Is this ONE thing that both Manchester United & Chelsea lack what will hold them back in Europe?

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As we head towards August, England’s two top clubs from last season, still have not secured their priority signings, namely a world-class playmaker. The Luka Modric saga is becoming ever more protracted and United seem as further away than ever of securing Wesley Sneijder. It’s fair to say then, both clubs look frighteningly light in this area at this moment in time.

Unless Chelsea sign a world class playmaker, they can expect further heartbreak in next seasons champions league. They have boasted some of the worlds best midfielders during the Abramovich era and still do, but what they have been missing all this time is a genuine trequartista. They need a player capable of playing between the lines and who possesses the guile to unlock even the meanest defences.  The acquisition of Deco looked like the final piece in the jigsaw, but after a bright start the Portuguese faded drastically, unable to cope with the physical demands of the premiership. Chelsea’s need for a playmaker is now more urgent than ever, if only to get the best out of Torres. In the premiership their pace and power has covered up their deficiencies in the creativity department, but they will be found out once again in Europe unless they act.

Modric is the perfect player to fill the void. The Croatian’s ability to glide around the pitch and find pockets of space in even the most congested areas has blues fans salivating at the thought of him plying his trade at Stamford Bridge. It will be interesting to see how far Chelsea are willing to go to get their man (despite Redknapp’s protestations he is not worth 50 million) it may be Spurs succeed in pricing the pensioners out of the move. Joao Moutiniho is another possibility, he is undoubtedly a talented player but he brings the risk of being unproven in a big league. Yet another injury to Essien (who seems to be auditioning to be the next Hargreaves) has thrown a spanner in the works and understandably Villas Boas will be anxious for a replacement but he must not lose sight of what he needs most.

After being massacred at Wembley by Barca (and indeed overpowered by Man city a few weeks earlier) United will be under no illusions of their need for a playmaker. Fergie has known for a while but has staved off the inevitable by relying on the increasingly sporadic brilliance of Scholes. The ginger prince’s retirement means there is no more time to wait, a replacement is needed now or United too can look forward to nothing but disappointment next year in Europe. Scholes will be difficult to replace (as Fergie acknowlowdged when calling him one of the top four players in the world, a ridiculous exaggeration but at least it indicates he must be thinking big) but in Sneijder they have the perfect man.

The Dutchmen is the worlds best midfielder outside Barcelona, capable of doing everything Modric can plus possessing a superior passing range and a knack for scoring crucial goals. His performance at Stamford Bridge in 09-10 was the finest of the season bar Messi’s four goal show against Arsenal, and you only have to watch it again to appreciate the sheer quality of the man. It is understood wage demands and his age are a stumbling block but United should take a gamble and pounce if they can, for he is worth it.

Even if both clubs were to get their targets, Barcelona would remain clear favourites to beat both should they meet next season, but without a playmaker of the required calibre they can save themselves the bother of making the trip. To triumph in Europe it is inevitable both would have to overcome Barca or Madrid (or even both) and at this point there is a chasm in quality between what Spain`s top two can put out in midfield and what England’s top two can. Even Man City and Liverpool now boast stronger midfields than the pair.

Chelsea and United are prime contenders to take the league title next season but Europe will prove elusive again unless they acquire that man who can make the difference when it matters most. 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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  • Indyfan says:

    Modric plays for tottenham and is not for sale. Don’t you read?

    BTW he’d also be the perfect player for most teams, needs. Don’t treat Tottenham as a supermarket for valuable players. Go stir up trouble some place else.

  • I have always loved to trust Fergie’s judgment but d experience of d two last finals btw us& barca, coupled wt d fact dt we (man utd) won d last premier league bcos Arsenal lost steam along d line and Chelpe (Chelsea) crumbled& succumbed to pressure wn it mattered most, our midfield has bn very mediocre since Owen Hargreaves had a relapse& Gigsy’s legs started wobbling wt age; we def. require at least, one major play-maker wch Carrick can never live up to, except one of our fledglings urgently step up. I am beginning to also believe d Glaziers don’t want to invest adequately again. If barca, upon winning d last Champions league still spend more dn 6o million pounds(Sanchez&Fabregas, probably)&Fergie still suggested yesterday d little we av spent was becos we lost 5 veterans in a row &still sold up to 5 players, dn it is clear we are now walking d path of Arsenal. I hope Fergie is not getting paranoid not to realize d truth

  • Mark says:

    After Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal Spurs have won the 4th most trophies in history. We are getting back there and will have a 60000 seater stadium in the next 3 years or so. Without Abramovich Chelsea like historically are an average mid table side. Abramovich will leave in the next few years to cut his losses then what? I hate this Chelsea is a big club crap. Leave Modric he is staying.

    • James says:

      You are a joke. Aston Villa have won more trophies than you, are they a “bigger club”? Nottingham Forest have won more European Cups than everyone barring Utd. and Liverpool does that make them the third biggest club in England?

      • Mark says:

        You muppet you know nothing. Spurs have won 2 Leagues, 8 FA cups, 6 league cups (i.e. different names like Milk cup, Carling cup etc.) 3 Europe cup equivalents like 1 Cup winners cup and 2 UAFE league cups and a few charity shields. I know Notting Forrest won 2 European cups under Mr Clough but I am talking about TOTAL trophies.

        • My mum says:

          Alright alright let’s not get side tracked about who has the biggest willy.

          Spurs don’t need the money and Modric is staying out of principle. Well done Levy. (who incidentally has a bigger car than all other chairmen)

        • James says:

          You dick head- learn to read, as you clearly cannot understand the point being made, just because you have won trophies does not make you a big club, to be a big club you have to be competing to win trophies NOW. Nice how you happened to miss out that Aston Villa have won more TOTAL trophies, so are they a bigger club? You are a team from the 60’s, nothing more. Most Chelsea fans don’t really want Modric, just to make that clear, the only reason they would prefer him against others is that he has already proven himself in the PL. He is incredibly over-rated and no Chelsea fans want to see us spend anything like £30million+ on an adequate player.

  • Jared says:

    Liverpool and Manchester City have better midfields? Perhaps in numbers but certainly not in quality. Out of both only Yaya and Silva can hold a light to what both Chelsea and Manchester United possess. That being said I completely agree that both need a dictator in midfield to challenge the Spanish two who are head and shoulders above the rest in World football, on paper of course.

  • Chelseaoz says:

    Hey, Mark, Spurs were a big club in the 60’s, Liverpool were a big club pre premier league. Now the table has turned . Manu have always been a big club, now Chelsea join the elite four with Arsenal & Man City. Sorry Mark, Spurs are a long way off, keep dreaming. If we want Modric, we’ll get him, he will not develop a career with Rottenham. He wants champions league football, thats why Torres left and to a BIGGER club.

    • Mark says:

      Spurs will be back because we have supporters world wide. Abramovich IS Chelsea without him they are nothing. He will leave at some point and that will be the end od Chelsea. Spurs will in the next few years get a 60000 stadium and then We will be fully back.

  • Henry Nicks Kizito says:

    This is a very erratic article!!
    1. “Sneidjer is the best mid-fielder in the world outside Barcelona” is completely false. If you look at the statistics, Berca’s best midfield duo – Iniesta and Xavi are lagging behind Fabregas in terms of passes completed, dribbles made, tackles, assists and goals, over the past five seasons. Where does that leave Fabregas vis avis Sneidjer?
    2. “United is in great trouble if Scholes and Hergreaves are not replaced” is also wrong. How many matches did the two start in the last season? How far did United go in the Champions League and the Premiership?
    3. “Man U has not replaced Scholes,” wrong. SAF did this long time ago. He bought Anderson, as Scholes’ under-study. Scholes’ exit is an opportunity to Anderson to step up. Don’t forget that players grow with responsibility. Jack Wilshire is a good example. You remind me of the situation when Beckham left, and the cynics were underrating Ronaldo, the same way they’re underrating Anderson. When he later became the best player in the world, they were quick to shurt up.
    4. “Liverpool has a better mid-field” Wrong! The likes of Henderson and Adam are only big fish in small ponds. Gerrad is old and injury prone, Meirreles is unsettled, may be Lucas. But I don’t really see that mid-field far away from United’s likes of Carrick, Anderson, Nani, Fletcher, Young, Giggs and Valencia.
    5. You seam to forget that Rooney sometimes performs Scholes’ role as well.
    6. The author does not take into account the style of play – the various systems that United can employ in the absence of a specialized trequartista, with absolute success.
    7. The author seams to suggest that Bercelona is unbeatable because of their superb mid-field, forgetting that they never reached the Champions League final, the season before last.

  • Travis Bickle says:

    Mark, Abramovich will leave: Who said that to you? Roman himself? LOL stop kidding yourself. You are a feeder club to a BIG club like Chelsea. Accept it and jog on sweety.

    • Mark says:

      We are not a feeder club. Abramovich cannot stay foreever. Did you support Chelsea before he took over? What did you say before? We will not sell Modric to Chelsea. Your dream will soon be over. The average age of your side is high.

  • whistleblower says:

    Anderson eats too many pies.

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