Date:7th November 2011 at 5:48pm
Written by:

Darren Fletcher

The Scottish skipper is one of a number of midfield options

For the past few weeks, it seems, that all we have heard is that Manchester United need a new central midfielder.

Some say we need a couple of new central mid-fielders. I find myself asking the question – Why?

Rewind to the start of the season and you will have found most Manchester United fans excited at the blossoming partnership of Tom Cleverley and Anderson. It seemed that Tom Cleverley had made most fans forget about the failure to sign Wesley Sneijder and it seemed that he may be the replacement for Paul Scholes.

The partnership looked good. Neither player is really a defensive midfielder. Also, neither is really a really attacking midfielder. The thing they had was an understanding. They knew where each other were and could find each other with short, crisp passes. They could easily find other team-mates with ease. It seemed that they had a bit of Barcelona about them.

With Ashley Young and Nani on the wings, we were getting the goals. I don’t think I have ever seen a Manchester United team with such attacking wide men. With them in such good form, the job of Anderson and Cleverley was to keep the ball and find them. With Young and Nani being so attacking, I think it was important for us not to have such an attacking central midfielder.

Then came the Bolton game. A rough challenge by Kevin Davis saw Tom Cleverley ruled out for a few weeks. Then it seemed to fall apart. Our form dipped in the league, we struggled a bit in Europe and there was ‘that’ result against City.

Everyone seemed to blame the midfield on this. Despite us having to chop and change at the back and poor performances by other players, in other positions, it seems that the main focus of fans displeasure, was the central midfield, and one player in particular.

Wednesday’s Champion’s league game was a prime example. Half of the team had a really poor game, but it was one player who got most of the stick. Anderson. In the game, he was no worse, and no better than most of the players on the pitch. Yet, people used the game as an example of why we need a new central midfielder. Well, in that case, we need a new winger, two new strikers and a new left back.

I’m going to make a statement here, a statement that I know that the majority of Manchester United fans will disagree with. We do not need a new central mid-fielder. We don’t need Wesley Sneijder. We don’t need Ever Banega. We don’t need Cheik Tiote. We don’t need Lucas Biglia.

I’ll admit, at the start of the start of the season, I would have loved us to sign a new central mid-fielder. I said on many occasions that we should sign Sneijder or Banega. However, like most Manchester United fans, the partnership of Anderson and Tom Cleverley excited me, it still does. I believe it has the potential to win us trophies. When Tom Cleverley is fully fit again, I can see him and Anderson doing what they did at the start of the season.

Also, signing a new central mid-fielder in the January transfer window, could cause us a major problem. It could influence the big decision Paul Pogba has to make. With his contract expiring at the end of the season and some of Europe’s top clubs sniffing around, being pushed further down the pecking order might just nudge him to do something that no Manchester United fan wants him to do.

We are in a better position this season, than we were at the same point last season, yet we still need to improve the mid-field? Not in my opinion.