” I’d also like to remind you that we’ve had bad times here. The club stood by me, all my staff stood by me, the players stood by me. So your job now is to stand by our new manager, that is important”
The words above were said by Sir Alex Ferguson on his last home match in his long and illustrious career. And after reading our Twitter timeline in the last few days many a Manchester United fan would do well to remember them and get behind the man Sir Alex chose as his replacement David Moyes.
In his first 6 months in charge of Manchester United, Moyes has had a few highs but in the eyes of most fans more downs, in all fairness to him though he was always in a slightly losing battle unless he came into the club and announced he was signing Messi & Ronaldo in exchange for Tom Cleverley and Anderson. Also let’s not forget he is also working under a Chief Executive who is new to the club as well and eager to make a good impression.
So after defeats to Spurs, Sunderland & the early exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Swansea what could Moyes do to turn it around?
The current squad is the same squad which won the league last year so is it a case of them not performing well, losing their edge or poor selection by the manager?
When you look at the squad you look at some of the players who are backup players and you have to think that some of them are not good enough. Anderson, Fabio & Nani all spring to mind as “dead weight.” it’s disappointing in the case of Fabio who when you look at the progress made by his brother Rafael should have been looking to kick on although it’s worth noting Fabio couldn’t force his way into the QPR team that was relegated last season. Then there is the likes of Cleverley, Valencia & Young all of whom feature regularly in the Manchester United line up but never impact the game as much as their talent dictates, Moyes needs to be tough with them and say “shape up or ship out”
There are a few fringe players who would also benefit from a bit more game time, the likes of Büttner who is a left back with a decent amount of pace and a ferocious shot on him. With Evra advancing in years and also rumblings of him wanting to return to his native France for me Büttner would be a more than capable replacement. Jesse Lingard is just back from a lightning loan spell in the Midlands and has staked a claim for the matchday squads, indeed he was an unused substitute in the home victory against Swansea this past weekend and hopefully he gets a look in because as Birmingham City fans will tell you he makes daring late runs in to the box and finds space. Nick Powell is currently out on loan and is another who is getting rave reviews, with talk of Moyes recalling him to send him back out on loan to a Premier League team it seems silly, let’s see if the lad is Old Trafford material, same with Zaha. If someone asked me who would be my future a United midfield would be at the moment I would say Zaha,Powell, Lingard & Januzaj.
There has been talk of a “£200m war chest” but I can’t see Moyes spending all that in January, especially with the potential risks involving January transfers taking a while to bed in. A lot of the talk is centred around this apparent gaping hole in the center of Manchester United’s defence and whilst the first choice of Vidic & Ferdinand may be creaking a bit and in the formers case rumours of him wanting him to leave the club, there is more than enough decent cover already contained within in the 25 man squad with the likes of Evans, Smalling, Jones & Michael Keane all possessing great talent and potential.
An area United may look to strengthen this window is the forwards, with Rooney & van Persie having an injury hit season and also murmurs of them eyeing the exit it may be time for United to bite the bullet and hit Diego Costas rumoured £32m release clause and get him in tone squad, yes he wouldn’t be eligible for UCL but United have to concentrate on their league campaign to make sure they are in the competition again next season. Another forward they could move for would be Jeremy Menez of PSG, out of contract in the summer he is a player who they would save on the transfer fee so could afford to offer him a bit more. Menez is a great player to tuck in behind the main striker owing to his reading of the game and overall movement and if Rooney or RVP do move on he could help Hernandez or Welbeck really kick on.
Another area they realistically need to strengthen is the holding midfield role. The holding midfielder should provide you with a bit of meat in the tackle and also cover for the defence so in that respect Phil Jones would be your ideal man but with him constantly being switched from one position to another he isn’t getting the time to really master any. Arturo Vidal has been linked to United and would be a great addition to the squad, a midfielder in the same mould as Paul Scholes with a never ending reserve of energy and a ferocious and fiery temperament he may provide the engine room that United need. Another midfielder United could look at bringing in is Real Madrids Nuri Sahin. He didn’t really show his true potential when he was loaned to Liverpool last year although that may have been down to Rodgers playing him in a more attacking role than he played in his time at Dortmund, he also doesn’t seem to have settled in too well at Madrid where he has been sent out on loan from for nearly two seasons after some understated performances for them so he may be available for around £10m. Jonathon Dos Santos may be a purchase with one eye on the future, the Mexican seems to have fallen back down the pecking order at Barcelona despite some impressive performances at he start of the season.
Fantasy purchases for me come in the form of Reus, Gündoğan and Bojan Krkic but to move for any of those in this window seems to run a risk of not giving the players enough time to settle and expecting them to hit the ground running which sometimes they don’t and it ruins their hype and the fans soon turn against them. Either way it seems any business will be done late on the window again but United fans may be hoping that it doesn’t turn into another Felliani.
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