Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The summer of discontent...

David Gill, United's CEO, promised the fans that this summers spending would be wrapped up before the World Cup got under way - nothing happened - the World Cup came and went and no signings were forthcoming. Mind you Gill also said Glazer would be bad news for United...yet he's still there spinning a different line.

Eventually Michael Carrick was signed at a huge expense, the club agreed to pay Spurs an eyebrow raising £18 million - this for a player who'd cost a fraction of that fee two years ago from the then relegated West Ham United.

Of course there's nothing new about Fergie spending big, many United fans believe that the club are their own worst enemies. Who will ever forget Peter Kenyon's statement that United were 'cash rich' on agreeing to pay Leeds United £30m for Rio Ferdinand, this at a time when Leeds were on their knees? IF you act like the village idiot with the cheque book, don't be surprised when you get treated accordingly.

Many United fans have been asking why couldn't Fergie have spotted Carrick's potential while he was at West Ham United, in doing so saving the club a fortune? The only other signing thus far is Tomasz Kuszczak who the club signed from West Brom. The midland's club initially rejected an offer of £2.5 million, eventually the deal went through with United offering cash plus two young players. The actual final terms of the deal haven't been released.

However, as things stand the club looked to have actually made a small net profit on signings this summer with United selling Ruud Van Niselrooy to Real Madrid for around £10m and of course United agreed a £12m fee with Chelsea for Nigerian star John Obi Mikel, who never actually kicked a ball for United.

At the time of writing United could still make one more signing before the summer transfer window closes. However, one player who isn't coming by the looks of things is Owen Hargreaves, his agent has today stated that no deal will be done this summer. Hargreaves has had a very mixed reception from both the down market tabloid hacks and the moronic elements among England fans, this view has changed somewhat following good recent performances in his favoured central midfield role for England

Midfield has undoubtedly been a problem area for Fergie over the last few seasons, whether or not Carrick will prove to be the long term answer, time will tell, what we do know is that Ferguson wants another midfield player and of course United have been linked with a number of central midfield players including Marcos Senna of Villarreal, will Fergie re-ignite his interest in the Spaniard, now that the door has closed on the Hargreaves deal?

United fans and many pundits are also asking about the wisdom of allowing Ruud to leave and not replacing him, United are relying on stars like Saha, and Ole who've both suffered terrible injury problems over the last two years. The club also has Rooney and Rossi, the former brilliant, but the latter is very much unproven and in any case both are second strikers and not true centre forwards

United are currently sitting at the top of the fledgling Premiership table, but this is after only three games and obviously it's far too early to get carried away - and they could have easily lost against Watford last weekend. The usual suspects Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will eventually rise to the top, as cream does. Now is not the time to judge Fergie's spending this summer, but many believe it has been largely a summer of discontent


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