Date:17th May 2011 at 2:10am
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Consolidation of Ferguson’s fourth great Manchester United team may quickly pave the way for the fifth.

So that’s that –  A draw at Blackburn was enough to ensure that United claimed Number 19, as has looked inevitable for most of the season. Yet on the eve of the famous overhaul of bragging rights to the most successful club in English football, and clarification that Ferguson has once again built not just an insatiable team, but a formidable squad, he may have to begin drawing up plans for the next one sooner rather than later.

It’s not that the same team couldn’t do it again next season. With the mercurial adaptation to English football of Javier Hernandez, scoring twenty goals in all competitions in his first year in England, and looking to be the signing of the season at a reported £6 million, there appears to be much potential for time to come. The rapid improvements too, in the abilities of Chris Smalling, Fabio and Rafael Da Silva have allowed Ferguson to play them, with confidence, in big games, when the likes of Ferdinand, Evra and O’Shea have had to sit out.

This too will please the United manager as at just 21 and 20 respectively, Smalling and the Da Silva twins seem to have very bright careers at Old Trafford. When combined with world class players such as Rooney and Vidic, the tireless Ji Sung Park, and the evergreen Giggs and Scholes, Ferguson could go on to win a thirteenth Premier League crown again next season.

The problem arises when future years are considered. The impending retirement of Edwin Van Der Sar, and filling the hole that the Dutchman leaves, is Ferguson’s biggest challenge in the summer. United experienced major problems replacing Peter Schmeichel and may encounter a similar worry if the right man isn’t signed during the early period of the window. If the squad is then consulted, uncertainty over some big name players of the past is highlighted. Paul Scholes, who isn’t the first team regular he used to be, still isn’t sure of whether to hang up his boots at the season close or not. The stalwart Ryan Giggs too, although displaying form and ability that continue to astonish, will not be around forever.

When you pair these two members of Ferguson’s “Golden Age” team with the uncertainty of the fitness of Rio Ferdinand and the obvious retirement of Van Der Sar, if Ferguson is to stay ahead of the game, as he has done on so many prior occasions, he must dip into the market this summer. He has been reluctant of late to spend big on overpriced players. However in losing so many old masters in the next few seasons it seems that his hand is now forced.

With speculation linking Wesley Sneijder, whose current team Inter Milan have had a disappointing campaign, Gareth Bale, who was crowned PFA Player of the Year in April, Alexis Sanchez and a whole host of big name Goalkeepers to Old Trafford in recent months, Ferguson could be well on the way to forging yet another successful team of Manchester United players in his already outstanding career.

It is not yet certain who the Manchester United manager will eventually bring in, or whether the team will reacquire the “Ronaldo factor” which Ferguson himself admitted was lacking during this campaign. Nevertheless with the blue side of Manchester looking to strengthen their squad for Champions League football and Chelsea too thinking of a reshuffle, if Ferguson is to sculpt a new team for a new era at Manchester United he will have to spend significantly to do so.

I don’t think the team will require significant spending as stated in the piece. I genuinely believe had we been luckier with injuries and absentees we would have been a tad more comfortable in winning the league. There will be some new faces but these are necessary rather than luxury signings like a goalkeeper etc

You do have to weigh up the arguments, do you cross the bridges when you get there in terms of replacing the likes of Giggs or do you plan ahead and try and second guess the outcome of events? Whatever path we take (and I expect the former) this summer should be an interesting one – Ed

Written by Oliver Jones of This Is Futbol


27 responses to “Will United spend in the summer to consolidate our position?”

  1. OllieWillie says:

    If Hargreaves is released and Scholes / VDS retire I feel we need 3 players.

    We need a Lassana Diara type, an out and out defensive midfielder, we need a Luca Modric type, a deep lying ball retaining midfielder and we need a keeper, hopefully Neuer but probably De Gea.

    I would also LOVE Alexis Sanchez but he’d be surplus to requirements to be honest. Having said that Messi would be also and we’d find a place for him in the side.

    • JB says:

      Agree. The thing with Sanchez is that most people just see him as a right winger when in fact he can play in a number of positions. I think he’d be a great signing but City are sniffing around so won’t hold my breath lol.

  2. timbo says:

    a point not made is the simple fact that a number of players working their way through the reserves or on loan are ready to make their mark in the next season or two. Cleverly is the obvious one, though Wellbeck is also doing reasonably well, as are some of the younger ones like Morrison – if he can stay out of trouble and get his head straight.

    As for bringing in new blood, aside from the obvious need of a new goalie the team desperately needs to bring in a creative spark like Modric – unless Fergie can finally be convinced to let Anderson have his head and let him play in his more natural position as an attacking midfielder. A hard-nosed defensive lynch-pin to boss the middle of the field would also be appreciated, as Fletcher and Carrick don’t really cut it against the best teams.

    Berbatov should also be allowed to leave, as he’s been treated very shabbily this season by a manager who constantly kept prioritizing an out of form sleazebag like Rooney for much of the season, even when the man made it clear he wanted out, and had to listen to Fergie justify his omission (despite being the form forward in the EPL) with the hypocritical excuse that form was the determining factor. Why then was the Bulgarian not given the nod to build on the partnership with Hernandez that showed so much promise early in the season, when he was in such red hot form and looked on track to easily break through the 30 goal barrier for the season? One shanked and fluky overhead goal, another gifted to him by Berbatov, and Rooney was suddenly flavour of the month again, with Berba unceremoniously dumped to the bench for the rest of the season. Only at United could a player be dumped to the bench after a five goal haul in the preceding game.

    • RedScot says:

      I agree with one or two parts of your first paragraph.Tom has done well at Wigan, no doubt as he did at Watford on loan the prior season.I think you are begrudgingly crediting Danny Welbeck who was on fire at Sunderland prior to his injury.Do not forget he contributed to United’s 19th league win, with a masterclass at Stamford Bridge to gain MOM for the Black Cats and secure 3 invaluable points for them!

      The second paragraph is where I get slightly confused, you highlight Anderson as the driving force in midfield, that may have been the case at Porto and Gremio we have seen nothing at United to suggest he is going to replicate that style of play.He in my opinion looks to have stagnated or in fact gone backwards?Carrick did not play well in the two major Champions league games(he was brilliant) is that what you are implying?He has clearly had a lull in form, and has had several high profile errors, but the way in which you casually dismiss a recognised fully fledged international player, bizarre.Not unlike your sweeping statement regards Darren Fletcher, who we will need hugely at Wembley and was sorely missed in Rome, through no fault of his, more the incorrect decisions during the Arsenal game.

      Which leads up to the thrust of your post mate.This constant lauding up Berbatov and rightly so he is a wonderfull player, we all recognise this.You recently posted a similar angle on the ‘The Faithfull’ United blog and ridiculed Wayne Rooney as you have done again.”flukey over head goal”! That goal in my opinion inconjuction with his goals at West Ham, to draw a win, from the jaws of defeat were fulcrum turning points in Uniteds season.He has caused massive problem’s at United, much documented here and elsewhere, both of the field and with ‘Mr Ambition’ talk, its time to leave the ‘sleazebag’ talk and for United to pull together to win a 4th European cup.
      United are a squad, including Berbatov, Carrick, Fletcher,Rooney,Hernandez, our up and coming players with massive ‘potential’ like Tunnicliffe, Pogba, Cole, Keane,Cofie, the list goes on and on.
      The comments regards Rooney I find derisory in an other way.Many United supporters keep talking about and discussing Wesley Sneijder, which is a fans perogative naturally, its what we do.Watch how Rooney’s game has changed since the sensational arrival of Hernandez.The 4.5.1 formation with Wayne replicating exactly Sneijder’s role, both at Inter and Madrid.
      Keep it real, keep it United.

      • miguel says:

        I agree Carrick was incredible against Chelsea, and Schalke, in all the big games…. did u not see the face that Capello did when he met him in the tunnel after the Chelsea game (why don’t u always play like this I want to call you up)….

        for the barca game


        Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
        Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Giggs, Park

        then hernandez comes in the 2nd half for the midfielder that looks more tired, and rooney drops in the hole

    • Ollie Jones says:

      I actually don’t think that there are many home grown youngsters at United who will get much first team action next season. Cleverly looks like a future talent but at the moment he’s not at the level required to fit in. Welbeck too looks reasonable but with Rooney, Chicharito, Berbatov and Owen I can’t see him breaking into the first team. Macheda may even be sold. None of these players can compete at the top level to the standard required at United just yet. My opinion is that they will all probably be loaned out again next season to lower Premier League, or Seria A for Macheda, clubs in order to get much more first team experience.

      The quality youngsters who are already at the required level to make first team appearances are the lads who have proved they can this season: Smalling, Da Silva twins, Hernandez. They will continue to start in the first team next season.

      A world class creative midfield player, to replace Scholes, and obviously a world class goal keeper are necessary additions to the squad in the summer but if United want players of this quality such as Sneijder, Modric, Sanchez, Buffon, De Gea, Neuer, they will have to spend big in the summer as City, new to Champions League football, Chelsea and Liverpool will look to bolster their squads significantly too.

      • RedScot says:

        Hi Ollie, Owen….you mean Micheal I assume?Not Hargreaves.Cant see Micheal Owen being retained myself even though he got his Premier league medal, which he never ever won at Liverpool, possibly on a play as you go basis again, thats it.I must disagree with you regards the younger players, I dont know how much you watch of the youth at United, Ryan Tunnicliffe is going to be awesome if he continues to develop the way he has in the last year.A box to box midfielder and a truly team player he puts his heart on the line for the team.I agree the younger players you mention Chris Smalling a snip at £10.00 million The boys from Brazil combined fee £5.5 million over 100 combined first team appearances to date.Hernandez my sweetheart, £6.00 million for a £25.00 million pound plus player now, if you compare as an example the price paid for Torres ( 1 goal in 1023 minutes I think) Andy Carrol £35 Million for potential(and occasional Glass in the face) Class.
        Nobody doubts we need investment particularly in the midfield, more so defensive than attacking, if you refer to my posts regards Sneijder and Rooney.
        The point and dont misread this please, I read a lot about the accounts at United, Swiss Ramble, Anders Red , political economy of football(yawn I know) Just dont hold your breathe to much mate for a huge capital injection.The Glazer are firm favourites of cost control and holding to budgets, they have achieved marvels in commercial growth for the Club.However they stated clearly costs of wages need to be controlled strictly, prevously 42% risen to closer to 50%, bear that in mind the players astronomical wage they will(or agents) demand if they are the finished article.
        As i said there is a balancing and a reality check hit in general british football( out with City and Chelsea) You will notice it most obviously at Liverpool and Arsenal (of course) and Villa, also Bolton through youth developing through the ranks.

      • RedScot says:

        I should have mentioned Ravel Morrison as Timbo rightly did, who has tasted the first team in the Carling cup, probably to show him (Ravel) what is possible if he knuckles down and recognises what it takes to play for a huge club like United.

  3. great says:

    if only sir will bring alexis sanchez,wesley sneijer,marko marin,nilmar of villerell,salviola nd cardozo of benfica. Man untd will be the best with these players.

  4. james holden says:

    I don’t think he is. Apart from the obvious need for a goalkeeper, the only player I think will be bought is snejider. I do think we need a defensive mid, however if carrick can play like he has been for the last quarter of this season then we won’t need one. I agree that Berbatov has been treated badly, but I thinks he’s truly a team player. I saw his jubilation when Chicharito scored and when he unselfishly passed to Anderson. He’s pure class, I hope he stays. For the first time in a while we have quality youngsters coming through and Ferguson sees that, they’ll get there chances. He’s building the new blocks for a new generation of dominance.

    • RedScot says:

      Hi James agree totally although i think ‘great’ was joking.The manager as made it crystal clear only two players are likely to be bought mate in the Summer.Clearly the priority a ‘world class’ goalkeeper to replace our fabulous servant Edwin.
      In my opinion its down to two choices,Stekelenburg or De Gea, the other names muted are likey agents fanning their players wage increase at their own clubs, just my view.
      I cant see Wesley Sneijder mate he just signed a 5 year contract at Milan to take him to I think June 2015.Why would United sign him at the highly inflated price rumoured at £40 million when he moved from Madrid to Milan for approx £15.If the boss was seriously keen he surely would have struck then?.I think anyhow, and I am not joking(as I often do) that Rooney is fulfilling the Sneijder role, with goals from midfield and stopping play at the front before it builds, like Sneijder does so well.He to me Rooney, looks as if he is revelling in this role and has a smile on his face again, one happy United player.

      • RedScot says:

        Madrid to Milan for approx £15…..I meant £15.50 pence.Dammit inaccuarcy. lmao
        Must go work to do. lol

  5. JETELINHO says:

    Hi all,

    I expect us to sign a gk – it is more or less inevitable as we 1. do not have one to be a United n. 1 + 2. it a position we rarely (not in my life) produce from our own youth … which is quite understandable considering the specifics of this position (almost none of team from first 2 divisions does have its own young product as a gk …). I must admit, I do NOT see a gk all around the world, that would be at least near to Ed, sadly. The characteristics are obvious – excellent on the line, excellent in the air & (the worst to find!), two footed & sure with the footplay. If I had to, I would choose Stekelenburg … though not being 100% sure of my choice.

    Then. like it or not, we lack a bit creativity in the middle since neither of r11 or p18 is playing. I pers. can´t see us bringing either Sneider or Modric IN, they are both great players … but at great prices, which Alex won´t be ready to pay I think (if he even has it ……. ???). Tom Cleverly – obviously – might have what it takes & I do hope he gets a proper time to show his class. Still would love to see an add in the CM (attacking minded), but somehow feel Alex will go strictly the United way … (… of youth).

    Further more – I have a problem with Johnny Evans – I do support him of course as he is a United player (I DO!), but seeing him several times this season from the stands, I have my doubts. SAF knows best, that is no polemic, so he will decide, but Johnny either has to improve enormously or …

    I can´t see us making any changes (INs!) in the striking area, we are there more then well covered considering the youngsters as well.

    And my pers. wish – I would like to see us bringing in a left footed player, winger at best. I of course know we are QUITE well covered on the wings, but a left footed one would do us well. My vote (and this has been goin in my head for good year or more) goes for E. Cavani. BUt – this is unrealistic, I know it is.

    Summary of my expactions: a top class GK (I can´t see any though), probably a CM (doubt it will be one of the 2 usually mentioned though) & according to Alex, there might be 3 adds, so the last one to be left footed attacking minded or defender (don´t forget we might be a little short on RB atm too …).

    LONG LIVE UNITED & in SAF we trust

  6. jonathan says:

    In truth, the GK is the only position worth speculating on as the club have clearly said they are going to buy and won’t make the same mistakes they did years ago when at the same juncture.

    Apart from that, when was the last time United bought a big name player who was long-rumoured to join us? As far as I can remember, Berba has virtually been the only big name expensive player purchased since Rooney.

    Who knows, I’m sure the club will do any big name signing eventually, but for the past few years, speculating has largely been an excercise in futility.

  7. david says:

    I see de gea or stekelenburg to replave van der sar. either modric or sneijder would make good addition to the midfield, but both have recently signed contract extensions. Whatever happened to Marek Hamsik. He was all the talk last year (though I have never seen him play). Then there is marko marin ( never seen him play either)

    I would buy stekelenburg for keeper, and sneijder for attacking midfield/ playmaker. ( modric cost too much). if there is any money left over try and get marko marin. both carrick and fletcher can easily fill the holding midfield role. give cleverley some first team experience.

  8. RedScot says:

    Am done with this also….Its like a dog chasing its tail…..Innit. lol

  9. Mannings says:

    Hopefully Stekelenburg we sign and he adapts quickly into the space left by Edwin, getting the keeper right is crucial to the next few seasons.

    The only other key signing I would make is an attacking midfielder and although I like Schneider, I think Modric would be better suited to us. As previously said, Schneider plays in the position that Rooney has been playing so well in recently. We’d either have to drop Rooney, or move Rooney back up top on his own, leaving Chicarito on the bench.

    If you watch Modric, he plays in a 4 man midfield very well and has a great vision going forward, but what I really like is the contribution he makes going forward.

    It’s likely that Scholes, Owen and Hargreaves will leave this summer, but I feel the youth players at the club can make up a good squad. Welbeck or Macheda as our 4th choice striker, not bad is it?

    • david says:

      yes but he asking price for modric is now around 40+ million.. sneijder is at25-30 million. though I have only seen sneijder playa couple of times.

      we could move to a 4-3-2-1 formation. chicarito up front, both sneijder an rooney in the attacking midfield, nani and valencia on the flanks, with carrick or fletcher in the holding position.

    • jonathan says:

      I agree. Sneijder would likely still be a positive contribution because he’s so damn good; but i’d likely keep Rooney out of the #10 role and in turn push another forward out of many starts.

      Modric wouldn’t really have a domino effect on the team. He’s about as complete a CM you can find and probably the best since Scholes in the EPL in ball retention. Sahin in now out of the picture, so Modric is really the only one else who can be considered a worthy successor to Scholes.

      The questions then becomes: does United needs a new approach, or simply to re-invigorate what we already are?

  10. Mannings says:

    *that should say, what I really like is Modric’s defensive contribution!