There’s no need for drastic measures…
I’m an optimist, and always have been, but after Chelsea’s victory yesterday all we can hope for now is a miracle if United are to win the title. The leaders do have some tricky games but their four point cushion at the top is enough to convince this optimist that this won’t be United’s record 19th. This season has been largely frustrating what with the Champions League exit and the failure to beat Chelsea, not to mention the early FA Cup exit with one of the club’s most bitter rivals. The season isn’t over, and I haven’t quite given up hope, but I’d like to review a couple of things. Here’s a very pro-United article in a time where pessimism rules the blogosphere.
Fingers will no doubt be pointed in the direction of the Glazers – and others to Dimitar Berbatov. The Glazers have put the club in a rather perilous position financially but on the field it will be Berbatov who will earn most blame from the critics. Berbatov has just had a difficult season and it would be a shame to see him leave the club in the summer. I’ve always been a big fan of the Bulgarian but I’ll admit that sometimes he can frustrate – especially when it matters most. The quality’s there, no doubt, and I’d like to see him stay at club for another few years where, hopefully, he can win over United fans. These stats may sway the more hard-to-convince fans. I’d give him another year to impress.
Michael Carrick, like Berbatov, have come under-fire in recent weeks. Last season was probably his best season with the shirt, although this time around, consistency has been the problem. There is doubt surrounding is future, but I doubt he’ll be flogged in the summer. If United are to add to their central midfield, I’d like to see David Silva or even a more defensive player, Steven Defour for instance. I’d like to see Carrick stay, he probably will, but I think Sir Alex may look abroad for a new central midfielder, not across town for someone like Stephen Ireland. If not, Darron Gibson looks ready to step up.
In other news, the defence has looked sharp and solid this season. Even without constant absentees Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, United have conceded the least amount of goals domestically this season, 27 compared to Chelsea’s 30 (after 34 games). That isn’t great – last season United had conceded just the 24 goals (and that’s from 38 not 34) – but it is still very encouraging that they have the best defence in the league. I believe that there’s no need to change much here especially with new acquisition Chris Smalling.
We shall also look positively at a new era. Luis Nani and Antonio Valencia have become United’s two premier wingers and long may it continue. It is not only Wayne Rooney driving the team but those two among others. It is true, however, that both wingers seem to do better with the presence of Rooney. Jonny Evans and Smalling will be understudies to both Ferdinand and Vidic, and Rafael will too emerge. There’s still inexperience but we’ve seen promising signs so far and I predict that United will continue to challenge Chelsea and Arsenal, and could go one better and win the Premier League (assuming Chelski don’t slip up now).
What I’m trying to say is squad overhaul and mass exoduses, like some suggested, are a no-no. Drastic measures aren’t required at the club because the team is good enough to win trophies. I also think Nani, Rafael and Gibson will emerge as first team players in the new campaign. I would welcome new additions, but I’m talking a couple not half a dozen. The current bunch are good enough, and even if there is little or no activity in the transfer window, I’m sure that next season would not be as frustrating as this one. That’s months away from now, though. Don’t blame me for bringing it up, it’s been ‘up’ for quite a while now…