I once heard that there are only 2 things in life that are certain, death and taxes. You can now add ‘Manchester City are going to spend a lot of money on player acquisition’ to that list.
Whether that is to strengthen their position of premier league champions (sad face), or by some amazing stroke of hoopy luck, to try and overtake us, Manchester United as champions.
I fully expect City to go on and win the title, Yaya Toure’s goal against Newcastle had the same upper cutting feel as Mark Overmars’ did at OT all those years ago. Yes, as typical a comment as it is from United fans, particularly twitter top reds, they have without a shadow of doubt bought the title. They have effectively walked into the premier league shop, slapped a £960 million cheque on the counter and said “one premier league title, please”. It hurts.
It’s not that I’m jealous of their riches; what hurts is that in today’s mercenary rich football world, playing for Manchester United just isn’t enough anymore to tempt players into giving up really, really big contracts in favour of just really big contracts. It seems that every season from now until the Sheikh gets bored or the fair play rules actually are enforced, City will go out, take their pick of the world’s best and leave the rest of us scrapping it out for the rest.
Ultimately that’s not too big a deal, after all a game of football isn’t decided on players only, remember Wigan….
Reality check, working on the assumptions that a) City win on Sunday and b) we match their result, for all that £960 million we have only been beaten by 8 goals, not 8 points, 8 goals. If we had a goal scoring midfielder, that could have been different.
Some things do have to happen though for us to keep up with City, however.
1. Sir Alex Ferguson needs to find the steely enforcer in him that not only demands the best but isn’t afraid to get rid of a player that is not good enough. The same man that sold Stam, Beckham, Van Nistelrooy and just tossed away Roy Keane like a used bed sock because he wasn’t right for us.
2. There are so many hangers on at Old Trafford that need selling. Anderson, Berbatov, Park, Owen, dare I say Evra…. Absolutely not in the same breath as a hangers on but Giggs and Scholes surely can’t continue to play such a massive part of our first team plans next season??
3. The twitter favourite; Incoming transfers. I believe we need 3, maybe 4 players coming in. In my opinion I would like to see a left back come in, not as a understudy for Evra, as a replacement for him. A centre midfielder that carries some oomph with him, the same oomph that Keane/Vieira had, the oomph that Yaya Toure showed Ji Sung Park, when he bullied him into within an inch of his professional pride. Another central midfielder to give us more of a creative edge and a striker. Yes we have Rooney, Welbeck and Chicharito but I feel DW & JH are both a way off the finished product.
If I had to pick names I’d say Baines, M’Villa, Modric and David Villa. I would be massively surprised if we signed 1 let alone all of those but hey, I’m an optimist.
4. I think the game has changed tactically and this season saw us fall way short of where we needed to be in Europe. I think 4-4-2 is now looked upon the same as tracksuit trousers with poppers down the side. We were absolutely blown away by 9th place in La Liga, the premier league equivalent of Fulham, Athletic Bilbao. I’m no tactical genius so I’m not going to suggest Sir Alex takes my advice and plays some form of fancy Christmas tree – but I am a football fan and could see comfortably we were tactically outclassed.
5. As much as I love Mike Phelan and his shiny shiny head, he surely needs to be swapped for a coach that can offer SAF more advice than “cup of tea gaffer?” when we’re being out passed and out classed by European opposition. I never thought I’d say it but Carlos Quieroz, I miss you.
6. The traditional home red kit needs to be replaced by a tartan kit that resembles a table cloth.
Ok maybe not the last one but it’s likely to be the only one that is going to happen. An absolutely massive close season coming up, I hope SAF still has the fire in his once molten belly fire and isn’t as defeated as he seemed before the Swansea game. Ferguson’s tartan army.