Posted on Monday, 15th March 2010 by Chudi
‘United are there for the taking’, ‘They are drastically weaker’ etc and it was easy to see why people would come to such conclusions having just lost arguably the best player in the world Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. And it appeared the nay sayers were right after the loses piled up but having forced our way to the top of the Premier League as well as dominating AC Milan in the first knock out stage of the Champions League it appears we are going some way to show that as usual big players come and go but United will remain.
Losing a player like Ronaldo will affect any team but after Sir Alex asked the team to pick up the slack, it looks like Rooney has taken the onus upon himself to make up for the goals that Ronaldo took with him and is well on course to equal or even better Ronaldo’s record 42 goals in the 07/08 season.
Although always a good player, Park has stepped up a couple of levels and we have really benefited from his presence on field his energetic and workman like performances allow other players to get on with their game and at the same time he still retains a level of creativity and poses a threat to goal.
People laughed when we signed Antonio Valencia claiming he is no replacement for Ronaldo and they were right. Although he plays on the right wing that Ronaldo once called his, he is nothing like Ronaldo. But that isn’t to say he has not been a revelation for us and a genuine shout for signing of the season. A winger in the truest sense of the word, the club and Wayne Rooney especially have benefited from his signing as he has provided assist after assist and also popped up with a goal here and there another positive is that unlike Ronaldo, Valencia can often be found tracking back to help with the defensive side of things too.
Nani has enjoyed some what of a rebirth this season and is playing like the player that we splashed £17m on. He has shown what he is capable of (nobody will forget his performance and ‘goal’ against Arsenal at the Emirates) and if he can maintain a level of consistency, the poor start he got off to at Old Trafford will be forgotten.
Another player worth of a mention here is Dimitar Berbatov. An easy target due to his hefty price tag the Bulgarian has often found himself on the receiving end of some harsh criticism but its fair to say his performances have improved this term. He is on course to equal the same number of league goals Rooney got last term (he will still get criticised for not scoring enough) and his general play has improved, as has his attitude. Yesterday it could be argued that he played better than Rooney despite Wayne scoring two goals to his one.
United have done well this season considering the ridiculous injuries we’ve had especially in defence and I would wager that had we not suffered such defensive injuries we would be in an even better position than we are now. If we retain the league or win the Champions League it will hopefully put an end to the talk of United being weaker having lost Ronaldo and Tevez.