Current Man United Squad is Good Enough: No Need to Buy

Twenty more days of wait and once again, we will kick off another season of Premiership football. This time around though, there is a buzz around England as the fans feel that there are six clubs, namely Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester City, competing for the Premier League title. With the concept of “top four” gone right down the gutter, the blue half of Manchester and the Spurs fans in North London are confident that their respective clubs can bring home the trophy. Having already spent £60m on Jerome Boateng, David Silva, and Yaya Toure, City are also pressing for the signature of James Milner, Fernando Torres and Mario Balotelli. Though some fans might question the game plan of Man City, the new signings sure are bolstering their squad in every department under Roberto Mancini.

In an exclusive interview after Spurs played New York Bulls, Spurs manager Harry Redknapp underlined Man City’s role in the title race saying, “Manchester City will be a massive factor in the title race this season. They will eventually win the championship, whether it is this year, next year or the year after. It is only a matter of time until they win the Premier League – that’s my opinion. They have got such tremendous backing. And there is every chance it will be this season. They are only going to get stronger.”

Now these statements are not from an amateur, these are from a man who knows English football in and out.

So, in this situation, what does Sir Alex do?

He sits back and laughs at City. The reason being, he feels the current squad is good enough to do the job and bring home the title. Given his experience, you wouldn’t argue.

Like always, even this time during the summer, a number of top quality players have been linked with a move to Manchester United. Papers report United’s interest in signing Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Rafael Van Der Vaart, Luka Modric, Wesley Sneijder, Mario Balotelli, Luis Fabiano and Mesut Ozil. All these players are big name players having an ability to make an impact at the football club shortly after their inclusion but what about the players who are currently under contract and fighting for a place in the first team.

Considering Nani, whose career at United started off well but his inconsistency and injuries made the faithfuls wonder about the player’s quality. It was only until the time his quality shone and his heroics helped United crush Arsenal 3-1 at home last season. Similarly, players like Anderson, Berbatov and Obertan are prolific footballers but even though there have been glimpses of their genius, they just haven’t been able to find their touch at Old Trafford. So, why overlook such special talents who came to the theater of dreams with an enormous reputation, and sign a new star player?

United need to persist with them at least for a season as the Red Devils have a squad that “if plays” to its full potential can be the best in Europe. Signing an overseas star player would reduce the number of first team opportunities for youngsters like Darron Gibson, who are coming through the ranks. It would also limit chances for players who had been out with injuries for a substantial amount of time or for those who have had an off season.

Manchester United Goalkeeping Department

Manchester United have two top quality goalkeepers in Edwin Van Der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak with Ben Amos unveiled as a part of the first team for season 2010/2011. United have been linked with a host of goalkeepers amongst whom the most notable is Hugo Lloris. With Van Der Sar at United for at least one more season along with the Polish, Kuszczak, there is really no need to sign another goalkeeper. Kuszczak, who was signed from West Bromwich Albion has worked hard and waited four years to become number 1 at Old Trafford. He proved his class to the world by filling the void superbly well in Van Der Sar’s absence, keeping three clean sheets in eight games that he played for United. Ben Amos is currently 20 years of age and has made been tipped to go a long way. Having made an appearance for England at the youth level, he is high on confidence and raring to go if given a chance.

Manchester United Defence

Manchester United Defence is probably the strongest in England having a phenomenal mix of youth and experience. Gary Neville, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown and John O’Shea provide the experience necessary for the top level of football, whereas, Ritchie da Laet, the Da Silva twins, Johnny Evans and the newly signed Chris Smalling provide young legs. United also have the likes of Craig Cathcart, Corry Evans and Oliver Gill coming through the United ranks. Cathcart in particular has been hailed by Sir Alex after his loan spell at Watford the previous season. During season 2009/2010, United suffered horror at the back when United’s entire back line was out with injuries. Evra and Ritchie da Laet, who has a remarkable pace played well to cover up for the boys missing. Fabio Da Silva along with his brother Rafael have been quite a revelation since their arrival at Old Trafford. Chris Smalling was signed from Fulham earlier in the summer after a series of good performances towards the end of last season. Some may make arguments regarding Neville’s age and Ferdinand’s injury concerns but O’Shea, Brown, Jhonny Evans and the rest will cover well. Nine top class defenders with premiership experience make United simply impervous. United signing a top quality defender would limit the number of opportunities offered to some of the players who are currently in the United squad.

Manchester United Midfield

Manchester United Midfield have one of the most diverse in the world comprising of Nani, Anderson, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, Hargreaves, Valencia, Gibson, Park, Fletcher and Obertan. Nani and Anderson had bright starts to their United careers where in they both played impressive football and were the key to United’s midfield. Both these players have been extremely inconsistent over the past few years, especially Anderson, who on his day is one of the best in Europe.Unlike Anderson, Nani played astonishingly well towards the end of last season to earn himself a four year contract at Old Trafford. Marked as the “undroppable” by the press during his early days at Old Trafford, the previous season wasn’t the best for the English International. This could be his opportunity to re-establish his place in the center of midfield along side Darren Fletcher. Obertan missed out on preseason in 2009 due to injury. This time round, he is in the United States with the rest of the United team having an awesome pre-season, impressing everyone around. Young guns like Darron Gibson had a decent 2009/2010 season as well. Paul Pogba is regarded as the next Patrick Viera and with much praised Tom Cleverley and Rodrigo Possebon knocking on the door for a place in the first team, United’s midfield looks good. Park is a special player, who does a perfect job for the manager on the wing, whether it be tracking back or attacking. With about ten world class midfielders already at Old Trafford along with a couple coming every year through the ranks, United doesn’t need another midfielder.

Manchester United’s Strike Force

Manchester United’s Strike Force consist of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen, Frederico Macheda, Danny Welbeck, Mame Biram Diouf and the newly signed Mexican International striker Javier Hernandez. Though Berbatov had been disappointing in Rooney’s absence to score goals, Sir Alex agreed to give the Bulgarian another chance up front for United. Sir Alex’s confidence paid rich dividence when Berbatov impressed in the pre-season clash against Celtic. In the post match interview Sir Alex said, “Berbatov was the player of the match and he undoubtedly deserved it. His showing great and attested to his high class.” Signing a new striker of the likes of Luis Saurez would not let the young players like Macheda, Welbeck, Diouf or even Hernandez get enough football in the first team and add an unnecessary striker who would also limit the number of opportunities that Dimitar Berbatov gets to start.

Manchester United have an extremely diverse and a versatile squad with a fine youth system. Sir Alex has always ensured that a proper chance and a decent amount of playing time is given to most players in his squads of the past. Sir Alex sticking to his policy will let United come out with flying colours. At least for a season, United must persist with the current squad and not sign more players as it would help the ones currently under contract to showcase their ability to the full. You never know, what if Anderson, Carrick or Berbatov do another Nani and come up with splendid performances?

23 thoughts on “Current Man United Squad is Good Enough: No Need to Buy”

  1. I generally agree with you that United is good enough to compete, but you are a bit over the top: “Sir Alex’s confidence paid rich dividence when Berbatov impressed in the pre-season”. Rich dividend in preseason is an oxymoron. And you leave out mention that Hargo is injured again and is prolly retiring while Scholes and Carrick have inconsistent forms last year. United have a weakness and it is the midfield – you should point that out.

    1. They had the last 5 seasons together. Not sure how that changes their form. You are right to be optimistic but at least face the fact: Our midfield is our weakness and Berbatov has yet to pay off his rich dividend :)

  2. I agree with you that United is good enough this for this season, but if VDS retires, you better believe SAF is going after another GK.

    SAF knows that Kuszczak is a quality backup, but he’s never gonna lead you to a PL or CL title.

    Dont get me started on Berbatov.

  3. Great article.
    I totally agree with you.
    It’s what I had in mind as well.
    Initially I was worried about our over-reliance on Rooney for goals. Plus, the so called creative midfielder that we were lacking in midfield.
    But then I look back at our past seasons, especially the double winning campaign, we had Ando and Carrick playin well and they did not do this the last season.
    Hence, if they reproduce their forms, we’ll return to winning ways and creativity would definitely not be found lacking.
    Not to forget Obertan as well whom imo, can turn out to be hell of a player on the wings. Expecting him to make a big impact if he stays clear of his injuries.
    As for the strikeforce, no doubt the youngsters aren’t established and prolific yet.
    But under SAF, this could very well be the year they step into the spotlight and deliver.
    Macheda has lots of potential. Diouf had a phenomenal goalscoring record at Molde. And Chicharito might just turn out to be the ace in the hole. He looks very much like Owen in his prime. Lightning quick. But perhaps with an added advantage: his height.

    Despite us not having ‘big name signings’ this off season, I actually feel that we are better equipped than last season.
    I don’t see why do we need to sign all the ‘big names’ that we are linked with… just yet (Fingers crossed)

    But if Ozil is really now priced at 12mil, we should really snap him up.

    Great article mate. Keep it Up!

  4. Nani, Inconsistent but personally i think he’s over that and is now a vital player
    Anderson, Inconsistent and hasnt got over it.
    Scholes, past it
    Carrick, Inconsistent and makes some high profile mistakes especially defensive
    Giggs, who knows
    Hargreaves, crock
    Valencia, best midfielder united has overall
    Gibson, promising
    Park, works hard but nothing to show a lot of time for it
    Fletcher, 2nd best midfielder after valencia
    Obertan, nice potential but still needs experience

    Out of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester City ,United’s midfield wouldn’t even come 3rd. My point is there isn’t, on current form, 10 world class midfielders at united.
    In this day and age a clubs playmaker makes a huge amount of difference (see modric and fabregas) and quite frankily uniteds playmakers aren’t good enough.

    Fergie needs to buy a playmaker or make carrick up his game.

    1. You say it wouldnt come third yet the midfield dominated man citys in all 4 of the games last year. and we were not outplayed by any midfield we met except maybe arsenal at Old Traffoord and chelsea in the 1st half at home. where we got a lucky win. we were the equal of chelsea away and the 2nd half at old trafford. its typical that just because theres no big name in there we’re called not good enough. its the exact midfield that won 3 leagues and a champions league. how is it all of a sudden not good enough??

  5. @SeoLucifer
    I wouldn’t be bad getting Ozil for 12million, would it?
    about Obertan……he missed the preseason plus was injured for a lot of time. He might just turn into some player.
    Watch out for Ritchie da Laet this season.
    Thanks for your comment, really appreciate it.

  6. I’m a Red Devils supporter, but in the years that I have been following them, this is the least optimistic I’ve been in late July by far. In my opinion, the youth hasn’t shown much, and the aged are just getting older. I hope you’re right and I am wrong, but I think its between Citeh and Chelski this year.

  7. Why do people ecpect so many players to come through the youth system. at a club the size of United to have 1 player every season is fantastic because of the level of the team. How many players have come through the chelsea, liverpool, spurs, Everton, City, Villa etc youth systems in the last 10 years? City have had a few with only ireland, richards and onouhu left. And everton probaby 5 or 6 in rooney, gosling, rodwell, osman and the 2 boys upfront but only rooney and maybe rodwell is good enough for united. Liverpool 0, Chelsea 0. United currently have Amos, neville, o shea, brown, gibson, scholes , giggs, fletcher and wellbeck in their first team squad. not to mention players like butt, beckham, p. neville who we got the best of and then sold. United did not pay a penny for any of these players and all were at the club since their early teens. this is remarkable and the only club in the world who better it and sustain the high levels of united are barcelona. middlesborough and such clubs bring through a lot of players but no one of the standard to play at united.

  8. The fact is that United are missing a player to play behind rooney in their 4-5-1 formation. Scholes used to be the perfect player to fill that sort of role, but he cannot cover that amount of ground anymore and carrick and fletcher are holding midfielders. Anderson was bought to replace scholes but that hasnt materialized and if anything, he is a defensive midfielder. If United want to give themselves the best chance of winning in big games (against Big 4, city, and champions league), they have to buy a player like sneijder, ozil, or modric. Unfortunately, they don’t appear to have the money.

    1. i agree that a player in that role would be fantastic but last season was the first United played with rooney up top on his own and scholes did not play that role. the only time he evr did was when van nistelrooy played up top on his own in europe. Park and fletcher where the 2 that tried to do that role last year and they dont have the technically ability for it. gimmie 1 realistic player United could sign for that position. and ozil aint goin for 12 million.

  9. I’m anxious to see how Hernandez performs for you, as he’s been recently for Chivas proper and El Tri. Hopefully he can save you guys a bunch of money by being able to take over for a tired Berbatov with 20 or 30 left to play. If he can demonstrate his talent in the toughest of leagues, then hopefully he can keep United fans happy for many years.

  10. well as a united fan i want to believe everything mentioned in this article.but to be honest i think there is only 1 problem and that is the midfield. scholes and ryan is not getting any younger. and harg is injured all the time we got sick of waiting for him. if andersson can do well then we can survive otherwise we need another midfield player. oezil can be one option. coz carrick is not performing well and its been a while he played a good game. infact he is the reason bayern scored the second goal in the first leg

  11. Have to agree with SAF that they have a capable enough squad – but CL winning side i doubt. Just have a look at what changes from last season –
    1. expect more from obertan
    2. chicarito – fresh impetus
    3. maybe carrick makes the step up?

    gibson,evans played many crucial games last season so their coming into first team doesnt really change ManU as such.

    1. Anderson is NOT a replacement for scholes,
    2. hargreaves out again
    This leaves the most likely setup like

    rooney (berba,chica,macheda)
    nani – park – valencia (giggs, obertan)
    carrick/scholes – fletcher (anderson, gibson)
    evra -vid- rio/evans -nev/wes (da silva,da laet,fabio,smallin)

    AS you see only problem area is with cm/cam. Or they will have to go for a 4-4-2
    But will berba prove good enuf?
    Ideally I would like sell carrick/berba or both & get vander vaart/ ireland (both unwanted & available at low price- To keep finances happy)

    1. I think we need to give the players another chance. Anderson at times has been brilliant. Anderson also has had injury concerns which has kept him out. Carrick had a poor season last year but other than that he has been good. It’s so sad that people only point out the negatives. Give him another chance, he might just come good. As we saw in the World Cup, Park can do wonders playing at CAM…we need to give these players a chance. Plus with have Gibson, Possebon as the rest coming through.

  12. United are going to find it difficult to compete with City for bragging rights in Manchester. If United don’t get any more top players in then I’m afraid they will finish below City in the title race. The anti-Glazer sentiment at United is not going to help either. I see a rough season ahead for United.

  13. Great Article..

    but i think United need one quality midfielder or striker. United too much depend on Rooney.. United Don’t have player like Gerrard or Lampard so i feel they need one big signing….

  14. Funnily enough, despit the success, I still feel Fergie needs to buy:
    1) A winger: Coz Giggsy wont be around forever
    2) A playmaker: Coz Scholsey is probably gonna be gone too
    3) A new goalkeeper: Coz VDS is retiring

    I believe we have the GK bit covered with De Gea.

    However, I do also think that:
    1) No “star” players need be bought. The winger can be a kid with plenty of raw pace. The playmaker also can be some kid. A Sahin might be nice. Goetze as well. However, A Van der Vaart definitely would have been nice. Especially at 8 million.

    2) Johnny Evans and Gabriel Obertan need atleast a loan spell at a club where they can play regularly. A spell at say Sunderland may do them a lot of good.

    Nice post though mate, Cheers!

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