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Missing a World class defensive midfielder?!

By: Guest writer.

Patrice Evra said after the Tottenham Hotspur defeat “It was like we stayed in the hotel! United deserved to lose after the poor first half show. The first 45 minutes had no speed, no focus, we didn’t win a lot of challenges and we conceded some silly goals”.

With six Premier League games completed 9 goals against, 5 of which were in the league in three games at Old Trafford and only one clean sheet to date. Last season Manchester United in the league recorded 20 clean sheets a fantastic performance when baring in mind the 39 significant injuries the team suffered particularly central defenders, losing 1681 playing days to those injuries. Manchester City had 7 significant injuries losing 186 playing days to those injuries.

Are Manchester United’s weaknesses being addressed?

United conceded 19 goals at Old Trafford last season, the most since the Premier League began.
David de Gea had the best save percentage in his first season in English football (78 %).

The manager has stated “We will not lose the league again on goal difference, I can guarantee that “.

Buying the firepower of van Persie to add to Rooney , Welbeck and Hernandez ensures a wealth of top line attacking prowess to score goals and accommodate injuries , rotation. As we know adding goals to our locker is additional ammunition, but if we continue to leak goals at the early season rate United will surpass the record high of 19 goals conceded at home last term.

As has been highlighted Manchester United had a criminally high injury burden to contain last season and continue to do. But we have seen already our rearguard being breached with ease, being sliced through. Both Maroune Fellani and Moussa Dembele (twice) dictating the tempo and rhythm of recent games to leave Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in their wake. At a combined age of 75 years young and Including Michael Carrick a midfield trio of 105 years old. Who like us all are not getting any younger! and indeed beginning to display signs of quaking under the strain of their midfield duties. Yet Dembelle was available for a £15 million , for Manchester United to be usurped by the winners Tottenham Hotspurs in sealing the deal to sign the 25 year old Belgian , in the imagination of another on the ‘ radar signing ‘ want away Luka Modric to Real Madrid.

The manager acted after the acrimonious departure of Roy Keane in 2005 to fill the vacuum left by the box to box midfielder , in signing £18 .6 million Michael Carrick in season 06 – 07.To further add more midfield bite signing Anderson and Owen Hargreaves in season 07 – 08 for a combined fee of £32 million.
Hargreaves was effectively a crock when signed from Bayern Munich, Anderson yet to fulfill initial form displayed at Manchester United or previously at Porto in his favoured attacking midfield role. Anderson often is deployed in a defensive midfield space because of the lack of the clubs options for this role. Square pegs in round holes, tinkering. United most recent investment in the midfield inadequacy that 600 million fans voice repeatedly , Nick Powell from 2nd division Crewe costing £6 million , scoring 16 goals for the Railway men in league two as an attacking forward for Ferguson to indicate he will utilize the potential of Powell as a central midfielder. Shinji Kagawa costing a similar fee to both Wesley Sneijder and Mesut Ozil , £ 12 million has a huge burden of expectation on his shoulders , and yet to totally convince for ninety minutes in a ‘big’ game he is the oil for the engine room ,that Manchester United need to unlock defenses ? The jury is still undecided after an impressive start for the ex Dortmund attacking midfielder.
Manchester United in winning leagues, trophies have historically built the spine of the team with box to box mid fielders Bryan Robson, Roy Keane, Paul Ince, and the fabulous Paul scholes with a core of a No 1 goalkeeper , two nailed on central defenders , tough tackling box to box midfielder.
Manchester United’s current role call of the latter comprises Giggs, Scholes, Carrick in the twilight of their United careers , with Tom Cleverley (remaining injury free) Darren Fletcher (recovering from illness ) the failed as yet Brazilian, Anderson, the potential of Nick Powell and unproven in the English Premiership Shinji Kagawa.

Hardly the tough bruisers we have seen before grace Manchester United in previous seasons in breaking the bank to sign or develop the ball winning midfielder that win leagues and trophies .
There is ‘no value’ in the market today as the manager informs United fans , yet during his tutelage of the biggest club side in the world TM.

 

The Knight of the realm has overseen the signing of British record breaking transfer’s six times , Gary Pallister in 1989 , Roy Keane in 1993 , Andy Cole in 1995 , Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2001, Juan Sebastian Veron in 2001 and Rio Ferdinand for £29 million in 2002 . What has changed to not tackle the midfield issues that us mere observers recognize with United’s lack of a protective world class box to box midfielder . Parsimony in fact equates to stingi-ness, miserly. Not for a mere fan to further comment, on this site Truly Reds.

Who have Manchester United failed to sign recently that were on Manchester United’s midfield radar according to the ‘ Media ‘. Wesley Sneijder , Mesut Ozil , Ya ya Toure , Java Martinez, Cheick Tiote , Luka Modric and the previously mentioned fabulous Belgian, Mouusa Dembele.

 

As the fantastic John Lennon sang, just ‘ imagine ‘. The biggest club in the world would run riot. If and only If?
With a net spend on transfers less than Stoke City, what can you do for the biggest club in the world.

However before I dive for the Wiliknson Sword razor blades, to cheer me up, I looked at only our English Premiership rivals to the the 20th League title . I dare not look to Spain, Germany or indeed Italy.

Arsenal have Jack Wilshere (returning from injury) Aaaron Ramsey, the snip signing Mikel Arteta from Everton and summer addition Santi Carzola , with Abou Diaby as the fulcrum for the north London outfit.
Champions league winners Chelsea continue to strengthen in purchasing Oscar , adding to Ramires ,Obi John Mikel , Romeu and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.
The noisy neighbours have Ya ya Toure , Javi Garcia , Ex Aston Villa work-horses James Milner and Gareth Barry, newly purchased ex Toffee, Jack Rodwell as the youth at the Etihad . To compliment ex Gunner Samir Nasri. A midfield with aggression to be taken seriously with the over deployed David Silva as the starter motor of the City engine room.

What a merry go round of transfers and spurious links to our great club , that is Manchester United.

United may well buy a defensive midfielder in the January transfer window, but history tells us differently! Manchester United bought in 2010/ 11 Anders Lindegaard as planned cover for the much scouted David de Gea from Athletico Madrid. Only in 2006 did Manchester United buy players in the January transfer window, both Patrice Evra and Nemajna Vidic, to cover for the transfers of Gabriel Heinze, Jaap Stam, both outspoken individuals against the regime that is the autocratic biggest club in the World.

 

In a fans poll on the Man United official site on the 30th Sept 2012, Paul Scholes achieved 47% of the vote as the player of the month for September. A 37 year old, who had been mothballed to be brought back to add options to a seriously underfunded midfield!

 

Do Manchester United need to address the midfield inadequacy in the January transfer window or other areas of the squad?

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4 Responses to “Missing a World class defensive midfielder?!”

  1. Eddie says:

    There’s either 2 approaches to this problem. Either we go to pressing as a team or we do as you say and buy a “defensive midfielder”.

    With the players we have and our insistence to play 2 wingers, we’re better off trying to press as a unit. Buying a defensive midfielder doesn’t fix the gaps in between defense, midfield and attack. We would have faced the same fate against Spurs if we put De Jong next to Scholes. One man can’t fix our midfield issues. A defensive mid might be a step in the right direction but it’s a kneejerk one unless we change our system accordingly.

    Also, including any of our attackers in your argument doesn’t make any sense. It’s primarily a midfield issue as well as an issue with our tactical setup. Many fans act like buying RVP is inextricably linked to not buying a CM. That’s not necessarily the case as we bought Powell is a CM. He’s just a very young one and not the one many people wanted for our current issues in midfield.

    We don’t need players like Dembele either. In my eyes, he’s a similar player to Anderson. Sandro adds more bite to the midfield than him so not sure why we’d be after Moussa. The bigger question should be why are we playing a system and putting out players who repeatedly leave a lot of space in behind them and ahead of them in such big games?

    If anything we need mobility and energy in midfield combined with some defensive solidity. It’s not like we don’t have the players capable for such a task. The problem is, they’re not being played!

  2. I am with Eddie,midfield is the issue!

  3. Graeme says:

    Owen Hargreaves was perfect for the role. I wish he never had the knees of a 75 year old.
    Being able to win the ball should be a pre-requisite of all midfielders… as long as they know what to do when they get it.
    I think if Anderson stays fit we should stick with him. Spend the money on Neymar to go with Rooney and Rvp.

  4. Well I think that Darren Fletcher is the best at doing the defensive midfield job. He is no Roy Keane or Patrick Viera, but he has good distribution of the ball and his passing is very good. He tackles and closes players down and is assertive. I love Anderson also he shows more of a willingness to to go forward and score goals than Fletcher. Anderson certainly has more energy but I believe Fletcher is a better passer of the ball than Anderson. Flecher is more steady in his play.

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