At the start of this blog I want to make it clear that this is not aimed at all fans, but it is aimed at the growing majority. Although I suspect that majority are not match going fans but part of United’s growing global reach.
This season we sit proudly at the top of the league, we have witnessed the emergence and rebirth of a number of players, and we look (albeit perhaps trying to forget about Saturday) like our destiny is in our own hands.
However come the end of the transfer window and the usual whinging began on message boards and forums about the lack of transfer activity and how we haven’t broken the latest record for transfer fees. I for one am getting fed up with the constant calls for a football manager style overhaul of the United squad in each and every transfer window.
Ignoring, if you will for a moment, the Glazer’s ownership of the club, the signings that were made this summer have been a real success. In Chicarito and Smalling, Ferguson has bought in two promising youngsters who have really taken to life at United. Admittedly the jury is still out on Bebe. These players will get the chance to learn and develop whilst not having to play every match. This allows them to come on better and appreciate how special their surroundings are.
Signings like Chicarito and Smalling, have for the most part been the style of Sir Alex whilst in charge of the club. Yes there has been the odd big name splash, think Berba, Rio or Veron. But this has always been the exception rather than the norm. Ferguson’s reputation is in bringing in the lesser known players, Vidic, Schmeichel, Irwin, etc.
This style of signing have many advantages, the first being the fact that they get a chance to come in and bed down before becoming automatic starters. Someone like Evra might not have recovered from his début if it had been from a rival club. Now he is firmly part of the fabric of the club. Players appreciate this, it allows them to become one of the squad, and I firmly believe this increases squad morale and for the most part encourages a sense of loyalty in players to the club and if not the club then the manager (and in United’s case they are hard to separate).
What these fans who are calling for mass signings want, is a whole load of new players. Why? It will disrupt everything. Furthermore they believe the press that this United team is a busted flush, but sadly for those same Journalists who praise our rivals (and told us in September that Chelsea would definitely be unbeaten this season, remember that) it is United who top the league, yet apparently we are shite. It is nonsense.
Yes the team could do with a signing or two. I personally think this squad is light one central midfielder and it will be light a goalkeeper in the summer. However beyond that anything else would be surplus to requirements and would simply bloat what is already a talented squad, whilst limiting the opportunities for our large band of talented youngsters. More signings than that would require players to leave, and I accept that could happen in the middle of the field if more than one needs to come in.
Signing big stars is no guarantee of success and often leads to big egos. Also those players who move around and attract big fees offer nothing in any loyalty to their manager or club (if there is any loyalty at all). They also come in and change squad dynamics. Ferguson builds teams over years not days and this squad feels well positioned to continue to develop, just imagine this team with a ball winning playmaker in the middle. One signing could do that, but I doubt signing 4 or 5 would make it any more likely.
Finally, whilst we all believe it is the Glazers and not Fergie talking about value in the market, whoever wrote the party line had it right this transfer window.
£35m for Carroll and £50m for Torres give me a break.