Why for Manchester United success could come at a costly price


I will be upfront about the team I support: I’m a Manchester United fan and proud of it but it is this love for the club that has made me question the success of this year and what it may bring.

Premiership Champions in waiting barring a Devon Loch style collapse (as Sir Alex said “my father backed that”, so lets hope its not like father like son). Sure the team have played well recently in patches, the cruise past Chelsea was just the right response to the spineless defeat at the Emirates the week before, but this is a faltering Chelsea team who seem a lot easier to break down than in previous years and the constant tinkering upfront has no doubt taken its toll on the strikeforce. The United scouting network should be immensely proud of themselves for the bargain of the century that is “Chicharito” , a natural born goal scorer with a schoolboy passion for the game, a genuine rarity in these days of primadonnas and Balotellis. However for every Chicharito there will be a Bebe and its disturbing to think that Bebe cost more; maybe it’s a question of time for Bebe or finding his best position in the team but to date he hasn’t set the world alight.

Last summer was a summer of consolidation and well thought out purchases with the exception of Bebe, Chicharito and Chris Smalling were done deals early on and Sir Alex publicly stated that he  didn’t believe he needed anyone else. The fans were crying out for an attacking or defensive midfielder but the management team took a punt on Owen Hargreaves recovering, a bet that backfired in late 2010 when he lasted 5 minutes on his return and was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the season (and potentially the rest of his Man Utd career). The failure to lure Wesley Sneijder who was casting admiring glances at Manchester United must surely lie with Inter Milan’s refusal to lose their manager and talisman in quick succession. The usual suspects were mentions, Diarra (Lass & Mohamadou,) Rafael Van Der Vaart, Jack Rodwell, Jordan Henderson but nothing happened because Sir Alex believed his squad was good enough to not panic buy another squad player.

The Question is: What did Sir Alex see last summer that made him think a centre midfield of Paul Scholes (aging) Darron Gibson (unproven) Darren Fletcher (Solid) Michael Carrick (dreadfully out of form last season) and Anderson (who’s development seemed to stop after his first year at the club) would realistically be able to take on Cesc Fabregas & Arsenal and Frank Lampard & Chelsea. To say it was a ballsy move is an underestimation of titanic proportions but for some strange reason it has worked. Although granted Giggs wasn’t in the above dilemma he has proven to be the perfect answer to it. Hs performances this year have been outstanding and have given Carrick the space & freedom to play more football than if he was partnered with any of the others. This and the introduction of Chicharito have proven to be the ground upon which the League triumph has been built.

The Big question is whether Fergie will spend this summer or if he will continue to deny that the midfield needs reinforced. Perhaps the answer will only come at Wembley on the 28th May but the concern is that should United pull off a shock (in the media’s eyes)  and topple the Mighty Barca, the belief would remain that United’s players are good enough to continue for another year or possibly two.  The fact is that there is surgery needed on the heart of the team and winning the European Cup may delay this. Don’t get me wrong, as a United fan I want them to win with all my heart, but I was in Rome in 2008 when it was clear that some changes needed to be made – changes that never materialised.

The best teams never stand still they are always evolving and my fear is that this evolution may take longer than expected and offer hope to the Chelsea’s and Man City’s of this world for next season. Success is sweet but sometimes it can lead a hangover. Regardless of the result at Wembley I hope to see the required signings this summer and the process of Sir Alex building another team around the youth coming in and the experienced new recruits, but lets hope these new players are signing for the reigning European champions. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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  • richard says:

    Easy there cowqboy, just stick to the being a fan that happens to love football. It’s when folks like you, those that watch and like but don’t have a real clue about the subtlties and nuances of this great sport start writing with such assururety that I get a tad bit ticked off. You join at least 99% of the football blogs / sites and 85% of the traditional press that have started to take yourselves way to serious.It’s when you start to believe that you have the same capcity as Sir Alex and even Tony Pulis for that matter,that I first smile than dismiss. It isn’t my plan to be so dismisive of your efforts but you leave folks like me no other choice but to say that you are so full of shit and than never return.

  • Liam says:


    Ive played football at a high level and also coached at semi pro level so to say i know nothing about the sport is a farce. Your post did not state any true opinion or fact so why dont you go back to playing football manager and leave adult discussion to the big boys. Also may i say your grammar and sentence structuring leaves a lot to be desired.

  • Rusmani says:

    There is cost for everything. Even sometimes , success needs sacrifices! First of all there must be a will to excell! No short cut to succeed!!!!!

  • Benihill says:

    Liam, you don’t have to defend yourself against Richard.

    Richard’s post was clearly trolling. Unless of course he really is that patronising, narrowminded, arrogant and lazy. In which case he needs to be really worried, as his character (or lack of), will greatly influence his future.

    Good post. I’m not a United fan… but I can see that the squad is not as strong as it has been historically. However, SAF has acknowledged as much in the past but has been loathed to spend in a highly inflated transfer market. Having said that he has a strong track record in objectively evaluating the squad and, for me, there’s no doubt he’ll be knocking on the Glazers door for some cash this summer.

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