United’s transfer frustration lies close to home

August 6, 2013 Tags: , Reads 67 comments
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Severe famine, disease, and bloody struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines brought a conjugation of disastrous events to medieval Italy. The earliest black death epidemics swept the north, while crop failure spawned a Flagellist movement out of a tenebrious epoque. It was a dark time, in a dark place.

Hope came in the public mortification of the flesh – a community of early Franciscans, led in spirit by St Anthony of Padua, seeking redemption in pain, preaching flagellation as a penance. Ask forgiveness of God, and He might look upon the sinner more favourably.

One wonders whether Manchester United’s public humiliation in the transfer market this summer is born of a similar wish to clean the soul. After all, so much of it is self-inflicted; and all public in it’s genuine indignity.

Certainly, there must now be a sense of desperation in the offices of Ed Woodward and David Moyes, with just four weeks until the transfer window closes and the febrile masses ready to condemn should the pair fall back on the excuses of the past. There may be little value in the market this summer, but United’s rivals at home and abroad care little of it.

It has been a summer of few positives at Old Trafford; one in which Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement catalysed tumult in the boot room and a change in the club’s most senior executive.

But it is in the transfer market where United’s strategy, or lack of it, has been laid bare. Incompetence? Perhaps. Insouciance? Sadly, it seems so. Groundwork? Apparently, none.

Indeed, it is hard to recall a more calamitous window – not, at least, since Peter Kenyon graced Old Trafford’s boardroom by offering Juventus just £8 million for Zinedine Zidane. Kenyon topped it by refusing to raise United’s bid for Ronaldinho a penny above £18 million.

Kenyon followed up by making public Barcelona’s £35 million bid for David Beckham only for the midfielder to choose Real Madrid in the most opprobrious fashion.

This summer has been worse though. Much worse.

First, the supremly gifted Brazilian-Spanish midfielder  Thiago Alcântara very publicly turned down a move to Manchester, choosing instead to join mentor Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.

Few could blame the youngster for choosing the European champions, albeit a club with such wealth in midfield that Thiago may struggle to get a game in Bavaria. Even so, retrospect affords clarity – and United’s interest, however solid, represents one of the most pointlessly futile moves in the market in recent years.

Having failed to heed the lesson United faxed over the club’s first official bid for Barcelona’s Cesc Fàbregas a mere 24 hours after his colleague’s departure to Germany was confirmed. As timing goes, United is no Tommy Cooper, although the farce still runs deep.

Deterred not by the predictably swift rejection of a £26 million opening bid, Woodward has overseen two further offers in £5 million increments, each rebuffed by the Catalan giants with increasing chagrin. And who can blame them?

“They have also understood our stance that we don’t want to sell him,” said Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta on Monday.  “They have given up.”

On past evidence one wonders whether the message will reach Woodward’s desk.

The frustration resides not only in Spain, but north west England too, where United supporters have observed events with increasing embarrassment. The club, once famed for fastidious attention to professional detail during David Gill’s era as chief executive, has looked little short of amateur over the past three months.

Indeed, supporters’ disquiet at Woodward’s bumbling is magnified by the club’s apparent oblivion to clear noises emanating from both player and Catalan camps. After all, Fàbregas’ former manager Arsene Wenger has proffered more than once that the midfielder will remain in Catalonia at least one more season.

It takes not an insider to read between the lines: Fàbregas is happy to use United’s interest to strengthen his own position in with the Culés.

The Reds incompetence is not limited to incoming transfers though. That the club has mishandled the Wayne Rooney saga a summer long proves as much.

Quite remarkably United has maneuvered an increasingly political situation to the point where the player’s position is all but untenable. And yet with clubs a continent wide spending heavily on the few genuinely classy strikers available there is only one bidder, Chelsea, at the table. This for the preeminent English talent of the past decade.

Moyes is left in the unenviable position of retaining a striker who has little intention of playing for United again, or strengthening a major title rival. José Mourinho is surely laughing into a glass of Madeira tonight, even as Woodward rejected Chelsea’s second bid for the striker.

If only it ends there.

Elsewhere serial underperformers seem likely to remain with the club – Nani, Anderson and Bébé each joined United’s Monday afternoon flight to Stockholm for the club’s penultimate pre-season friendly. The £45 million spent on the trio is unlikely to ever bare a return on investment.

Rooney did not board, however, with a mysterious shoulder injury cited as reason for pulling the 27-year-old out of United’s fixture against AIK in the Swedish captain. It is an excuse even the player’s family will be pushed to believe.

Most disturbingly there seems little in the way of contingency for Rooney’s departure. Certainly, eyes fluttered in Robert Lewandowski’s direction will do little good – the Pole is almost certain to join Bayern Munich a year hence. Perhaps a cheeky bid for Victor Anichebe is in order.

This is a familiar tale of course. Rejected by Fàbregas and Alcântara, United will find no success delivering a bid for the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modrić, for example. Not with the Real in no mood to sell.

It leaves United looking at the only sure bet left: Marouane Fellaini. The Belgian’s is a limited talent that few supporters wanted to  see in Red just a few weeks ago. Needs may now must.

Unsurprisingly, United’s ill-planning shines through once more, with the Belgian’s £23.5 million release clause lapsing on 31 July; the transfer could now cost United significantly more, proving that old misogynist adage that if you have to go ugly, go early.

It’s enough to drive fans to madness; or at least the self-abasing whip.


Phila - August 6, 2013 Reply

I hate this article

Ed - August 6, 2013 Reply

Don’t hold back now!

Lawrence Malta - August 6, 2013 Reply

The above message is purely immaculate.
David Moyes & Woodward Ed are two flops. Sorry to pronounce that this coming season UTD will be struggling in the Relegation Zone.

neils - August 9, 2013 Reply

You are aware that this team won the title last year. Save the drama.

minde - August 10, 2013 Reply

take off you fucking rosy glasses:))) we will be happy if we’ll get fourth place.

Shehu usman - August 6, 2013 Reply

There are many options available,with good bid woodward should get these midfielders,Fellaini,Taider,Eriksen,…..these trio are perfect central players for ManUtd and if wayne leaves us,Mr Ed Woodward please replace him with ERIK LAMELA he is one for the future

AJ - August 6, 2013 Reply

Agree with you. Never been so frustrated by Utd so far. Shame on them and their transfer policy. Utd made all fans seem clowns in front of other club’s fans.

kabeer ishaq - August 6, 2013 Reply

Please and please we need to see some new face at the club cos we lacking far behind at our midfield

Godders - August 6, 2013 Reply

How can two people leave the club and put us 20 years back? We have become a laughing stock! Gary Cook couldn’t make a worse job this summer. The only thing that could possibly make things worse is to buy the utter thug Fellaini. At least then we’ll get used to playing with 10 men!!

Moyes stated he didn’t start work until 1st July, so he’s either lying and a complete fool or he did start then and has completely underestimated the size of the job he has moved to. Smacks of complete incompetence.

Godders - August 6, 2013 Reply

How can two people leave the club and put us 20 years back? We have become a laughing stock! Gary Cook couldn’t make a worse job this summer. The only thing that could possibly make things worse is to buy the utter thug Fellaini. At least then we’ll get used to playing with 10 men!!

Moyes stated he didn’t start work until 1st July, so he’s either lying and a complete fool or he did start then and has completely underestimated the size of the job he has moved to. Smacks of complete incompetence.

minde - August 10, 2013 Reply

i think fellaini it’s just that we need plus another more creative midfielder although dont forget we have kagawa, its just waste of space like cleverley and anderson must go for sure

chalkie - August 6, 2013 Reply

I can not believe what is going on behind closed doors ….. But there not closed every dirty newspaper are getting the news of what united are failing to do in the transfer market as soon as mr gill and saf departed the main stage it seems it has folded inward and quickly I fear a dull and dreary 70s era ahead performing but only on 3 cylynders whilst others around have tuned up and firing heavily on all 4 unless moyes and Woodward pull out some actual decent!! Transfer actions then im going to be cringing at the league table and cup compititions next season and as for Europe again I fear!why has it come to this such a big club who could have employed any big manager and renowned boardroom staff have employed mediocre idiots!!I hate to say I think the empire is about to come crashing down!!!

john - August 6, 2013 Reply

I think a lot of it is players arent convinsed about moyes and how united r gonna do at end of the day i watch Wednesday night phone and here Sammy macleroy say u don’t join a club for the manager you join for the club and and team and players u could b playing with nah. Not in this day and age i just think players we r after don’t feel positive about a move to united with allhese changes and its probably gonna take a coue of seasons before we really ge people i terested again hard times ahead but as long as we finish top 4 and keep qaulifying for champs league i will b happy cause i believe it will all come good in the end. My main strife is why nit just pay 100 mill for Ronaldo and pay him the 300k a week at least if Rooney goes we have got the best player in the world

Matt - August 6, 2013 Reply

Let’s… Take a moment, commenters.

Yes we need a midfielder, yes the transfer window has made us look like idiots and no Fellaini is not the answer. But the empire crumbling? Struggling to make Europe? Even if we add nobody to the squad, it’s the same group that won the league last year without really trying. They haven’t even kicked a ball under Moyes yet, let’s not get crazy!

barry - August 6, 2013 Reply

Why are people so worried this is the team that walked away with the league and should have won by more points but players were just going through the motions in last 5 games plus we have added the excellent zaha and the rest of our wingers can’t be worse than last season if we can keep Anderson fit we have our box to box midfielder but its a big but plus Kagawa will become better this season could we do with a cm yes do we need one no I don’t think that city is any stronger and Chelsea will be biggest threat but they don’t have a proven cf and only have 3 center backs one of them being the finished jt and David Luis who still has the wander forward leavin cahil exposed plus like evra Cole is now being beaten all ends up by average wingers if we need to improve its in the lb position but then again the coaches say that Fabio is better than his brother and Rafael was prob the best rb in the league last season and butner played well when given the chance if we can get a good cm get one bit don’t panic buy or pay stupid money if we are going to buy big it should be Ronaldo who everyone knows really wants to come home

Patrick - August 15, 2013 Reply

Anderson our box to box midfielder ? Your having a laugh aren’t you.

The guy is so fat and out of shape, I doubt whether he could run box to box without the aid of portable oxygen. Added to the fact that he is completely useless.

JBAMS - August 6, 2013 Reply


Dred - August 6, 2013 Reply

lled a winning mwentality that we might now struggle to find now he is not there.

Dred - August 6, 2013 Reply

** not all my comment is published**

Dred - August 6, 2013 Reply

We won the league easily because of Sir Alex and the winning mentally that he installed in the team. Like it or not, it papered over the cracks in a weak midfield.

john Paul - August 6, 2013 Reply

No cause for alarm!.Other teams have strengthen but Man U is still stronger.What to do?….sell Roo…pay..&100m..for…Ron..and…pay..him..&320,

joe - August 6, 2013 Reply

United apparently secretly bidding for Ronaldo we should put all our money into buying him if were not getting anyone else

john - August 6, 2013 Reply

We only ran away with the league last season down to the antics of tevez and cant think of his name the Italian striker. And with cheslea the fans fave them shitfor half the season that it affected the sqaid once they got offhere back and supported them Chelsea’s last 9 games were qaulity and of ithadnt been for the negativity they would of been closer. The problem is city have got rid of there problem players which for mi makes them a lot stronger than last season and Chelsea r gonna b the main contenders we r all gonna b chaseing them know mourinho is back the place is gonna b buzzing and there front 5 players for mi r the best in the league for mi Ronaldo is a must pay the fee pay the wages if not then leave as is and c how we get on

barry - August 6, 2013 Reply

I agree that Mata hazard and Oscar are great players but for me that’s were it stops for Chelsea all of Jose previous Chelsea players are getting old and he doesn’t have dogbra ordered untold millions to spend so I don’t think they will be a close as people make out and old arguments will arise with abromovic who wanted attacking exciting football Jose hasn’t changed and will prob leave after 2-3 seasons Jose doesn’t have a youth policy whatsoever and has an average squad age of 30 a couple of years of challenging that he will leave the sinking ship we have some brilliant young players that will only get better and better also city in same position with regard to youth in 2-3 years time arsenal with the best financial plan in the pl and decent young squad will be main challenges to honest on not overly worked and plus about 20 points over Chelsea is a big margin when half of man u team weren’t at the races ie nani Valencia young evra cleverly Kagawa Anderson smalling vidic and we beck in terms of goals scored so if they improve I think that we will be fine and unlike under fergie everyone starts with a clean state and everyone playing for there future moyes isn’t scared of getting rid of big name players this is the man that sold Richard Wright Francis Jeffers when he was good and don’t forget he had a disagreement with big Duncan Ferguson and sold him to newcastle

Terry Jeff - August 6, 2013 Reply

I sometimes find it difficult to have believe what is going in man utd transfer saga, plz, the management, we are predding to you to make us favor so we woulnd die by or this lies,

Mick - August 6, 2013 Reply

Despite the lack of transfer activity I still think United will be challeging for the Premiership once again. If Rooney want’s to go to Chelsea, anyone agree that a swap for Torres would be o.k.

Mongoletsi - August 6, 2013 Reply

“tenebrious” has no place in a footy article.

Ed - August 6, 2013 Reply

It’s a good word 🙂

Marto Legowo - August 6, 2013 Reply

Glazers family , Woodward and Moyes are bullsh**

chalkie - August 6, 2013 Reply

Frank ofarrel wilf mc guiness 2 mediocre managers that tried to pick up where sir matt Busby left off it didn’t work still same players when sir matt left but united slipped into a sleepy giant and known as a cup team and sat back and watched the scousers win trophy after trophy I just hope now utd won’t be sitting back watching city or Chelsea do that in years to come!

chalkie - August 6, 2013 Reply

Mick now way would I want 2 see Torres the Spanish rent boy in a utd shirt and comes no where near close 2 Rooney if any deal like that was 2 arise id say Rooney 4 Torres n £25 million when U look that we bought chicharito 4 £7 million and he beats Torres chealsea record hands down!!

Julian - August 6, 2013 Reply

We have to face facts. Rooney wants to leave and Chelsea seem to be the only club interested. They want Rooney and we need a midfielder. Straight swap – Rooney for Mata – take it or leave it.

paul obe - August 6, 2013 Reply

Rooney must go because theirs no point in having a player that wants to leave. break the bank & get Ronaldo but we also need a couple not just one creative midfielders. How many goals has carrick scored in the last 3 seasons, nowhere near enough is my answer. we need MIDFIELDERS

paul obe - August 6, 2013 Reply


Dean Jackson - August 6, 2013 Reply

Mata is a #10… we need someone to play at the side of Carrick, not in front of him.

steggo - August 6, 2013 Reply

See my rather marvelously intuitive post under “Ferguson’s Final Gift”. I thank yaou.

King Mob - August 6, 2013 Reply

Error number one was putting a man whose background was in picking over the carcass of busted corporate companies with absolutely no knowledge of football.
Error number two was dealing with a club whose previous dominance was terminally threatened by Bayern, who also for good measure took their most coverted young player of their hands, and thinking it was a smart idea to put a bid in to take another
midfielder of their hands the next f**king day.
Error number three was to make our oursuit so public that when Fabregas confirms he’s not coming any other midfielder we go for will be fully aware he’s second best.
Error number four is to be slow about everything we do. At the risk of being naive, if we’re going to put a revised bid in for Fabegras, put one in for
God sake. If Ed is really working “very hard” to make deals surely it doesn’t take this long.
An one other thingI only venture onto United blogs at thia time of year because I’m usually counting the cost both financially and personally of forking up to £825.00 to renew and God damn it I want to see some of that money invested in the squad. I have noticed a large degree of Glazer fan boys on sites – the first reply to this article being a case in point. Manchester is red and Manchester hates the Glazers: get over it.

Denton Davey - August 6, 2013 Reply

Fascinating – predictable tripe about the defending champions.

At the moment, it seems that the key to this coming season lies with Mr Levy. If he sells Bale to RM then it would seem that CR7 is going to be sold to UTD to make up the purchase-price and then TheWayneBoy will be flogged to CSKALondon to cover “most” of the cost of that transfer.

I suppose that if – somehow – UTD can pull off a switch in which CR7 comes to OT, TheWayneBoy joins CSKALondon, and RM get Bale then everyone’s more-or-less happy.

BUT there are some flies in that ointment – first, of course, Bale isn’t being sold for 80 million ‘cos Levy wants more from Madrid and reckon that they have more and will have to pay it all in a lump sum (can they do that ?);

second, what can UTD pay for CR7 – I reckon that they’d not be willing to go more than about ten million more than they can get for Rooney.

So, let’s re-imagine the scenario:

All money paid up-front:

Bale goes to RM for 100 million

Rooney goes to CSKALondon for 50 million

CR7 goes to UTD for 60 million.

Tottenham make out like bandits while RM pay through the nose to get Bale on a long-term contract; UTD get the best attacker for the next two years; Chelski get a motivated Englishman and a striker.

UTD and Chelski get players who are eligible for free agency in two years – I reckon that TheWayneBoy would sign on for big buxx from Roman but that Ronaldo would continue to be coy, looking for the huge pot of gold in the summer of 2015.

What does this mean for UTD ? First, and foremost, TheLads get a better, motivated player who is rarely injured – he will be playing for his final contract and that huge pot of gold. Over the next two years, UTD would be paying CR7 the same wages as TheWayneBoy -with the addition of some sort of “image rights” deal from GM and Nike. On the other hand, in the summer of 2015, CR7 is free to go and, probably, RVP is pretty much at the end of the line.

Final analysis, two years of a superior player for ten million rental. Seems pretty good to me.

Let the future take care of itself – maybe Henriquez and Hernandez and Perreira and Januzaj and Zaha (and Bebe?) will render all worries irrelevant AND UTD fans know that you can win with kids.

Of course, there’s another scenario – flog TheWayneBoy to CSKALondon for 50 million and spend that on two of De Rossi/Fabregas/Schweini. THAT would work, too.

It’s not all doom-and-gloom in fantasy-land.

Coach Herbie - August 6, 2013 Reply

You can’t blame Moyes for not getting his players. World class players WILL NOT join United because Moyes is a nobody to them. World class players go where the world’s best managers are employed. If Guardiola or Mourinho or Ancelloti where at Norwich, all the world,s best players would want to go there, that’s how it is. These managers and others are known for their attractive football and for winning big trophies. Moyes is an unknown so there lies the problem.

Patrick - August 15, 2013 Reply

Absolute rubbish. Eden Hazard turned United and Ferguson down last summer to go and play for Di Matteo at Chelsea, even though it was clear he would be sacked if they lost two games in a row.

Who is Manager matters not one bit. It is how many zero’s are on the end of their pay cheque that counts, nothing else.

nippy - August 7, 2013 Reply

If we don’t get these primary transfer targets then Moyes one hope may be to bring some of the youth through (or risk loosing it). OK, so Lingard, Januzaj, Zaha and Co may not be quite ready but it has to be better than most of what we have. Give them starting places in the midfield along side some of the more experienced players.

barry - August 7, 2013 Reply

To say moyes is unknown is naive at best even capello said 4 years ago that moyes is a good manager yes he’s no fergie but look at Barcelona manager do you know who he is and moyes was voted 3rd best manager in Europe in 07/08 season plus players join a club not a manager otherwise nobody would sign for Liverpool or inter Milan or Ajax or Celtic I can go on but all the teams I have mentioned are big names and apart from Celtic all have signed either good players or excellent prospects Rooney will stay as but break the bank for cr7 and maybe give Powell a chance or Cole and as said in earlier post one of the best players in pre season matches has been Anderson who knows maybe he can fufil potential

Godders - August 7, 2013 Reply

Coach Herbie….you are the BIGGEST COCK I’ve ever had the misfortune to spend my time reading you’re utter shite. Seriously, read your bullshit again, give you’re headb a wobble, have a word with yourself and if that doesn’t work try supporting City

Jordan - August 7, 2013 Reply

I think Fellaini would be a decent addition to our squad.

barry - August 7, 2013 Reply

Coach Herbie apart from pep the other two managers have been removed from there jobs cos the football wasn’t attractive make no mistake Jose was basically sacked by real for not being exciting it was the same with his Chelsea team they are organized direct teams and at Chelsea he had drogba at real he had Ronaldo and now he has Torres we will see how well he does this season and ancelloti is Italian through and through defensive

Gopher Brown - August 7, 2013 Reply

You have criticised SAF in the past for communicating poorly and opaquely through the press. Now the club’s management is giving an air of transparency to proceedings and you criticise them for making us look amateurish. You can’t have it both ways.

I will also say that it is vital we remember that Man Utd transfer sagas sell newspapers. It appears we/you have all fallen for their games. There was no indication we were in for Thiago, other than what the papers said. DM did mention Fabregas the other week, that is true, but the ins and outs behind the scenes are not clear and tabloid journalists printing sensational lies does not indicate the club’s true position.

Ed - August 8, 2013 Reply

Oh please. Ferguson’s economy with the truth spread across a number of subjects not solely transfer activity. Moyes has just amplified United’s already clumsy activity this summer. I really can have it both ways.

As for Thiago, there was interest.

Bawo - August 16, 2013 Reply

Was that a bad thing? Ferguson’s Economy with the truth? I don’t think so.

If anything, it underlined why he’s the PL’s greatest manager. cant say the same for the way Moyes’ been handling things. I think in that regard, he should learn from Ferguson.

bernie - August 8, 2013 Reply

if u r goin to make a coment learn 2 spell morons

Ed - August 8, 2013 Reply

“If YOU’RE GOING to make a COMMENT learn TO spell morons”

Bawo - August 16, 2013 Reply

Hilarious. Nice one

steggo - August 8, 2013 Reply

Its actually “learn to spell,morons” otherwise the instruction is actually to spell the word “morons”.

Ed - August 9, 2013 Reply

Very true

Denton Davey - August 8, 2013 Reply

So, Cesc would rather big the twelfth man @ Barcelona than a guaranteed starter @ UTD. Such is life.

The big move for UTD this summer was always going to involve TheWayneBoy – will he stay and play ? will he stay and pout ? or will he get flogged ? Obviously, I’d like to see the first option – and I’d like to see him morph into TheScholesRole. THAT would resolve all the pseudo-melodrama regarding Cesc/Thiago and others. In addition, if that were to happen then I can see TheLads winning #21.

Josh the red - August 8, 2013 Reply

Ok folks lets clear up a few things,our failure to land thiago,cesc,modric etc is not the fault of Moyes,these guys still would not have come if fergie was in charge,ronaldo was never really coming back and I would assume bale wouldnt even want to come after being linked with real.traditionally utd have never had much luck recruiting top draw european or south american players at the peak of there careers,i can think of veron and cantona maybe,traditionally we grow our own or by players and make them stars with the exception of british players or foreigners who are already playing here.personally I reckon fergie has left moyes in a bad position and moyes has made it worse.we should have just bought fellaini straight away,there was no worse case scenario with that,he is proven,can play am or dm,double figures for goals and has bossed us at least twice!squad instantly improved.now were gonna have to wrangle with everton who will probably want 30 mill.how dembele ended up at tottenham i’ll never know!and strootmans at roma !!as for the rooney saga,comically mismanaged in my opinion,i could rant on….

barry - August 9, 2013 Reply

Tiago himself has stated that we didn’t make an approach to sign him fabragas waited years to get back to barca and he knows that xavi is nearly finished so why would he leave his boyhood club the team he supports, have we made an approach for modric or is it paper talk and big afro from Everton will have to be more careful if he does come to us as he has a tendency to throw his arms about at set pieces we don’t want a player that get red cards for stupid things how he didn’t get sent off at least 3 times last season god only knows I didn’t think that cr7 would ever return until the cl game at old Trafford last season the reception he got brought tears to his eyes and players like Ronaldo want to be loved he doesn’t think that he gets that in Madrid I think that he’s waiting hoping that utd bid you can see it in his body language in interviews about his future that he wants out and if he didn’t want out he would already have signed the huge contract that Madrid have offered he also said that if he left real it would be to come back and has said he misses utd plus he really doesn’t get on with Perez and some of the other board members he told real that he doesn’t enjoy playing through the middle and he has played through the middle in every pre season matches he has been involved in man u a probably working on deals that we don’t know about the club knows what its doing have a little faith and if I’m wrong then I’m sure that the players we have will put up one hell of a battle for the title I guess tine will tell but rather than complain if no one comes in or if we have a bad start don’t shout for moyes head do what we should do and make old traffords foundations shake with singing to spur the team on we have the biggest stadium but unfortunately one of the quietest lets change that to help moyes’s utd

Damian Garside - August 9, 2013 Reply

United are becoming surreal. All it will need is an injury to Carrick and we have no midfield whatsoever. We are getting everything wrong: for God’s sake let Rooney go, it’s ridiculous that we are clinging on to him when he no longer wants to play for us and the fans will soon be starting to hate him. If Chelsea want him they should trade us a midfield player for him — they have so many good ones and we have none whatsoever. Great no-nonsense critical piece you wrote here Ed. Our best bet: we get so bad that change is forced upon the club. Worst bet: slow decline into mediocrity starting with a 3rd or 4th position in the league and exit in the group stage in the Champions.

barry - August 9, 2013 Reply

I can’t believe how negative some fans are sir Alex didn’t buy a midfielder last season and we won the league easily and should have beat real Madrid as we were the better team and wasted some great chances plus our wide players were terrible last season they can only get better and utds success has been built on effective wide players

Damian Garside - August 9, 2013 Reply

Could someone please point out the errors in this man’s thinking. Or shall we wait for the shock of the first few games to make this clear?

Dayus D red - August 9, 2013 Reply

Ed, Tiago did not reject United. Sure we showed interrest in him,but according to Moyes, we never bidded for him and the player also comfirmed it. I agreed with you on fabregas that we were naive not to have read between the lines and gone for Felliani early. However, Felliani is equally a good MF who have proven himself in the premier league especially against us in the last two seasons. Sure he has some attitude so does other players. And as for the clause, i learnt its Aug 15th.

Coach Herbie - August 10, 2013 Reply

I don’t think anyone on this sight knows anything about football or has played football for a club. I left one of the biggest clubs, a club that wins everything to coach a club that has won nothing. Because I was coaching a club that wins everything, when I joined this club that comes at the bottom and wins nothing, all the best players in the country joined the club because players go where the best coaches and managers are, thats the only way players feel they can improve their game. Now this nothing club has been champions for the last three years! You idiots have to understand that Moyes does not have the reputation of winning anything, so we are not getting the big name targets that Moyes wants. But Moyes is a good manager and if we can make a good showing in the Champions league, Moyes will get his targets next season. Even if we get as far as the semi-finals, this would be great for Moyes first season in charge.

Damian Garside - August 10, 2013 Reply

We needed, as a bare minimum one good creative or defensive midfield player. We did not get one. Ideally, we needed both, then we would not have to play in a style that compensates for midfield inadequacies. Our preseason form looks pretty dire and it is hard to see us getting anywhere in the CL or getting any purchase on City and Chelsea, teams that have really strengthened themselves in this transfer window (showing exactly how this has to be done).

Ashish - August 10, 2013 Reply

Hi Ed,

Many United fans seem to think the fact that we won the league last season so convincingly is proof that our squad is strong enough to challenge for major honors this season.

But they haven’t mentioned the reason why we won the league last season was because we strengthened the squad last summer with the purchases of Van Persie and Kagawa.

So far, this summer what measures have we taken to improve the squad ?Zero.Zilch.Nada.

Last season, United were dependent on RVP to win #20.

This season however, United will be dependent on RVP to secure a Champions League spot as there’s no gurantee that RVP will remain injury free for most parts of the season not to mention Moyes’ pre-historic training methods.


minde - August 10, 2013 Reply

why moyes dont sign fellaini?its a question for million dollar but i just think that it’s a myth that united have money to spend – these fucking parasites glazers trying everything to get on the cheap and this not how modern football works.. its sad state we are in at the moment.

Ed - August 10, 2013 Reply

minde – he wasn’t a priority at the start of the summer (if he was United would have done the deal already). Now he’s plan C or D.

steggo - August 10, 2013 Reply

Where does Coach Herbie coach? And is Mr Moyes aware of him?

Damian Garside - August 11, 2013 Reply

Finding the recipe for success this season looks like it won’t be easy.

On the other hand the recipe for disaster is frighteningly clear: Rooney stays at United sulking and generating chaotic distraction. And we lose Van Persie and Carrick to long-term injury. As it stands the team (such as we can speak of having a team) appears to lack any structure. Oh well, thumping Wigan 6-0 will show how wrong I am.

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