Manchester United, a name synonymous with the Premier League era, the top dog.. How things have changed.
With Chelsea bringing back the Special One, Man City building a super squad and Liverpool mounting a resurgence under the very talented Brendan Rodgers, the tide is shifting, and very quickly. Manchester United need to rebuild the wall before it is destroyed, and there are a number of things that will help them to do it.
The first thing that needs to be outlined is the lack of genuine talent entering the Manchester United ranks at the moment, they have been linked with countless players, from Cesc Fabregas last summer to Arturo Vidal this summer, and at one stage Cristiano Ronaldo (albeit paper talk), but none have proved true.
These are the players United should be looking at, but without champions league football, is that viable? In short no.
Although, all hope is not lost. At its core United have a decent squad, they just need a few marquee signings at the back and in midfield to make them a strong squad. I don’t think they will get Mats Hummels, he’s to good to risk a break from European football for a few seasons. However, I believe they should look towards raiding Roma for Kevin Strootman and Mehdi Benatia – both talented players who with the right ‘incentives’ (wage packets) could be willing to make the move, and would greatly help United’s cause this season.
There have also been rumours circulating on social media linking the Red Devils with Angel Di Maria, while the signing of Marcus Rojo is expected to be announced this week according to various outlets, which would be a good start at improving United’s back line. I think the voice of the fans is clear – sign some players Ed.
This leads me on to my next point – Ed Woodward. What exactly is he doing when he’s returning to Manchester for urgent transfer business? Is he double jobbing or are we all just missing something?
If you’re going to tell fans that there is £200 million to spend they want to see a figure close to that actually spent. There are stories at large suggesting that he is unable to convince the big players United is were they should be. It does makes you wonder, did Fergie know this was coming? Did he see David Gill leaving and think ‘you know what, I don’t think Ed is up to it’.. It’s a possibility.
However, he is still learning in his new role. He got the Adidas deal done and deserves at least another 3 transfer windows to make his mark, taking him to January 2016.
If you look at United’s starting eleven on Saturday afternoon, it really isn’t difficult to see the problem – no offence to the players involved, but Ashley Young is not a left wing back and Jesse Lingard is not a right wing back. Young at left-back was terribly exposed, especially in the build-up to Swansea’s second goal. He failed to anticipate like a left back should.
However, this problem should go away once Luke Shaw is fit again, same for Rafael on the other side, who should excel in a wing back role. But again this highlights a lack of signings – the squad is thin, and despite there being seven injuries, deploying Adnan Januzaj at right wing back after Lingard’s injury proved that there is a real problem.
Finally, the biggest thing required to rebuild the wall that was once so dominant is Louis Van Gaal. He needs to be given time to do what he wants with United; to build them in his mould, sign his players and implement his tactics. What the fans need to remember is that this is not his squad, and he needs time to allow these players to understand his system and how he wants them to play. I don’t think he can be fairly judged until next season.
Do you think Manchester United will return to their former glory? Leave a comment below.