Finally and irrevocably Wesley Sneijder is not coming to Manchester United.
The most drawn out, tweeted, transfer drama in the history of the universe has drawn to a close and we can now focus our attention on the important business of who’s going to win the X factor.
Or even better than that we can turn to the players United have at our disposal and realise that not signing Senijder or re-signing Hargreaves isn’t the end of the world. It actually may come as something of a shock to many Reds but United’s current midfield may just be good enough without any additions.
The problem for many United fans is the perceived lack of a ‘world class’ midfielder, a Sneijder ot a Modric or even a Lassana Diarra. While any of those players would be a useful signing for practically any club in the world, the fact United haven’t bought them shouldn’t mean we cannot compete for all the top honours -including the Champions League.
Tom Cleverley has made a great start to the season, ditto Anderson, then there’s still Darren Fletcher to return from injury. Michael Carrick was many people’s unsung hero last season, while in case you haven’t noticed Wayne Rooney plays so deep at times he’s practically a midfielder- oh and did I mention a certain South Korean who happens to be one of the most underated players in world football? If only we also had an experienced man who could slot into the middle when called upon- a player who’d won a few trophies and been at the club for a while.
Phil Jones has settled into the United side like a scouser settles into prison and if he keeps it up, I’m confident there could be a place as a defensive midfielder in the side once Rio and Vidic return to the fray.
Then there’s also a certain young Frenchman who’s one of the most talked about youngsters in world football, a player so good, that despite being only 18 is already being touted as a potential first team player by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Part of the problem for many fans is the lack of a true ‘world class’ top tier, one in a million Roy Keane-esque midfield superstar, yet scratch beneath the surface and that assesment may not be wholly justified. United have in Rooney a player who can occupy practically the same position in a team that Sneijder does and does it just as well if not better.
Park is the sort of battler, with the ability and big game temperament that makes him essential for any top of the table or Champions League clash. Park may not have the vision of a Xavi or the skill of a Messi but he does have the tenacity of a Mascherano and the energy of an Iniesta, he also doesn’t go missing in the big games a criticism Fabregas has yet to truly dispel.
Yaya Toure’s been one of the top midfielders in world football for a few years now, and is revelling in the role afforded him at Eastlands, yet is it totally inconcievable that on his day Anderson can not be just as good if not better? Anderson hasn’t had a consistent run in the side, yet if he’s given one, I’m confident that he’d outshine any central midfielder in the Premier League.
Barcelona can rely on the likes of Xavi and Iniesta to pull the strings, while last season Ryan Giggs proved he’s still capable of orchestrating United’s play. I’m not for one minute claiming Giggs is the equal of his Catalan counterparts, I’m merely pointing out the fact that when he’s on song, just as the Barcelona dou can, Giggs can pull the strings, certainly against some of the so-called lesser teams.
Should Darren Fletcher ever regain the form he showed he’s capable of, then he’s just as able as Pepe is at stopping an attacking midfielder from dominating a game, while Michael Carrick’s supporters will claim his passing can be the equal of Xabi Alonso.
The point I’m gradually making in case I’ve not been obvious enough, is that United’s midfield IS world class. Cleverley Jones and Pogba may not have reached that level yet, but in 1995-96 I remember watcing a team of ‘kids’ grow in ability at such a rate that by the end of the season they’d helped deliver a double. Given time, there’s little doubt in my mind the aformentioned trio will reach the very pinnacle of football.
For this season, the youth, experience, talent and energy United have in the centre of the park makes me think that the percieved failure to sign a world class midfielder, may actually be a blessing in disguise.
Have I gone in off the deep end again or is there a small drop of sanity in my dribble? Feel free to comment, suggest and abuse below: