Views on 2013/14 Season – 05/06/2013

Congratulations to all those that are connected to Manchester United Football Club – owners, Board, Manager, Coaching staff, non-coaching staff, players and fans for winning the 20th title for the prestigious club.

A special thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson for his distinguished stewardship of the Club we love for 26½ years. His legacy is very much unlikely to be surpassed and we wish him well in his retirement.

Welcome to David Moyes as he begins his reign as Manager of Manchester United Football Club. I hope you go on to achieve as much feat as your immediate predecessor at least in terms of trophies if not in length. It will be important that you be your own man. Your skill, attribute, characteristics and personality got you here. It is important you embrace Sir Alex’s legacy. No need to fight it, ignore it or try to out-do it. Just be you.

Well done to the Glazers for letting Sir Alex be. Whilst I, as a fan, still detest the level of debt you loaded on the Club, I am humble enough to still admit that by letting Sir Alex be, United continued to maintain its success on the pitch. It is important, if not more so, that the Owners do likewise with David Moyes. The Owners have got to back him in the transfer market. The good news is not a lot needs to be changed in terms of structure – but new players have got to be brought in to refresh the squad and replace those that are in need of a new challenge or have become disillusioned at being at Old Trafford for so long. Some even have failed to deliver on their potential.

In my opinion, I believe United need a maximum of five players to come in to either bolster the squad or replace players exiting the club through outright sale or retirement. One deal has already been completed in Wilfried Zaha. The players I will be mentioning in the rest of this post are players already linked to United – very good players in fact. Some may be unrealistic but will only be so limited if the Glazers refuse to come up with the cash needed to conclude the deals. The players I’d like to see join United this summer are: Gareth Bale – £80m, Cristiano Ronaldo – £65m, Thiago Alcantara – £18m and Marouane Fellaini – £24m. I am not jumping on the bandwagon here. I believe each of this players will bring a different dimension to United’s game and will also give the team a very good chance of not just winning a trophy in Moyes’ first season, but should retain the title and get to at least the Semi-final of next season’s European Champions league.

Let me list my full squad for United if these deals are done.

1.Fabio da Silva – 2.Rio Ferdinand – 3.Patrice Evra – 4.Jonny Evans – 5.Nemanja Vidic – 6.Chris Smalling – 7.Phil Jones – 8.Rafael da Silva – 9.Wayne Rooney – 10.Danny Welbeck – 11.Robin van Persie – 12.Michael Carrick – 13. Shinji Kagawa – 14.Tom Cleverley – 15.Wilfried Zaha – 16.Cristiano Ronaldo – 17.Marouane Fellaini – 18.Thiago Alcantara – 19.Gareth Bale – 20.David de Gea – 21.Anders Lindegaard – 22.Ben Amos.

From the above you would have noticed the following departures:

1.Paul Scholes – 2.Ryan Giggs – 3.Bebe Oliveira (£5m)– 4.Kiko Macheda (£5m) – 5.Antonio Valencia (£10m) – 6.Anderson Oliveira (£10m) – 7.Luis Nani (£20m)– 8.Ashley Young (£15m) – 9.Javier Hernandez (£35m).

Getting the four players in I previously mentioned should cost United no more than £187m in transfer fees alone. United should be able to raise some £100m from sales making it a net spend of £87m. Nike will likely contribute to that net spend amount. This should also be the bulk of spending United will need over the next 3 to four seasons with good reserve players coming through in Nick Powell, Jesse Lingaard, Angelo Henriquez, Keane brothers, Davide Petrucci, Larnell Cole and especially Adnan Januzaj.

I agree that £80m for Gareth Bale is definitely too much and that he should cost no more that £60m but with Real Madrid also interested in making him their marquee signing, I’d expect Daniel Levy to create a bidding war and drive up the price. I suspect Gareth Bale will choose staying in the premier league above moving to Spain if he can get into one of the top 4 premier league teams. I doubt he fancies going to another London club for fear of fan backlash making the two Manchester teams his real options. It goes without saying that going to United would be more attractive to Gareth than City if one considers the history and pedigree of both clubs. Choosing United will also mean Gareth can be close to his family (unlike moving to Spain) in Wales whom he visits quite often – rumour has it that he often gets homesick if he doesn’t visit Wales in more than two weeks. If Gareth hands in a transfer request and specifies United to Daniel Levy then that should help with negotiating down the price but we all know Levy to be a hard man to bargain with.

On Cristiano, his public moves so far – refusing to sign a new contract and putting up his villa in Spain up for sale – shows that United have a real chance of getting him. The Club and fans love him and he loves them back, the only issue is if Real Madrid will prefer to risk losing him for nothing and Fiorentino Perez is currently using him as a political pun in his re-election campaign although he is unopposed.

On Thiago Alcantara and Marouane Fellaini – meeting the exit clauses should do the job for United. Fellaini clearly wants to play for a top team and should be willing to follow David Moyes to Old Trafford. At €18m, going for Thiago is a no-brainer. He is unsettled and unhappy at Barca and should settle well at Old Trafford considering the amount of Spanish speaking players United have.

In trying to avoid creating a selection headache for next season, I think Moyes may need to sell one of Javier Hernandez or Wayne Rooney. Those two also represent United’s biggest chance of recouping some of their cash outlay on transfers. United should be able to get at least £35m for either of them. In contrast, Moyes may think having both players in his dressing room is a good selection headache and that he will prefer to deal with the respective players’ ego. But I think he’d want as little headache as possible in his first season as United’s boss so he can get on with matters on the pitch. Wayne offers a lot of versatility that Javier doesn’t. I know Wayne would like to play up front more but what he really wants is to enjoy his football. As long as he’s enjoying his football, where he plays on the pitch matters little to him. It is his versatility that may mean he gets to stay ahead of Chicharito.

Nani and Anderson have not lived up to their respective potential. They may have come to the point where they need a new challenge to jump start their football career. With Nani entering the last year of his contract next season, now is the best time to sell him to get maximum money. Anderson will hardly be a regular starter for United and if he wants to be a part of Brazil’s world cup team next summer, then he’ll need to move away from United.

Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia are both 28 in July and August this year respectively. I’ve proposed they be replaced by Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo – two of current top three world footballers behind only Messi. Ronaldo was 28 in February whilst Bale will be 24 in July. There is no doubt on any football scale or yardstick used that Ronaldo and Bale and infinitely better than Young and Valencia. Besides, Young can be used as a cash plus player in securing Bale although I can’t imagine Spurs not wanting a straight cash deal so they can go after their own transfer targets.

The remainder of the departures are no-brainers in Bebe and Macheda. I can’t see both having a future at United and I suspect Moyes will share my view. Scholes has already announced his second retirement and I think Giggs should do too and become a coach at United.

If my above opinion on transfers pan out, United can easily play a European 4-2-3-1 formation or 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 in the league.
David D G
Rafael Rio Vidic Evra
Fellaini Carrick
Bale Rooney Ronaldo

Rooney can step up to join RvP with Fellaini and Carrick Stepping up to form a 4-4-2 or Rooney can step into the middle of Fellaini and Carrick with Ronaldo and Bale stepping up to form up in 4-3-3.

The subs will or can contain first class players in: Lindegaard, Jones, Fabio, Kagawa, Alcantara, Welbeck and Cleverley.

The above 18 man squad look like a team full of goals and should trouble any defence on the planet if David Moyes can get them playing together as team. The Midfield core of Carrick and Fellaini should also provide the necessary protection and defensive cover for the offensive players to work their magic. The front four players will need to play very fluid football with great off-the-ball movement and should be energetic enough to press for the ball and win it back high up the pitch thereby allowing for fast transitions.

We all know every David Moyes team is usually disciplined, solid and work as a team.

If the Glazers can bring the above team together and the players respond well to Moyes’ methods – then I have no doubt that United will be favourite to retain the title and perhaps even win the Champions League within the next two seasons.

Follow me on twitter on @grandverve

Views on 2013/14 Season – 05/06/2013

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