Manchester United Message Board
Losing to Chelsea ( and indeed to Bayern) is not unusual. United's record against both clubs is not marvellous. What is of more concern is the average age of both teams last week. On Tuesday United fielded their oldest ever CL team and the one yesterday was even older. I am trying to work out whether Fergie has lost confidence in his younger players, or whether its just an unfortunate coinicidence of injuries and lost form.
You could make out a case for Fergie wanting to 'go out' at the same time as his oldsters, so he plays them to the maximum; alternatively it could be that most of the guys who were supposed to replace them are just not up to it when the crunch comes.
What has been one of Fergies greatest feats is the almost seamless way he has transformed one winning team into another by introducing slowly new talent into the squad. Only once in the mid-90s has he significantly wielded the axe for new blood, and that was for internal promotion.
The likelyhood is that something similar will have to happen shortly, simply because of ageing. However its not clear there are the 'internal candidates' ready for promotion.
We are told there is money to spend. So does he spend it on top overseas talent? Indeed will this elite contemplate coming to rainy Manchester. Its proven a stumbling block before, add in the Fergie retirement factor and adverse tax situation and my guess it will prove difficult to persuade the very best to come. That leaves the 'promising' and the next tier down. Better I think to 'overspend' on British or at least known EPL talent. Cheaper in the longrun with the pound/euro exchange rate and tax rates making 'euro wage' levels difficult to match.
So my suggestions for revitalising the squad; Rodwell, Milner, Davies and Cole. £60m or so the lot. No 'fancy-dans' or 'exciting young overseas talent'. Just guys who could win our title back ( if we lose it).
The big unknown is Fergies own plans. Will he really want Mourinho shipping into City in the summer?
I would think a serious question for United is why they never looking like winning yesterday's match? Chelsea dominated the opening period and after going 1-0 up it looked more like Chelsea extending the lead until United's goal late on. And then you were just hoping for a draw.
Perhaps it was just one of those games. It happens. After all, you stuffed us at OT last year. And you played a demoralising match in Europe in mid-week where we had a break.
Or perhaps it was missing Rooney. You certainly looked like you were missing something yesterday, the sort of something that Rooney gives you. This is probably more worrying for you, for it suggests over-reliance on one player.
Or maybe it's a sign that your squad is showing its age more than Chelsea's. You were without Rooney. We were without our three first choice fullbacks and Essien, and with Drogba half-fit. Maybe Fergie's comments about squads getting older have a truth for you that you earlier wanted to direct at Chelsea.
Time will tell.
- 1 Reply to Robert M
Good questions Robert. My opinion is that United struggle against sides that nullify our strength out wide. Our central midfield is not strong enough to' force' the play against the very best teams. I thought we might struggle against Bayern because of this, but was surprised how well Chelsea's reserve fullbacks dealt with our threat, albeit Nani was brought on too late. Malouda and Cole kept our fullbacks occupied and pinned back.
United don't have proven young talent coming through in central positions. Anderson has not developed as hoped and the likes of Gibson are not top class. Hence my observation that Rodwell and Milner might be good acquisitions in positions where there is not an abondance of proven talent elsewhere. And rather than 'hope' a foreign acquisition will work, where frankly none have before for United in these particular positions.
United's squad is not old overall, but there isan age gap between players Fergie seems to trust and the rest.
Jim, i think Rodwell would be an excellent acquisition but not sure about Milner,cole coming on a free might just be capable of taking on the Scholes role but we have Anderson returning from injury who if he gets his attitude right could still become a star.
Provided Hargreaves does come back strong then we might have Cleverley coming through next season to challenge for a place.
Rafael now needs to push on and make the right back spot his own as Gary is getting exposed by pacey wingers and our wide right player is having to spend too much time helping him out.
- 1 Reply to willthered
Yes, most of that is possible. But you have to admit there are a lot of 'ifs' there. If Anderson, if Rafael, if Hargreaves...
I think there is a consensus that says Rodwell would be a 'good idea'. I can see little downside on taking Cole on a 'free' if possible. Milner is very versatile. Doyle would probable be happy to be a 'bit' player behind Rooney. We need a fit proven striker who can play the lone role upfront. Its too much to ask of Macheda etc. Owen and Berbatov for different reasons are just not that sort of player. I somehow doubt that even if 'a Villa' could be persuaded to come to Manchester they would be happy to play 2nd fiddle to Rooney. Doyle ( don't know why I typed 'Davies' before) has performed this role admirable this season.
I recall you were talking about O'Shea and how his wages might best be used elsewhere. My opinion is that if he had been fit he would have played yesterday and its possible that the yawning gap through which Malouda strode between Neville and Rio would have been closed by O'Shea's more muscular physique, and the first Chelsea goal would never have happened. He would also been useful in their penalty area for corners etc. He has clearly played himself into Fergie's first choice right back, so I guess that must make him an' idiot' as well.
Who is Fergie's first choice right back, O'Shea?
What team do you support?
O'Shea has never been a first choice in the team, in any position, and the last time he played at right back was when Rafael was injured.
But whatever, you had no right to say what you did, unless you were after an argument, and when I asked you why you said it, you refused to answer.
Now you come up with this bollocks about our youngsters not being good enough and that we should go on a spending spree .... so who's the idiot now?
I am not looking for an argument. I don't spend all day, every day on this site, so I missed your question, I have answered it now.
However I don't think I am mistaken in thinking that O'Shea had become Fergie's first choice at right back. Given that I do indeed think its 'silly' to contemplate getting rid of Fergie's first choice.
I didn't say the youngsters were not good enough or that we should go on a spending spree. I questioned why Fergie was picking an older side and gave as one possible reason that he had no confidence in the younger players when it came to crunch games. We are told by United that the £80m is available for purchases, I was expressing the opinion that I if indeed Fergie felt that new players were needed I would rather he bought 'Known' British players if possible, and listed a few possibles ( mistakenly typing 'Davies' instead of Doyle).
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