Man City have long been seen as the new kids on the block whilst United are somewhat seen as the old school, the veterans.
With their oil money, Man City have the ability to bring in anyone, whilst United’s ‘financial problems’ are often alluded to in the press.
Sir Alex has frequently stated that money is available if he needs it, and this past summer he spent a sizeable amount to strengthen the team after a number of departures yet the claims that United are skint remain.
By making these remarks, Vieira was attempting to reinforce the notion that City are the team on the up whilst United are on the wane.
Manchester United and midfield reinforcements go hand in hand. Papers know they will send tons of copy if they link us with a central midfielder and those websites that trade off transfer rumours know that they will get tons of hits if run the same tired stories of us supposedly in for any one of the numerous midfielders that we have been connected with.
As Paul Scholes retired last May it was assumed that United would bring in a new midfielder, this didn’t happen and although we started the season well the lack, of Paul Scholes began to tell. We bum rushed teams, overwhelming them as opposed to controlling them and dictating how a game would go.
Of course this didn’t always work, especially after Cleverley got injured and Anderson somewhat lost his way.
The wake up call came against Man City when a humbling 6-1 defeat, secured their place at the top of the table. United were now tasked with overhauling their neighbours, and whilst Sir Alex has always said he wanted to go into the derby game at the Etihad in touching distance of them, a master stroke on his part means we could very well go into the game ahead of them.
The decision to bring Paul Scholes out of retirement can be deemed ‘desperate’, but it has been an unmitigated success. Sir Alex identified a problem in the midfield and provided the best solution easily summed up by the internet meme captioned: “You ask for a Scholes replacement… I give you Scholes instead”.
Although it appears that Scholes may be staying on for one more year, at the time he was the perfect short term solution; he could provide what we needed as what we needed disappeared when he retired, he knows the club inside out so there would be know bedding in period and most importantly he cost us nothing.
In the games since his return we have picked up 25 out of 27 points, with the two points dropped at Stamford Bridge as we came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3. Guess who was at the center of the fight back? That’s right Paul Scholes.
There was no shame or disgrace in bringing back Scholes, he admitted he was missing the game thus it has been a marriage of convenience.
Looking at the other side back in the Autumn when Mancini said that Carlos Tevez would never play for Man City again it was believable. Whilst Scholes retired, Tevez publicly disrespected his team mates and club. His behaviour after seemed to be the final nail in his coffin as his utterances and appearances on TV in Argentina made it seem that there would be no come back for the striker.
It appeared like he wouldn’t be missed anyway, they were doing well in the league but after a wobble Mancini backtracked.
Tevez is better than Aguero, Dzeko and Balotelli and the Italian realised that Man City would have a better chance at winning the league with him. With Man City falling behind United in recent weeks, Mancini was more than happy to see him back in their kit and like Scholes’ return it paid off as he set up Samir Nasri’s winning goal against Chelsea on Wednesday.
This title race has very much been an intense cat and mouse game between the two Manchester sides. It was long established that we would be the only two teams competing for the title, and since then we have attempted to outfox each other and waited f0r slip ups to take advantage.
Both sides are looking for any advantage to ensure that the title ends up in their trophy cabinet, so for one side to be sitting their calling the other desperate is foolish.
This is possibly one of the biggest league campaigns ever for both clubs, if Scholes makes the difference for United as he has been and we win the league, Vieira’s comments will be water off a duck’s back.