Fergie’s Fledglings gave Manchester United the greatest crop of youth talent that Britain had probably ever seen, only to be rivalled by the Busby Babes the tragic end to that story will leave the question hypothetical.
Our midfield was the most blessed: Beckham, the crossing king; Keane, the midfield dynamo & destroyer; Scholes, Ginger Passing Prince and snake hipped Giggs. Only if lady luck sprinkled a barrel of fairy dust over Old Trafford would we see another set of players with similar qualities.
Looking at the current team United might not be in a crisis as it was felt in the past season or two but we are in a spot of bother.
Although looking good towards the tail end of the season, Carrick showed that he couldn’t be trusted to patrol our backline with costly mistakes against Valencia and even more costly against Man City in the FA Cup semi-final. Fletcher’s bout with this mystery virus will mean that he will not be back to best form for a while. Despite a bright start to the season, Cleverley hasn’t by any stretch of the imagination made it leaving Anderson as the only player capable of commanding a first XI position.
Our soft underbelly was shown last season when we hit the road. Astonishingly we won the same amount of away games as relegated Blackpool.
So what is the solution? I suggest we look at a regista and distruttore.
Before I go into how we go about getting these types of midfielders, I think that it is best that I enlightened you about the history of the roles, their functions and their importance.
Both derived from and are commonly used in Italian football knowledge.
I will start first with the Regista, the term literally means ‘director’ as he directs the play in whatever which direction and he is often the central point in the creative play.
He can be referred to as a deeper version of an advanced playmaker but he has to have defensive capabilities as well. The best thing about these players is that they often don’t lose the ball and can be trusted to move the play on to more advanced players.
He doesn’t fret about wanting to get forward and score goals and even though he may not get the last touch on the ball, which makes it an assist, he is probably going to be a starting point or an integral part of the goal as a whole. They may be of great importance but that still doesn’t change the fact that these players are becoming fewer and far between.
Pirlo enjoyed a long spell at AC Milan in the role and Xavi Hernandez has brought glamour to the role making them a hotly sought after commodity. Javier Pastore moved to PSG for €43 million, Chelsea are trying to go after Modric as well and there are a number of clubs interested in signing Paulo ‘Ganso’ Henrique.
We lost our regista in the summer when Paul Scholes retired. His talent is so unique that the only way he could ever be replaced is by being replaced by a player bought from another club. Chelsea have struck gold with the development of Josh McEachran but Manchester United do not have the time to wait for that type of player to come through and there are no players with the same acumen as a regista.