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Manchester United
Posted by Mark Payne on 08/07/2012

The Olympics has been an extremely satisfying experience so far. Unless you are a fan of Team GB’s football contingent of course, or Australian. It is unlikely Sir Alex Ferguson shed any tears as the British Isles’ Frankenstein 11 fell to South Korea on penalties this week, thankfully without injuring any United players.

Injuries have been synonymous with Manchester United’s midfield for too long now. Ever since Roy Keane hung up his hip replacement we have mourned his loss in the middle of the park. Owen Hargreaves came so close to filling the void, only for his knees to fall off and cut him short, so to speak.

This summer we will experience Luka Modric not joining Manchester United because he is too expensive. This is a sight that is becoming more and more familiar. Daniel Levy, of Tottenhem seems a fairly hard-nosed negitiator, and United will not be forking out the forty million pounds he desires for the Croat.

What United have spent money on is another attacking midfielder in Shinji Kagawa. If pre-season form is anything to go by this guy looks to be a bargain and will inject some pace into the final third. But not the middle third. Perhaps United will be playing the 4-0-6, or donut, formation again next season.

It is interesting that the manager has not joined up with the first team in the latest round of friendlies. There is more than a suspicion that he has remained at home to tie up our remaining transfers. Those should include any two from Robin Van Persie, Lucas Moura and Leighton Baines.

For me personally, our most important business of the summer has already been completed though. Nemanja Vidic is on the comeback trail and Fergie has signed on for another year. With Chelsea losing Drogba and looking wobbly, and City facing financial fair play, am I allowed to dream of redemption?

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Posted by Ian on 08/07/2012

Kagawa is not enough , we still lack a playmaker and some power and drive in the midfield , we have ONE left back and no defensive cover and finally up front are totally reliant on Rooney , no more signings in these areas another season at looking up at City .

Posted by Abubakar on 08/07/2012

Payne, we still need a defensive midfielder cos kagawa is not.

Posted by RedrobV on 08/07/2012

In terms of Fergie not flying out, he has told
of cutting this down due to health. I would not
read too much into that.

Posted by Patrice- Kigali on 08/07/2012


There is hardly any redemption without a defensive midfielder. If you want to know what I am saying, look at what Bosquet (Excuse me for the spelling)of Barcelona, Song of Arsenal, Tiote of Newcastle, Alonso of Real Madrid etc do to their teams.

I would spend about 20-30 million pounds on one of them instead of an attacking midfielder or winger.

United for ever.

Posted by David Smith on 08/07/2012

Usain Bolt is willing to sign....

Posted by Rahul on 08/07/2012

We need to replace Scholes and Giggs. Carrick and Fletcher (please be back!) are good options, but we probably need two more. Anderson and Cleverly need to stay fit. And play well too. We have good players in the middle, just that they need to stay fit and pull their weight.

Posted by kardajo on 08/07/2012

@ patrice -kigali

I looked at all those players, and what I see is a whole bunch of teams that didn't come any closer to winning the title than Utd did by a long long shot.

Don't get me wrong, your point is legit. Even if we don't play with a CDM in ever game having a legit one on the bench would certainly be a boost especially in big games when we need a bit more in our spine.

Our current options our Carrick, Fletcher (maybe), and Jones if we convert him. Carrick had a really good season, but assuming he will have a good season again next year might be a bridge too far. But the 4-0-6 is a pretty exciting formation. I'd love to see it again this year at least for some matches.

Posted by Micky ashley on 08/08/2012

Kagawa is never enoucht we need another creative midfielder to be add to so dat we can use Rooney as top striker upfront for too to win the golden boat n reclaim the title back man united make me bored this summer transfer is about time Glazer sell the team to Qutar oil money.

Posted by oz on 08/08/2012

Chelsea is wobbly??

they seem to be doing pretty good in the transfer market compared to us.....

Posted by Aussiered on 08/08/2012

As we stand if the Pl started on Saturday, would United look to have strengthened the squad this summer.
Be it with signing, departures or the return from injuries.
We have lost Park, Fabio Owen and Pogba. signed Kagawa and Powell plus we have a returning Vidic, Anderson and maybe Fletcher. Berbe hasnt gone anywhere and Little Pea has gottn over the second season which always adversely effects new EPL players. We also have a host of younger lads who have had a year out on loan.
So maybe we should consider that unless that one player
Who has dreamt of playing at O T turns up we will be going into the season as is.

Believe in United

Posted by Johane on 08/08/2012

Man United must by Tiote,He will be cheaper and relevant

Posted by Klaatuken on 08/09/2012

This pre-season unlike previous years, United's results does not seem to inspire confidence, with many nil-nil draws, small margin victories and yet another defeat to Barcelona. Don't let the penalty shoot-out fool you, they were comprehensively outplayed by Barca.

Kagawa will not be enough this season and now that we have been snubbed by Maura, it looks like we will struggle to re-claim the premiership. Van Persie! For me, he will always be a Gunner....and I actually don't think he will fit in. Constantly injured and moody and sulky!!! Spend the money in midfield!!!

Posted by Aaron Mark Hendrix on 08/09/2012

Lucas will NOT join united,Neither has Hazard,and it's unlikely that RVP will too.Why?Coz we didnt cough up the money for the 1st two,and wont cough up enough for RVP.Lets face the facts,in today's climate,we're nobody's in the transfer rounds.aWe're starting to look like Arsenal,and without being rude,what have they won for some time now?It's not eazy to grow and nurture talent man.Sometimes we need to buy the ready made.But we're not even close to the toop 5 sides in terms of spending power.I'm not saying we should pay over the odd's for almost every player,but,that if the right one is there,we should cough it up.And it's not just Lucas or Hazard or RVP,it's been goin on for sometime since Ronaldinho.Amaziing how Fergie has kept us goin despite all that but surely there'll come a time when we cant compete both off,and sadly also,on the field.We need to adress this issue but I ait got a clue as to how or what needs to be done..I just know we're taking the plunge already,real slow..

Posted by Maxitaxi on 08/09/2012

I agree with @Klaatuken. For Mike Phelan to say we're closing the gap on Barca, was dispelled last night. They toyed with us in the first half and when they lose the ball, they get it back next tackle. We are miles away from reaching their standard!

I'm glad we didn't get Moura and I think Oscar looks a far better player with Brazil and was five mil cheaper. He'll be a very good signing for Chelsea and how did we miss that one?

Why Fergie wanted another midfield/winger, unless Nani is leaving as rumored, is beyond me. I agree on Van Persie and can't see how he will fit in. Tiote or Llorentes, who wants a move, would be a better fit

Kagawa looks decent but we need defensive cover, Vidic, Smalling, Jones, Ferdinand, can be injury prone and Evra getting on. Rafael is playing well for Brazil though but can be too erratic in his tackling.

I still think Berbatov can do a creative job in midfield and is paid enough to do what the boss tells him and we’ll save thirty mil!

Posted by Maxitaxi on 08/09/2012

Good points @Aaron Mark Hendrix and I was only thinking the other day how we are beginning to look like Arsenal and look what the last seven years has been for them. I heard recently that almost one tenth of the planet supports United, how can we not sign the very best players!

Maybe that is Glazers business model, to nurture and cultivate and sell on for profit, sprinkled with a couple of marquee signings to keep us happy. This makes the club just below absolute success but highly profitable.

Maybe we've had our twenty five years in the sunshine!

Perhaps we'll be bought by some oil sheiks or Russian oligarchy and we can then compete with City, Chelsea and PSG. However, Barca and Real do not usually pay silly monies for players, (except Ronaldo and what a bargain he was) and yet they are probably the best two teams in the world right now.

Which player would not agree to sign for these two, even if they could get more pay at City, can this be said for United right now!

Posted by Maxitaxi on 08/09/2012

There you go, according to Soccernet, Fergie may ask Carrick to play center half due to injuries at the start of the season and he wanted to spend fifty million on Lucas Moura and Van Persie!

Like Arsenal last year, if you slip up badly in the first few games, title is lost.

I love my team and have done since 1963 but I do worry, not just for the Reds but for the direction that our beautiful game is heading.

Now John W Henry willing to sell the Anfield name to raise funds, what next, Glazers to sell naming rights to Old Trafford??

Dear oh dear.

Posted by Manufan on 08/09/2012

I think its about time we all took a chill pill and matter how much we want to win...a business is a business and we can not afford to be reckless.
I assume that - to win the premier league has to net less than 30 why spend more than that to achieve it - no one knows the future at the moment and it looks bleak..should we lose money just to get a long as we are in the top 2 or three United will still be popular... the only people who can afford to lose money are the mega rich...hence why Chelski and PSG and City dont care..Obviously we want RVP but we wont pay through the nose - we are obviously getting a Left Back after we loaned out Da Silva - will that be Baines..who knows.. I think we need a defensive Mid..but quite rightly most teams sit back against really should we play with one..I sure miss Roy Keane

Posted by Aaron Mark Hendrix on 08/10/2012

I think the United "project" isnt the most appealing one at the moment.We'll always be there or thereabouts,have a well respected gaffer,but sadly,the "project" which is what most players say entices them these days isnt an appealing one.Liverpool look like they have a better "project" than us for cryin out loud.We've never attracted the top players from South America,no disrespect to those we currently have,but you dont hear Neymar sayin he wants to play for us now do u?Neither are we up there in terms of the european elite anymore.We've got prestige no doubt,but not the drawing power and I think that's solely down to the fact that we dont have the players that might make u feel like "we could start a dynasty here" at the moment,and dont look like we're planning to buy them either.But credit to the guys we have,they've given us everything and I respect them for that.But we lack that extra "class" and without that,sadly,I dont see us winning much this year.Still hope we do though..

Posted by Faichaimond on 08/10/2012

Personally I think signing two injury-prone forwards (That is, if we get RVP. Kagawa can't even stay fit for 3/4 season in the Bundesliga, how is he going to compete in the English game I'm not sure) will be a huge risk. Not to mention the excellent Danny Welbeck will be playing at the wing more often, which is not his preferred position. Rooney will also need to change roles many times(support striker vs RVP/Chicha/Welbeck, or main striker vs Kagawa)which further causes confusion in the team.

Posted by David Smith on 08/10/2012

Signing RVP, even if he is a bit of a sick note, is far better than not having him in the squad. Besides, playing in a side that wins trophies, unlike Arsenal, can do wonders for a player's luck with health and injuries! Rooney needs help up front. Welbeck is far from the finished article and might never meet the lofy expectations put on him; Chicharito, after last season's debacle, has a lot to prove or he'll be moved on sooner rather than later; and Berbatov, well, he may have a soft touch and a few tricks, but he's never really been the answer at Old Trafford. We threw away the legaue last season on goal difference; literally handing the Mercenaries our trophy without our captain, who is back now. De Gea won't have another first half like he did in 2011. Chelsea and Liverpool are stronger and that bodes well for us when they play Citeh. We couldn't have played any worse in our two matches against them either; the 1-6 was a fluke and the 0-0 so out of character.

Posted by surdeeq on 08/11/2012

sign Robin van persie is preverable than looking for a attacking mildfilder bcos many goals were losted last season due to only ROONEY without assistance and goal is more important in a match.

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