What will Manchester United look like in the upcoming season.
With three summer signings already completed, Sir Alex Ferguson has definitely made an impacting statement. At the start of last season Wayne Rooney‘s decision to quit the club due to its inability to sign top players might just be the keyword that Sir Alex had been looking for. The Financial fair play rule is to be inducted from next season so as Sir Alex rightly said , this summer it will really be “hot”.
The classic style of playing out wide using the 4-4-2 formation might not be seen next year with the addition of Young. Although Young can play as a winger, but it would only mean restricting Nani or Valencia to the bench. With superb performances from both Nani and Valencia Sir Alex will be having trouble to keep them out of the starting lineup. This only means a change in the formation.
Although Man Utd is waiting to prey on a star midfielder, but somehow I feel it will be unlikely. Rooney has shown hints of passing ability like Scholes and had played almost like an attacking midfielder in the last half of the season, linking up with fellow players and playing the final pass. If such be the case, then the midfield could possible look like Jones/Fletcher playing a defensive midfield role. Nani/young and Valencia occupying the wings. Carrick/Giggs or a possible newly signed midfielder playing the Central Midfield role, and Rooney being the Fabregas or Van Der Vaart for Man Utd. A 5 man midfield would help Man Utd dominate possession and play with a rhythm. Barcelona once again exposed the vileness of Man Utd’s midfield in the UCL final. To compete with the star studded midfield of Barcelona Man Utd needs to dominate possession which can only possibly be done by dominating midfield. It would take some time to settle into the new formation but it would definitely come in handy.
The forward line of Man Utd is unquestionable at the moment. Bulgarian footballer , Dimitar Berbatov had his best season with the team and won the Golden Boot which makes it easier to clear the doubts of the attacking capabilities of the team. The young Mexican sensation Javier Hernandez was a wonder buy for the club and is being called the “Buy of the decade”. He netted 20 times in his debut season and drew attention from the Spanish giants Real Madrid, which shows his class. Rooney is also coming back to his prime form and the team heavily relied on the England star to see Man Utd through the UCL final. He shone with a goal but failed to carry Man Utd all the way . All in all Man Utd managed to score 78 times, which is more than any other team in the English league.
The Defensive ability of the team is not bad either. The ever prospering partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Vidic is wonderful to watch at times, but recently due to Rio being prone to injury the back four does look shaky. SAF’s addition of Smalling and Jones to the squad is a testament to the fact that Rio’s illustrious career might be coming to an unfortunate end. The Da Silva twins are talented youngsters who will alternately occupy the side back positions along with Evra. The back four is incomplete without the goal keeper complimenting them. Here comes a small twist in the story. Edwin Van Der Sar’s capability to control the defenders with his calmness and anticipation was an advantage to the team. With him retiring this year Man Utd had a busy time in the market looking for a goal keeper, keeping in mind the crisis which took place during the post Schmeichel era. The confirmation of the signing of David De Gea raised mixed reactions from critics and fans. There is no doubt about his talent but the question remains on his experience and ability to handle pressure in a team like Manchester United. The only answer to it at the moment can be his victory in the U-21 team that won the 2011 European Championship and helping Atletico Madrid win the Europa League the previous season. However only time will tell whether he can become a long time replacement of the enigmatic Edwin Van Der Sar.
So, as for now the reshaped formation leads to a 4-1-3-1-1 formation, which hopefully will help the club in its coming days and make things even better.