Manchester United: Good but not invincible
Before I start giving the reasons for the above statement, let’s rewind our watches back to the time when Ronaldo was at the centre of everything that happened at Old Trafford. He scored around 40 odd goals in a calendar year for Utd. His crosses, free kicks, passes and finishing were the lifeline of the team. On further rewinding the watches a few years back, you would find the likes of Cantona, Keane, Beckham etc. (Ah! the list is endless) being the spine of the team. They carried the team through any situation. During their reign, the Reds were a organised and disciplined team. There never stood a chance for the opposition to play their game during their presence. It was a treat to watch that period.
Ok, enough of the past. Now let’s forward our watches to the present time. Talking about the current team, there is a lot of team spirit amongst the lads and goals are also coming (along with the results!), but not in the style which used to, some 5 years back. Their attitude towards the game is also aggressive as the Gaffer demands, but what lacks is the experience. It reflects on the pitch, with players committing errors when something out of the way happens on the pitch. For example, the midfielders not defending well when the team is under attack or not tracking the runs of their counter parts.
Today we have finishers like Robin van Persie, Rooney and poachers like Hernandez but you require someone special who assists them and provides them with the decisive pass. It’s like having a strong right foot and weakened left one. It can help you walk but not run. The current lads (Cleverley, Anderson, Powell etc.) are extremely talented but inexperienced. This can be affirmed by the fact that Scholes was called back from retirement to help the team. His return to the team then stabilised the proceedings.
When you take a look at all the previous Man Utd teams, Sir Alex had somebody who used to pull the strings in the midfield, which I think is missing today. The transfer news of Sneijder joining Man Utd would have filled the gap, but eventually he stayed at Inter. Rooney sometimes plays in the midfield position to support the attack. But can he be at the heart of the midfield? Time will tell. At this time, a very good midfielder needs to be put in the team, let it be via the Transfer market or the Current Team or the Youth Academy.
Although everyone accepts the fact that the team is going through a rebuilding phase, it does not mean we should overlook the weak points during this rebuilding phase. With Smalling, Jones and Evans at the back, Welbeck Hernandez in the attack, these departments looks good. But the weakening midfield is the cause of concern. It’s about time that Scholes and Giggs hang up their boots, but before that the Gaffer must have someone of equal caliber to replace them. Let’s hope that it happens.