Carrick’s midfield mission impossible



With Manchester United’s bid for Wesley Sneijder seemingly run aground on the financial rocks Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted this week that the Reds may not bring in a direct replacement for Paul Scholes. With United’s sights aimed high, Ferguson told press gathered on the club’s US tour that only the very best will do for United. Not for the first time this summer supporters’ hopes that a high-class central midfielder will arrive at Old Trafford may have been dashed.

On a similar track, midfielder Michael Carrick believes that replacing Scholes is a shared responsibility among the players that remain at Old Trafford. It is, of course, an impossible task and not simply because in Anderson, Carrick and Darren Fletcher United does not possess the requisite quality to replace Scholes. Moreover, numbers are down after Scholes’ retirement, Owen Hargreaves’ release and Darron Gibson’s impending sale.

“I think losing a player like Paul is a big loss – he brings so much to the team,” admitted Carrick.

“He’s a world-class player. Scholesy was just brilliant – how he played the game, how he was off the pitch. He was loved by everyone. None of the lads have a bad word for him. He came in, did the business and then headed off again. He had genius ability that you can’t really teach.

“You have to compensate in other ways. We’ve done that in the past – we lost Cristiano Ronaldo a few years ago and people didn’t think we’d get over it. Different players step up – maybe not one player but we share the responsibility. I feel there’s more responsibility as you get older, too. Experience counts for a lot. I just want to improve again and have a good season.”

Nice words of course but essentially empty. After all history indicates that Carrick, while improving over the past 12 months, will remain passive in the face of the highest competition. The Geordie’s qualities are many – and still admired at Old Trafford – but Scholes’ replacement he is not.

Meanwhile, Anderson, of whom many supporters retain high hopes, has achieved little of note in four years at the club. Aged just 22 the Brazilian is arguably far from his peak; yet years into a disappointing career in England to boot. The man Ferguson identified as Scholes’ heir apparent is arguably fortunate to remain at the and benefiting from Ferguson’s considerable patience with players he believes may come good.

Then there is Fletcher, whose 2010/11 campaign was spoilt by a mystery virus that effectively ended the Scot’s season 12 matches early. That the Scotland captain is not fit enough to join United on tour says much, leaving Ferguson with just two recognised central midfielders in the States plus 38-year-old Ryan Giggs.

Yet the United manager has once again sought to cool talk of Dutchman Sneijder joining the club this summer, with Internazionale reportedly asking for £35 million and the player seeking wages over £200,000 per week. The impasse leaves United looking at alternatives, with the club now dismissing the notion that Samir Nasri will join after Arsenal simply ignored a £20 million bid.

“Forget it. We are looking at some things but I am not so sure Sneijder will be easy to get,” Ferguson said.

“I could pick three or four players to come in but they wouldn’t be good enough for us so there is no point. I would be happy enough [with no new signings]. Maybe I am a bit overloaded in the strikers’ positions. The alternatives in midfield are not nearly as strong. But I have a good squad.”

It is pointed then that Ferguson chose to praise young Tom Cleverley as “an intelligent modern-day footballer,” with the 21-year-old joining the United squad, along with Danny Welbeck, at Nike’s headquarters in Oregon this week.

“Welbeck’s an England international, an exceptional talent. Cleverley will play for England. His movement and understanding of space is really good for a young player. We are happy both of them will stay with us. Because of the experience they have had, keeping them now benefits us.”

Although Stuart Pearce used Cleverley  mainly in wide positions for England Under-21 team this summer – as did Wigan Athletic last season – many believe that the youngster has the natural talent to compete centrally. It is clearly a huge ask for the Basingstoke-born midfielder, who scored four in 25 appearances for the Latics, to step into Scholes’ shoes with immediate effect.

Could the answer to Ferguson’s dilemma lie elsewhere? Certainly United’s failure to add proven quality in central midfield has led many – supporters included – to speculate that Wayne Rooney could drop even deeper in the coming season, away from the ‘number 10′ position occupied to such great effect over the past six months. It’s a notion dismissed by Ferguson, who admirers the Scouser’s on-the-field intelligence but is unlikely to deploy the former Evertonian in a more limiting central midfield role.

“Wayne could play centre-midfield, but not the way that Scholesy played it. They’re too different,” added the 69-year-old United boss.

“The way Wayne would play as opposed to Scholesy is that he would be more dynamic and all over the place, using his energy to run everywhere, challenge and hit those cross-field passes that he’s terrific at. Scholes was more calculated. He always had that control about him, controlling the speed and pace of a game, which is pretty difficult to do. He was an absolute one-off.

“You can’t replace players like that. You hope you can get something approaching it, but you’ll never replace Scholes. We’re all searching for that. Everybody is searching for the special player who makes the difference to his team.”

Indeed, this summer has left Ferguson facing the very real prospect of entering the new season with solely Anderson, Carrick and Fletcher as the Scot’s front-line central midfielders. It’s a sobering thought despite Carrick’s promise to exert greater influence in the coming season. One in which the Geordie’s shared responsibility is unlikely to bring much comfort.

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  • Alfonso Bedoya

    I can see Ferguson giving Cleverly his shot…

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  • redevil_83

    good piece and relevant one at that. what was feared most is yet again proving true, not center mid field additions. as silly as it sounds i think mid field trio of carrick, ando and a (fit?) flecther may prove just enough in the premier league…sprinkled with some giggsy. but in europe when it comes times to cut against the very best, our midfld will be found wanting again. can’t believe there are no options in the market that offer an upgrade on carrick and anderson, pfft.

  • Waxfoot

    I’m one of those suckers who retains high hopes for Anderson. He shows glimpses of something special and quite different. Occasionally a player remarkably steps up a few levels from one season into the next, and he will have to do just that. That takes determination, not something we’d all readily associate with Ando.
    I’m also an optimist in that I still think we will make a central midfield signing of significance…

    • bobdigi

      I’m with you on Ando. I think this is his first full pre-season with the club, thanks to numerous injuries and the ’08 Olympics, and it’ll certainly boost his chances of making a strong start to 2011/12.

  • Bauer.J

    Excellent piece. I believe Carrick has very little to offer amid his recent comments (despite the odd cracking backwards ball) and next season will prove telling on an ageing player. As expressed by ‘Waxfoot’ – it may be Andersons’ season to step up to the mark; this season he proved inconsistent with injury but prior to that (particularly Vs Sunderland H) he was extremely instrumental in games. Permitted Fletcher regains and remains fit, he should be solid, ployed centrally. But along-side who? Park could play centrally and the ever present Giggs, with Jones also expected to provide a holding-role. A signing is needed, with Schweinsteiger murmured and Sneidjer, Modric and Nasri all erroneously banted about. Who knows: maybe youth will prevail?

  • sidney

    He’s talking up Cleverley…

  • Wil

    I thought there was a good chance that SAF will play Rooney in midfield but after reading what he said recently, it seems like Rooney will continue to partner with Hernandez upfront.

    If that’s the case, our midfield will be pretty much the same as last two seasons. I’m not too fussed Utd. didn’t buy anyone to replace Scholes as he hasn’t been a starter for 2 seasons or more by now and I am used to Utd not buying any World Class midfielder since Veron. However it does worry me with this midfield, we are no where near catching up Barcelona.

    I just hope SAF surprises us all with some magic and perhaps he sees this is a good time to promote Cleverly, Morrison and even Pogba despite reading most of the comments here think it’s too early for these three players.

    This is gonna be an interesting season….

  • Gabagool

    Balls. Had a suspicion a few weeks ago that our spending was done, this pretty much sounds like the “no value in the market” speech is on it’s way.
    We should at least try and get Diarra.

  • http://newsnow Dave

    Very disappointing if we don’t sign a CM. Personally it baffles me. We had the whole of last summer reading the bullshit about Ozil & this summer Scheijder. Then Ferguson comes out with the spurious comment that if there’s noone good enough they won’t sign them. Is Carrick good enough then? Sorry but a midfield of Carrick, Fletcher & Ando – no chance. The other baffling thing is that he signs a centre back & a winger?? Both good players but there simply wasn’t a need was there?? Nani, Valencia plus Cleverley who can play wide, Rooney’s been used wide, Giggs can still do it a push – we’ve even had the twins there & Evra for God’s sake! Centre halves were also in abundance – Vidic, Ferdinand, Smalling, Evans, Brown, O’Shea – ??? Central midfield we lose Scholes & Hargreaves, Gibson is about to be sold & Fletcher is suffering an ongoing “virus”. Carrick & Anderson clearly aren’t good enough so it seems VERY strange to me that he addresses to area’s that didn’t really need it but leaves the most fucking glaringly obvious one as it is. Just doesn’t make sense. I think Alex has become swallowed up by his own reputation in a way – he believes he is beyond questioning. If his latest comment about there not being any central midfielders out there who are “good enough” then why Alex – why the fuck did you ignore an £8million Van Der Vaart and buy Bebe for £7million??!! He was clearly good enough then?

    Basically it’s all bullshit he speaks to avoid the transfer questions. We have been trying to get Schneider – that is obvious but because the money isn’t there he’s covering up the cracks. The fact that the transfer fees & wages of a winger & a centre back could have allowed a deal for a world class CM to go through is very annoying & I don’t get it.. We have needed 1 probably 2 quality CM’s for the past 5 years. You look at that position in the side & think of the stars we’ve had there from the 80′s onwards – this current one is dire. Anderson is loved by United fans but lets be honest he ain’t done it in, what 3 seasons now – how many more does he get? Fletcher squeezes everything he can out of what is smply not that great a player & Carrick is just a dope.

    If Alex does not buy at least one quality CM then I am totally baffled & can only hope that Cleverley & Pogba are given a proper chance.

    • andrew

      Who is available that you would sign if you were SAF? Seriously, sneijder is not a CM, he’d want to play in the hole where Roo plays. Van Der Vaart….same thing. The only person I can think of is really Modric but the cunt wants to go to Chelsea. Nasri would do but Arsenscum wont sell to us.

  • sheesh

    The money clearly is there. The problem is that Fergie prefers to waste it on players like bebe and obertan. I am annoyed at him as much as I am at the glazers. Even a raping by barcelona and the rise of our domestic rivals has failed to alert him to the realities of football.

  • arunk

    What Scholes did in him prime on a daily basis and still did last season for as long as his legs would let him was pull the strings in the midfield. None of the other midfielders we have can do that in the same pomp and splendor. We need someone with patience and intelligence in the centre of the field and the technical ability to spot a pass.

    On a separate but related note, I know Kaka is now 29 but must be available given the wealth that Mourinho has in the midfield department.Sad that he is not on anyone’s radar but I suspect that after the huge sum paid for his transfer from AC Milan, the perception is that RM would want to recoup the majority of that monies now.

  • Ella Patterson

    Oh ye of little faith. Sneider does not want to come to United, he has been injured in Serie A and might just turn out to be Owen Hargreaves mark 2. Sanchez will go to Barcelona/City/Madrid-whoever pays the most. His agent will move him for more money after a couple of years. OK so United may not win anything this year who knows but Paul Scholes was a kid when he got his chance. Give the likes of Pogba, Morrison and Tunnicliff a chance. Someone older might come in to cover until they are ready. What is the use of having talented kids if they are not given a chance! Oh and then there is someone called Cleverley who might just be ready to take his chance! Give the team a break and keep the faith
    Ella

  • http://newsnow Dave

    As fans we are in a quandary – we can’t criticise Fergie because he is a living legend but he does make frequent mistakes in the transfer market. He makes it appear that himself and the club are astute with his soundbites about “value for money” etc but I repeat the question, what was that Bebe situation about? How does he claim to be in a position to evaluate a player he hasn’t even seen play? Why did he leave it so long to replace Schmeichel when he knew he was leaving a year before he did? If he has a buy young with a sell-on value when did that one come in as we paid £32 million for a 27 year old Berbatov only 3 years ago? Scheijder is a central midfielder but plays a more advanced role for Inter than he does Holland. Admittedly in the transfer market you sometimes have to roll the dice but at the stage United are at right now I believe a world class CM is what we need more than anything & to get that we need to pay the big bucks. History is there to be written for United but we pussyfoot too much & I know that in Fergies final book the Schneijder/Modric/Nasri summer will be the one that got away – if it does.

  • Devilton

    If we don’t sign a quality midfielder for next season we may as well kiss the title goodbye. Sure, we’ll be a good team, we’ll still be top 4, but there is no way we can beat the other teams around us consistently with our midfield. (and before you say we did it last year…I’ll respond that last year we played some very average football and benefited from other teams going off the boil.) With Chelsea and City both improving as well as Liveprool there is a good chance we will not get that same chance next year.

    SAF simply has to address the midfield problem. It’s been an issue for years. Now with Scholes, Hargreaves and possibly Gibson gone, and Fletcher a real question mark it’s a full on crisis.

    Anderson has a poor injury record, and Giggs is 37 years old. Are we honestly putting our hopes on Cleverly to do the job?

    That’s madness!

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  • Bill

    The thing is SAF knows that even with this squad we will be favourites to win the premier league and be in the top 3 sides in Europe. I wouldn’t expect any further signings unless Fletcher doesn’t recover before the end of the transfer deadline.

    How often have Fletcher and Anderson played together? One left footer and one right footer plus both with bundles of energy when fully fit. Could be a strong partnership especially away from home.

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      But they’ll give the ball away at least 25% of the time (well at least Anderson will). That’s not idle conjecture – it is born out by years of passing stats.

      • Waxfoot

        If Anderson ran with the ball a bit more then his passing wouldn’t matter so much. I think he plays within himself – plays to his own weaknesses rather than his strengths.

        • Will

          plays to his own weaknesses…

          Alas Anderson is the clumsiest £20m acquisition I think I’ve ever seen. Our central midfield is looking weaker than ever with Fletch laid low, Giggs with one year left in him, and Carrick just not the athlete Utd need in there. Huge concerns if no one else is signed. Pogba is still a season or two away, Cleverly, I am afraid, raises long term fitness questions for me, he’s quite slight too.

          • Waxfoot

            Anderson is 22. I think with a run of games this season we’ll see a different player. Is Ganso a possibility?

      • Will

        Ed: who else is out there that we could conceivably sign? With Fletcher out and Nasri and Sneijder only paper talk, who is going to protect the back four and provide us with any central impetus going forward?
        PS new to the blog – good work.

  • bman

    I like the original article. People need to get some perspective and not take Fergie’s every word at face value, nor say everything he says is shit because we bought Bebe. As much as any transfer “facts” can be established, we know that the club is trying to sign Sneijder but it might not happen because of the enormous cost involved and probably various other complications (such as Inter being sure they can get whoever it is they have in mind to replace him). So Fergie is publicly playing down expectations so that supporters aren’t disappointed if it doesn’t work out, and perhaps also to put some negotiating pressure on Inter.
    It’s also just good management to say that he can’t find players better than the ones we already have, even though we all know there clearly are better players out there. Would you prefer he acts like Benitez or Mancini and publicly declares that he “needs” new players, thereby telling the supporters and his current players that he thinks they’re shit? That’s worked wonders for team morale at Liverpool and Shitty.
    The only sensible approach is to say very little about getting in new players until you’ve actually got them, and say that you’re pretty much happy with the team you have. That way if you don’t get anybody, you can at least start the season with players who feel wanted and valued.

  • Newton Heath RED

    As it seems the Nasri and Sneijder deals are falling flat, i think we need to look at someone who can come in and do a job as a squad member rather than a marquee signing.. i think Niko Kranjcar could do a job, he is a quality player can score goals, has a good attitude and more over i think spurs would be happy to sell he is a wasted talent there

  • bman

    Also, Carrick and Fletcher have been consistently underrated players in their time with us. They’re better than at least 90% of the options out there, so you’re basically talking about real superstar-potential players to improve on them (if replacing like-for-like, obviously Ozil, for example, is a completely different kind of player to Fletcher). In my opinion, to get somebody who does what Fletcher does but does it noticeably better, you’d have to get someone like Schweinsteiger. I’d love us to do that, but it’s not easy, and there’s no point moaning about is not trying to sign some decent-looking midfielder who stands out in a worse team who at best is only going to be as good as Fletcher or Carrick, but won’t already be familiar with our system and culture.

    People don’t give our midfield two enough credit for being better than 90% of opposing teams’ midfield threes.

    So to get someone who is genuinely a superior player, who wants to join us, whose club is willing to sell for a somewhat realistic price, who hasn’t his heart set on Marca or fucking Real, who isn’t over the hill, who isn’t a crock, who has decent character and a strong work ethic and the intelligence to play our style of play — yeah, that’s pretty difficult I think.

    • mongoletsi

      Wrong. Fletcher is underrated. Carrick is overrated. So I suppose you right if we average it out :o)

  • Bill

    Thanks for the stats Ed.

    Fletcher Anderson most likely to work as a destructive partnership. Would a midfield of Fletcher, Anderson and Park instructed to play simple short passes and feed Valencia and Young the ball with Rooney up top on his own the only way we could possibly stop Barca? Taking them on at their own game is a pointless exercise.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    I am sure the vast majority here know my views but in line with this article I shall still contribute.
    How many on here remember the Milan sides that was first coached by Sacchi and taken to greater heights by Cappello – yes the same one being hounded by the illiterate English press? These two men identified that they had great forwards in Gullit, van Basten, Massaro, Donadoni, and others. Now they then worked out that the best way to bring out the best in them was to give them a proper base and platform to work with. Saachi’s midfield duo were Ancelloti and Rijkaard. With those two sitting, the full backs of Tassotti and Maldini bombing forward the forwards just ran riot and scored freely. Teams could not get through. Don Fabio’s teams had Albertini and Dessaily sitting infront of the back four so that Pannucci on the right will mirror Maldini on the left for Savicevic and Massaro to run amok. These two sides had one great attribute: they played the pressing game and usually won the ball high up and just destroyed the opposition. They were as functional as they were devastating. Go and check their records as they won almost everything going.

    There is a current fixation of trying to play like Barcelona as if the Catalans have just started playing this way in the last three seasons. They have been set-up like this ever since Pep Guardiola broke into the team alongside Jose Bakero under Cruyff. We are talking nearly 20 years of trying to play the same way. Manchester United will NOT beat Barcelona trying to play the Barca way. We should not be going into the transfer market trying to get players that will make us play their way. It will not work.

    We have in Carrick a wonderful passer of the ball. We need to surround him with the players that will enable him PLAY. To enable him do the things that he is good at. Currently and in a lot of matches we are asking our Geordie to tackle and hassle and go to ground in last ditch tackles. NOT HIS NATURAL GAME. FACT. We play a lot of 4-3-3 formations in matches so it is not wrong to go out and actually look for that ONE midfielder whose natural game is to win the ball so that Carrick can make the play. This search for a marquee signing is not really what we need.

    A squad that contains fantastically gifted footballers like Nani, Berbatov, Rooney, Valencia, and now Young and Valencia should really not be in the market looking for a another ‘conjurer’ in midfield. Not at all. We have seen in many years past that when we play at a quick tempo not many teams can live with us. We need to forget this fixation with Barcelona.

  • Bill

    We played alot more 4-4-2 last season and perhaps a movement back to 4-5-1 away from home is in order. At OT it is different. When we play 4-5-1 away from home we rarely conceed, go 4-4-2 and we ship goals. Perhaps Carrick with Park/Anderson & Fletcher is a better formula to beat sides we are better than. However if we play Barca it would be interesting to see what a middle 3 of Fletch, Ando and Park could do.

    • andrew

      Top post

  • bman

    I agree with a lot of that, Cal. But I don’t know who’s good enough for the job – I just don’t think the likes of Diarra are. Schweinsteiger would be my first choice, but he doesn’t seem to be available. We need a battler all right, but a battler with a level of footballing ability that most “destroyers” just don’t have.

    I saw Chelsea linked with that Chilean player at Leverkusen the other day — he looks the right sort of player, I’ve seen him a few times and been very impressed with his “box-to-box” energy. Only 24 too, but maybe the club has looked at him and doesn’t think he’s good enough.

    Fletcher playing at the level he was a couple of seasons ago is terrific for us, but if he’s crocked, we’re in trouble.

    Essien would have been great for us.

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Doubt we will sign any extra players, Fergie has his summer 3 as per the last 3 close seasons plus Welbeck and Cleverley back too.

    He could be deferring some of the issues until next summer when Giggs retires. In the long term Rodwell could be a good option as he can play destructively and as a playmarker (and at the back). Over 70 Premier league apps and still just 20.

  • sheesh

    Carrick is massively overrated, always has been. He needs other players to do the dirty work for him and as for h
    his passing…you should see the people at old trafford who rightly get angry at him because all he does is give the ball to the man playing next to him. He has no bollocks. Then his defenders point to his pass completion stats whilst ignoring how many passes forward he made.

  • bman

    sheesh said:
    Carrick is massively overrated, always has been. He needs other players to do the dirty work for him and as for h
    his passing…you should see the people at old trafford who rightly get angry at him because all he does is give the ball to the man playing next to him. He has no bollocks. Then his defenders point to his pass completion stats whilst ignoring how many passes forward he made.

    That’s what he’s supposed to do – distribute and retain possession. Probably not the best man for the job in games where we intend to play more on the counter, but most of the time we dominate possession and squeeze the opposition to death, and Carrick plays a big part in that. Anyway, I think you’re also seriously underestimating who many long forward or crossfield passes he makes.

  • http://none ian

    Cal, only an idiot would suggest we attempt to “play like Barca”. I think you grossly over-rate Carrick’s ability.

    SAF is scouring the planet for an estblished CMF, who is available, & is significantly better than what we have got. Everybody moans but avoids Andrews point -”Who is available?” There are a lot of issues apart from cash why Sneijder might not be coming. I suspect that SAF would be prepared to get close to £35m & £2k per week.

    Schweinsteiger, Modric & Nasri will all have been sounded out; there seems to have been no positive response. SAF will not enter a bidding war with City or Chelsea or Real. With Modric if a deal is agreed between Spurs & Chelsea United might well step in & offer Berba & Carrick plus cash. I refuse to believe that if Nasri refuses to sign a new deal that Arsenal will not accept an offer of £25m. Unless City are involved I’m sure we will test the water. The Kaka suggestion is laughable.

    Young players like Ganso, Eriksen, Pastore & Goetze might prove wonderful buys but the cost would be very high & so would the risks. None have proved themselves over a period & none migh be prepared to sign at this moment in time. None could guarantee to be part of the A-team.

    I do think that SAF will be as disappointed as we are if he does not get a top quality CMF. He is no fool.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Cal thinks we can beat everyone with the most predictable brand of football, since Vinnie Jones’ Wimbledon…
    Who needs creativity in the midfield, when you can just fill it with thugs instead?
    We wouldn’t play football in the middle of the pitch… just choke the life out of it, win the ball back, get it to the wings, kick, rush, and cross.
    And he somehow, thinks this would compare us favourably with one of the greatest sides in football history… early 90s Milan… good grief…
    Here’s Cals midfield to terrify Barcelona…
    Downing… Cattermole… Carrick… Diarra… Valencia…
    *sigh*

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Cal thinks we can beat everyone with the most predictable brand of football, since Vinnie Jones’ Wimbledon…
    Who needs creativity in the midfield, when you can just fill it with thugs instead?
    We wouldn’t play football in the middle of the pitch… just choke the life out of it, win the ball back, get it to the wings, kick, rush, and cross.
    And he somehow, thinks this would compare us favourably with one of the greatest sides in football history… early 90s Milan… good grief…
    Here’s Cals midfield to terrify Barcelona…
    Downing… Cattermole… Carrick… Diarra… Valencia…
    *sigh*

    If you came up with that above after reading my post then, you sir, are an idiot. A right proper fool and I today give up debating with you on ANY issue on here.

    Nani, Anderson, Gibson, Hernandez, the Twins are our future. Please go Neville, Scholes and Giggs. Give Fletcher the skipper’s armband.

  • captainhormone

    lol

  • captainhormone

    alf..there’s no Charlie Adam in there either you fool

    LKHF

    faffing

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Calvino said:
    If you came up with that above after reading my post then, you sir, are an idiot. A right proper fool and I today give up debating with you on ANY issue on here.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    captainhormone said:
    alf..there’s no Charlie Adam in there either you fool

    No room for Gibson or Anderson either… who apparently are our… “ahem”… future… and, oh yeah… “give Fletcher the skipper’s armband.”
    pfft…

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

    • redevil_83

      Completely agree with ‘alfonso bedoya’
      you lot are settling for mediocrity that is the current midfield. this is manchester united we are talking about ffs. have you forgotten the combo of scholes and keano already?

  • captainhormone

  • http://none ian

    No-one is settling for mediocrity. Everyone knows we badly need a class, experienced CMF; SAF certainly does. Please tell me – & SAF- who is available & is significantly better than what we have?

    It’s entirely pointless to look for a “new Keano” or a “new Robbo”; we won’t find one. There are very, very few … experienced …. players to replace Scholes too.

  • bman

    I’m settling for mediocrity.

  • baloo

    I am – and so is my wife

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    baloo said:
    I am – and so is my wife

    Not true…

    She comes round my place.

  • squigs

    Bedoya: at times your a proper irritation, Cal said nothing like that in the post, the fact that he gives examples of what he thinks we should follow (One that I don’t agree with) should at least allow his post to be debated not some his previous rantings. Aside that which one of any of a number of 30 million + midfielders would you and your fanboys suggest we sign today. You contribution was unnecessary.

    Re: Cal, Interesting enough point, the system exists alright, the very good Sevilla side between 05 and 08 played similar with, what where quite ordinary midfielders such as Enzo Maresca, held deep while the likes of Puerta, Adriano, Navas and Dani Alves pillaged from the wings. It was good to watch and a modest enough team won two Uefa cup’s.

    The Milan team we are not going to emulate in all fairness they are one of the greatest sides to play the game, there is no current holding midfielder of the quality of Rjikard nor Desailly around at the moment if there was I would say get them, also Football changes tactically what worked 20 years ago is not guaranteed to work now. We need a holding midfielder though I agree.

  • baloo

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Not true…

    She comes round my place.

    ….and if I was married that MAY have been funny

  • dozer

    Calvino said:
    I am sure the vast majority here know my views but in line with this article I shall still contribute.
    How many on here remember the Milan sides that was first coached by Sacchi and taken to greater heights by Cappello – yes the same one being hounded by the illiterate English press? These two men identified that they had great forwards in Gullit, van Basten, Massaro, Donadoni, and others. Now they then worked out that the best way to bring out the best in them was to give them a proper base and platform to work with. Saachi’s midfield duo were Ancelloti and Rijkaard. With those two sitting, the full backs of Tassotti and Maldini bombing forward the forwards just ran riot and scored freely. Teams could not get through. Don Fabio’s teams had Albertini and Dessaily sitting infront of the back four so that Pannucci on the right will mirror Maldini on the left for Savicevic and Massaro to run amok. These two sides had one great attribute: they played the pressing game and usually won the ball high up and just destroyed the opposition. They were as functional as they were devastating. Go and check their records as they won almost everything going.
    There is a current fixation of trying to play like Barcelona as if the Catalans have just started playing this way in the last three seasons. They have been set-up like this ever since Pep Guardiola broke into the team alongside Jose Bakero under Cruyff. We are talking nearly 20 years of trying to play the same way. Manchester United will NOT beat Barcelona trying to play the Barca way. We should not be going into the transfer market trying to get players that will make us play their way. It will not work.
    We have in Carrick a wonderful passer of the ball. We need to surround him with the players that will enable him PLAY. To enable him do the things that he is good at. Currently and in a lot of matches we are asking our Geordie to tackle and hassle and go to ground in last ditch tackles. NOT HIS NATURAL GAME. FACT. We play a lot of 4-3-3 formations in matches so it is not wrong to go out and actually look for that ONE midfielder whose natural game is to win the ball so that Carrick can make the play. This search for a marquee signing is not really what we need.
    A squad that contains fantastically gifted footballers like Nani, Berbatov, Rooney, Valencia, and now Young and Valencia should really not be in the market looking for a another ‘conjurer’ in midfield. Not at all. We have seen in many years past that when we play at a quick tempo not many teams can live with us. We need to forget this fixation with Barcelona.

    I agree, you’ve made excellent points regarding our creative players, we already have them. Personally I believe we need midfielders who can retain possession and keep the game moving when they have the ball. That’s criteria 1.
    Keane and Scholes were excellent at it, Fletcher is average/poor at it and Anderson is useless at it. In fact he’s been useless at everything.
    Whether these midfielders are supposed to be creative or destructive in their mode of play is criteria 2. Each mode will bring its own benefits, but perhaps a ball winner is more important – I say this simply because Carrick is better than Fletcher.
    I’ll take either, since we have excellent defenders and attackers, but crieteria 1 is what I want to see met if we buy a midfielder.
    Creative wise I really can’t name anyone apart from the obvious ones (but not Sneidjer – God no).
    If I’m looking for a ball winner, Diarra would be excellent, at least he’d improve what we already have. Tiote is a decent player as well and he’s got 4 eyebrows.

    Sir Ryan Giggs? No no no. Sir Paul Scholes say.

  • captainhormone

    ffs…we need a creative lad, a box to box, and a destroyer….

    we need options and variants

    ffs

  • sheesh

    Commenter said:
    Cal, only an idiot would suggest we attempt to “play like Barca”. I think you grossly over-rate Carrick’s ability.
    SAF is scouring the planet for an estblished CMF, who is available, & is significantly better than what we have got. Everybody moans but avoids Andrews point -”Who is available?” There are a lot of issues apart from cash why Sneijder might not be coming. I suspect that SAF would be prepared to get close to £35m & £2k per week.
    Schweinsteiger, Modric & Nasri will all have been sounded out; there seems to have been no positive response. SAF will not enter a bidding war with City or Chelsea or Real. With Modric if a deal is agreed between Spurs & Chelsea United might well step in & offer Berba & Carrick plus cash. I refuse to believe that if Nasri refuses to sign a new deal that Arsenal will not accept an offer of £25m. Unless City are involved I’m sure we will test the water. The Kaka suggestion is laughable.
    Young players like Ganso, Eriksen, Pastore & Goetze might prove wonderful buys but the cost would be very high & so would the risks. None have proved themselves over a period & none migh be prepared to sign at this moment in time. None could guarantee to be part of the A-team.
    I do think that SAF will be as disappointed as we are if he does not get a top quality CMF. He is no fool.

    This is a good post but Sahin went to Madrid for £8million and Vidal is on his way to Juve for £12 million. Hardly out of our price range. Then there are other players like Banega. Have we enquired about him?
    Oh, and one for Cap…Sven Bender – who is a highly rated defensive midfielder. Who wouldn’t want to wear a United shirt with Bender on the back?
    There are players out there and I’m sure they’d improve what we’ve got.

  • reddread

    dozer said:
    I agree, you’ve made excellent points regarding our creative players, we already have them. Personally I believe we need midfielders who can retain possession and keep the game moving when they have the ball. That’s criteria 1.
    Keane and Scholes were excellent at it, Fletcher is average/poor at it and Anderson is useless at it. In fact he’s been useless at everything.
    Whether these midfielders are supposed to be creative or destructive in their mode of play is criteria 2. Each mode will bring its own benefits, but perhaps a ball winner is more important – I say this simply because Carrick is better than Fletcher.
    I’ll take either, since we have excellent defenders and attackers, but crieteria 1 is what I want to see met if we buy a midfielder.
    Creative wise I really can’t name anyone apart from the obvious ones (but not Sneidjer – God no).
    If I’m looking for a ball winner, Diarra would be excellent, at least he’d improve what we already have. Tiote is a decent player as well and he’s got 4 eyebrows.

    Four eyebrows, you say? That is all I need to know. How much do Newcastle want? I’ll write the cheque myself!
    I swear, if I hear Diarra’s name mentioned one more time. Did people’s not see him get pulled from pillar to post against Barca just like our midfield was? Anyone would think he bossed those games, keeping Messi in his pocket whilst at the same time denying Xavi and Iniesta the time they need on the ball. He didn’t, did he. So why is he do fucking special?

    “The longbow beats the crossbow, my idiotic friend”

    LUHG

  • Stego10

    Excellent comments by Cal. It is true-what we need is a ball winner to let Carrick play because I doubt we will buy a “maestro”. Looking around the Premiership is there anyone good enough-doubtful.In Europe there are a few options,Schweinsteiger and Diarra for experience but the “pool” is limited. It looks like youth will be getting its chance.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    squigs said:
    Bedoya: at times your a proper irritation, Cal said nothing like that in the post, the fact that he gives examples of what he thinks we should follow (One that I don’t agree with) should at least allow his post to be debated not some his previous rantings. Aside that which one of any of a number of 30 million + midfielders would you and your fanboys suggest we sign today. You contribution was unnecessary.
    Re: Cal, Interesting enough point, the system exists alright, the very good Sevilla side between 05 and 08 played similar with, what where quite ordinary midfielders such as Enzo Maresca, held deep while the likes of Puerta, Adriano, Navas and Dani Alves pillaged from the wings. It was good to watch and a modest enough team won two Uefa cup’s.
    The Milan team we are not going to emulate in all fairness they are one of the greatest sides to play the game, there is no current holding midfielder of the quality of Rjikard nor Desailly around at the moment if there was I would say get them, also Football changes tactically what worked 20 years ago is not guaranteed to work now. We need a holding midfielder though I agree.

    I’m a “proper irritation”??? I’m not the one who’s been banging on about Downing, Cattermole, and Diarra… and saying that Sanchez, Nasri, Sneijder are pointless… I’ll stack my three against his every day of the week… fair enough, he’s entitled to his opinion… but this is the same Cal, who called those who disagreed with him “Dead Fish”… who’s been crying for Giggs to fuck off for the past 3 years… who had the audacity to say that, he “wished Scholes injury”, just to end his United career… nothing I said in that “irritating” post was far removed from the truth… a bit exagerated, or sarcastic perhaps… but so what? You like Cals point of view… good for you… I like Cal… but his point of view at times, crosses well into “irritating”, and deserves an irritating reply.
    By the way Squiggs… this is Rant… if you removed the “unnecessary” posts from this forum… there wouldn’t be much left to read…

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  • dozer

    reddread said:
    Four eyebrows, you say? That is all I need to know. How much do Newcastle want? I’ll write the cheque myself!

    I swear, if I hear Diarra’s name mentioned one more time. Did people’s not see him get pulled from pillar to post against Barca just like our midfield was? Anyone would think he bossed those games, keeping Messi in his pocket whilst at the same time denying Xavi and Iniesta the time they need on the ball. He didn’t, did he. So why is he do fucking special?

    That’s the problem, don’t bring Barca into this. Xavi and Iniesta come from an other planet, and isn’t that why Carrick is hated so much? Forget this final, we haven’t gotten over the last one!

  • sidney

    Jones will be the destroyer, and hopefully much more

  • Tommy

    There’s an easier way to go about this: assuming we don’t make any more purchases, what do you think our starting lineup will be at Wembley against city? Personally…

    ————de Gea/Lindegaard———–
    Rafael——-Vidic———Ferd———-Evra
    ——————Jones/Carrick————
    Valencia———-Fletcher———-Young/Nani
    ———–Rooney————————–
    ———————–Hernandez———

    Now that isn’t a bad squad. World beaters? Probably not. But for your week-in, week-out premiership fixtures, it should be more than competitive. The problems arise when you consider the fact Fletcher may be out for a considerable time with this virus. Who in our current squad fills that hole? Anderson? Cleverly? It’d be a huge gamble putting our hopes on either of them. Personally I don’t think Sneijder fills that role particularly well either, I think he’d prefer Rooney’s spot in the hole. Nasri perhaps, I find it unlikely we’ll get him though.

    So we get to the question of giggsy. Before you even get to the fact that his head may be far from the game at the moment, he will never be a central midfielder. Not the kind we need anyway. This was proven at Wembley. As much as I, and I’m sure all of you, admire giggsy for what he’s done for the club, and the talents he still has out wide, we can’t seriously rely on 37 year old wingers to plug glaring holes in our midfield. Not for any length of time. There’s an option for Young or Nani to play more centrally, but I don’t see either of them fulfilling the defensive part of the role. It would make put even more pressure on Carrick to be the hard-tackling enforcer he so obviously isn’t.

    So having exhausted our own squad, who do you pick in that spot, that we can seriously hope to get a good deal for? As Fergie and many people on this site have said, there is no ‘next Paul Scholes’ just waiting to be picked up for £25mil. We either make a big money signing, we take a risk and buy an extremely talented yet unproven youngster, or take an even bigger risk and pass the baton to Cleverly or Anderson.

    A marquee signing can backfire badly. I must say I would be really excited seeing Sneijder in a united shirt, but deep down I honestly don’t think we need him. Not for that kind of money. A creative player who sits behind a true striker, playing a killer ball and smacking in the occasional screamer – Rooney ticks all those boxes. And if not Sneijder, who?

    Of the second and third options I feel we will be pressured into choosing the third. Maybe we will sign an unknown prospect for £10million, but I don’t see us spending, say, the £40mil for Pastore. Which means it might be Anderson’s sink or swim moment. Or maybe we’ll get lucky and Fletcher will bounce back better than ever…

    (can’t believe I typed that on a fucking phone…)

    • mongoletsi

      Good post, especially for a phone-typed one!

  • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

    Have to say I find this talk of Sneijder only being able to play in the hole a load of nonsense and not based on any actual facts. I’ve watched him play flexibly for Real and in a more discipline way for Inter – and excel at both. That van Marjwick the Dutch coach believes Sneijder will fit well says much. Did Scholes and Rooney take up each others space? No – not even when Rooney first joined the club and Scholes was more dynamic.

    It’s like saying Iniesta and Xavi can’t play together. They certainly can and so could Rooney and Sneijder.

    • mongoletsi

      Remember when Tevez signed for us and we all heard how him and Rooney would be a crap combination? Hah! It’s such a shame that Carlito turned out to be such a cunt!

  • reddread

    ^ this…

  • sidney

    ^ that
    *Edits* Fail

  • captainhormone

    ^other

  • captainhormone

    ^other

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Ed said:
    Have to say I find this talk of Sneijder only being able to play in the hole a load of nonsense and not based on any actual facts. I’ve watched him play flexibly for Real and in a more discipline way for Inter – and excel at both. That van Marjwick the Dutch coach believes Sneijder will fit well says much. Did Scholes and Rooney take up each others space? No – not even when Rooney first joined the club and Scholes was more dynamic.

    It’s like saying Iniesta and Xavi can’t play together. They certainly can and so could Rooney and Sneijder.

    ED,
    for me the issue is not if he will clash with Rooney. For me it has always been: as our football club’s squad is presently constituted is Wesley Sneijder what we need? In my view ‘no’. Given the platform ofcourse he will be fine. However, if you are trying to convince me that he has been schooled to play in a midfield duo that he will play mostly when he plays for United then I disagree strongly. I watched him a lot at Madrid too. van Marwijk or whatever his name is called did make sure though that he had two other work horses around him for his dutch side did he not. Sneijder most rewarding season has coincided with when teams were set-up to free him. Thiago Motta and Cambiasso for Inter.

    While there are a lot after marquee signings I look at what I feel our team needs. At the moment we have only left back Patrice Evra as the only athletic left-footer in the side. Giggs is washed up as a wide man. I have looked around and taken a lot of things in consideration hence my suggesting Downing. He has what we do not have: very quick, athletic and fantastic crosser of the ball – second in the assists table last season if am not mistaken; an England international and would not need to “settle in the PL”. Very logical reasons for thinking he will do a job for United.
    We also have no ball winner or box-to-box midfielder. Diarra at Real and Sandro at Spurs fit the bill for me because they are young and athletic enough. Will not need to adapt to the PL and offer us what we do NOT have. They will also be ready to improve their game and learn under Sir Alex. My theory is simple: let us have players that will bring to us what we lack and actually need.

    As good as Modric, Sneijder and Nasri are they just do not bring to us what we do not have. Now, once again I have itemised my footballing reason for asking and naming these players as my choice yet I am accused of “banging on about …” yet the people who are asking for the same marquee signings over and over are not “banging on about..” them? Someone explain that to me. Is Sanchez left footed? If not then how can he possible be any better than what we already have?

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      I think the point is that United’s squad is totally unbalanced – there’s absolutely nothing in terms of a ball playing central midfielder. Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Anderson all have their merits (and huge weaknesses) but there’s a reason why United was out-passed by so many last season from Bolton to Barcelona. Sneijder wouldn’t fix that, nor Modric, nor Nasri but each would up United’s control of the ball in centre midfield.

      You’re right though, United does need a ball winner too. Not because they’re needed in every game but because the squad lacks it. But what’s the point in winning the ball if you can’t do something with it…

      We’re overloaded with strikers, wide players and central defenders. Very light in central midfield and full-back.

  • bman

    Calvino, I’m all for getting a ball winner, but not Diarra. “will not need to adapt to the PL”? He *failed* in the PL – first Chelsea and then Arsenal got shot of him. He looked good at Portsmouth, fine, but Fletcher would look like Messi in a side like that. Real paid big money for him around about the same time then got rid of the likes of Sneijder for peanuts, so tells you all you need to know about their sense at them. The fact is that once they got a common sense manager in — Mourinho — Diarra is definitely surplus to requirements again.
    I agree with you in principle, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think there’s much point in buying players who just aren’t good enough because they can be categorised as “defensive midfielder” or “ball winner”. Hargreaves was a much better player than someone like Diarra. I know some on here didn’t rate him, but I think he’s a big loss. I just don’t know who could replace him. M’Vila, Schweinsteiger – names have been floated but apparently aren’t available. The Chilean whose name I always forget just went to Italy, he looked good.
    But we need a Scholes replacement as well, and Sneijder looks good for that job. Sometimes, if you get players that are that special — as I think Sneijder is — you figure out the tactics to make the most of them. I’d rather Fergie was wondering how to make a team out of bunch of great players with overlapping skills than playing journeymen to a pre-determined strategy, which is basically what our midfield has looked like for a while already.
    Our best team recently was a few seasons back when we didn’t have a “proper” centre forward or even a “proper” Keane or Scholes replacement (I think this might even have been when Scholesy was blind). We had Carrick and Fletch and Giggs in the middle, no clear centre forward, and we were unstoppable with the supposed 4-6-0 formation. Fergie needs real talent, and then he’ll make it work.

  • Pikey McScum

    Cal’s “Diarra” mantra has been repeated ad nauseum on any number of other threads here

    Which is refreshing to see it crop up in yet another thread…

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Bman,
    I mentioned these names as my pick. So if you agree with the principles of what am saying then please can you suggest other names.

    Barcelona TRY never to start any game without Busquets. When he is not available the play Keita or at a stretch Mascherano. It is so important to their play that the ball has to be won before the defence is faced up to an attack hence their pressing game and the ball winner in midfield.

    In the ’08 season, many times when we visited the big grounds we had Hargreaves as a non negotiable starter. We lost only one of those big matches – the controversial defeat at the Bridge. Hargreaves is a big big loss. We need to replace him. That has been my point. This team is desperate for such a player. I don’t care where he comes from. Is it Pogba, Tuncliffe or any one of the reserves as long as he is a solid ball winner and can keep the ball ticking over to our players then we will be fine.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Thanks ED. Thats what I have been trying to say all these while but some people are so used to following the crowd they will not countenance it or even think about the logic of it all.

    As that advert about tyres says: what is speed without control. What is the point in having all these talented players without having anyone to put their feet in and get stuck in?

  • bman

    Few people won the ball last season in the PL more than Carrick. Most interceptions in the PL. Just sayin’…

  • bman

    I guess my argument basically boils down to this: Sneijder is one the best players in the world. With Rooney & Ronaldo we had two of the best players in the world, but we’ve only had one since. If you get a player of Sneijder’s calibre, you figure out the tactics to make it work. Look at Barca — they figured out a very unique set up that gets the most of their world-beaters, above all Messi. If you have players that are good enough, you can throw the conventional wisdom out the window, and I think Fergie excels at that, he’s not a by-the-numbers “tactical” manager like Benitez or Wenger.

  • reddread

    Commenter said:
    This N That!
    http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/Food-and-Drink/Indian/ThisnThat-opens-a-new-outlet

    Mmm…rice and three…
    Brilliantly, and shamelessly off-topic, the bar I work at has been nominated for two awards at the Food and Drink Awards. ‘Best Newcomer’s and ‘Best Bar’. Given the competition, we should piss it, but who knows. See if you can guess which it is…
    http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/Food-and-Drink/Manchester-Food-and-Drink-Festival-Shortlist

    “The longbow beats the crossbow, my idiotic friend”

    LUHG

  • reddread

    Calvino said:
    Thanks ED. Thats what I have been trying to say all these while but some people are so used to following the crowd they will not countenance it or even think about the logic of it all.

    As that advert about tyres says: what is speed without control. What is the point in having all these talented players without having anyone to put their feet in and get stuck in?

    Yeah, Cal, you’re a crazy maverick that the rest of us sheep just don’t understand, like Martin Riggs.

    Many of us have agreed on several occasions that we need a ball winner AND a creative midfielder, too. We just don’t want that ball winner to be fucking Diarra!

  • captainhormone

    reddread said:
    Mmm…rice and three…

    Brilliantly, and shamelessly off-topic, the bar I work at has been nominated for two awards at the Food and Drink Awards. ‘Best Newcomer’s and ‘Best Bar’. Given the competition, we should piss it, but who knows. See if you can guess which it is…

    http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/Food-and-Drink/Manchester-Food-and-Drink-Festival-Shortlist

    found it

    http://www.themollyhouse.com/

  • reddread

    Wouldn’t take you long to find that one, considering you have a reserved booth there with your initials embroidered into the seats …

  • captainhormone

    etched into the seats

  • reddread

    No, embroidered. In lilac.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Calvino said:
    Thanks ED. Thats what I have been trying to say all these while but some people are so used to following the crowd they will not countenance it or even think about the logic of it all.
    As that advert about tyres says: what is speed without control. What is the point in having all these talented players without having anyone to put their feet in and get stuck in?

    What a load of back-tracking horseshit…
    Your penchant for twisting an argument is legendary, but even by your standards, that was ripe.
    Everyone has been moaning about the lack of a Keane/Ince/Robson player… ever since Keane left, so quit making out like your preaching to heathens…(that’s one of your more irritating habits), and Hargreaves wasn’t it…. not in this world, or any other.. but Fletcher, rate him or not… that’s what he’s SUPPOSED to be… and everyone is always going on about Carricks positional sense and his ability to intercept a pass, without going to ground, yadda, yadda.. point being… we’ve already got more “ball winners”, (good enough or not) than quality players of Scholes ability…
    I would be very happy with a midfield pair of Sniejder + whoever is currently in the squad… but I’d be pissed off if we start the season with Diarra + , etc… However… ideally I would love for us to sign Sniejder, + a midfield general… and I bet all the “crowd” would agree…
    But YOU Cal… were very specifically advocating that we sign “2″ ball winners, and ignoring the pass master, playmaker completely… and you know it… that is hell and gone from what Ed was suggesting… so give it a rest.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    reddread said:
    Wouldn’t take you long to find that one, considering you have a reserved booth there with your initials embroidered into the seats …

    Caps’ got his own dish washer, ffs…

    And he’s over worked…

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    We can keep on talking about Diarra but is he considerably better than Carrick? The answer has to be no. If we get results in July and up to mid August I doubt we will be getting the central midfield upgrade we desire.

  • kramer

    bman said:
    I guess my argument basically boils down to this: Sneijder is one the best players in the world. With Rooney & Ronaldo we had two of the best players in the world, but we’ve only had one since. If you get a player of Sneijder’s calibre, you figure out the tactics to make it work. Look at Barca — they figured out a very unique set up that gets the most of their world-beaters, above all Messi. If you have players that are good enough, you can throw the conventional wisdom out the window, and I think Fergie excels at that, he’s not a by-the-numbers “tactical” manager like Benitez or Wenger.

    good post bman

  • sheesh

    captainhormone said:
    found it

    http://www.themollyhouse.com/

    LOL.

    Red, do you work on Saturday evenings? I may have to check this establishment out someday.

  • reddread

    Which establishment would that be, Sheesh? The gay bar or the one I actually work in? I’ll assume it is the former…

  • sheesh

    reddread said:
    Which establishment would that be, Sheesh? The gay bar or the one I actually work in? I’ll assume it is the former…

    I see what you did there. Seriously, though, and without wishing to come across as a stalker, do you work on saturday evenings? I presume you work at the non gay bar but this is rant, after all.

  • captainhormone

    HE WORKS THE GAY BAR….CRUISING FOR PUNTERS

  • reddread

    Sheesh, I work some Saturdays, including, but not limited to, next week, but it changes on a weekly basis. Now you just have to work out where I actually work…

    Cap, I assume it’s been quiet in your personalised booth tonight? Can’t say I’m surprised.

  • captainhormone

    reddread said:
    Sheesh, I work some Saturdays, including, but not limited to, next week, but it changes on a weekly basis. Now you just have to work out where I actually work…

    Cap, I assume it’s been quiet in your personalised booth tonight? Can’t say I’m surprised.

    very quiet night last night if i am honest J….I ended up going home early with a bottle of Campari for company.

  • SKW

    If this is it, if this is all we’re buying this summer and we’re not getting a new midfielder, I fear we’re done for this season.