, he's simply not good enough against the top tier teams.

  9. Regarding the comments about Pogba: I haven´t seen enough of him to pass judgement on him yet, but I hope to see more of him in the not too distant future - assuming he is a good as his publicity.

    As for Wayne Rooney in midfield. At the back end of the season Rooney was asked about the prospect of him dropping a little further back and he didn´t rule it out - so we shouldn´t rule it out either.

    Fergie did of course need to sign a new keeper because the stand-ins are simply not good enough, so yes that was also a top priority.

    I don´t expect United to replace Scholes or come to that make any marquee signings in midfield. So I for one fully expect my scenario to play out and so the manager will have to make the best of what he´s got.

    And regarding the signing of Bebe - I don´t want to labour the point - but we paid over 7 million for him - nearly half of what it could have cost us to sign Sneijder a few seasons back before Jose snapped him up for €15m - my point is don't waste money and use it wisely; by large Fergie has worked near miracles since 2005, so don´t take my comments the wrong way.

  10. Re: Bebe...I think if you consider Bebe and Chicharito as gambles on two unknowns, it still worked out rather well (think about paying nothing for Bebe and the rest for Chicharito).

  11. What about marvin martin,he broke the record for assists in tha bundesliga,he's not as expensive and sought as our other target!

  12. give cleverly a chance, we may suffer for a year but let him gel and we may have another paul scholes on our hands for 10 years

  13. I observed that Rooney is not an out and out striker.I think midfield is the best position for him.Get Samuel Eto to partner Hernandez and I think the goal scoring problem can be solved.

  14. Aguero with hernandez and rooney behind them

  15. I have my doubts about Cleverley, but he should be at least be given a few opportunities to prove what he can do...

    As for the partnership of Eto'o and Hernandez - I think those two are too similar, however, I think Aguero and the Mexican could prove to be a very potent strike force with Rooney filling in behind them. Good shout. I´d also add that I´d sign Drogba because he can do it all on his own and that would give Fergie the option of playing with just one up front against the likes of Barca...

  16. Rizzle Man United,

    I have to confess I´m not that well up on Marvin Martin...


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