Date: 14th May 2012 at 6:17pm
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Can Fergie prevent City from enjoying a dominant spell?

Can Fergie prevent City from enjoying a dominant spell?

Less than 24 hours have passed since those ridiculous 4 minutes at the Etihad Stadium and I’m already sick of the image of the oh-so unlikeable Roberto Mancini holding the Premier League trophy. Naturally, I have turned to the art of writing to offload some emotion, and now just need to avoid including expletives in this article.

It wasn’t too long ago that United fans were celebrating the inevitable prospect of a 20th league title, and with City falling 8 points behind after a loss at Arsenal, the plans were being put in place for a United street parade. Those plans were halted however after a loss at the in-form Wigan, followed by a disastrous self-destruction at home to Everton. Still the enigmatic Mancini was insisting City were out of the title race. Then United travelled the short distance to the Etihad for the derby to end all derbies, and as many predicted, it was City who won the game and took charge of the title.

A valiant effort from a fighting Queens Park Rangers side almost gifted United the trophy, until English football’s baddest bad boy had yet another moment of madness. So at the end of the day, an ex-Manchester City player costs United the title. If it wasn’t so typical of Joey Barton, one might be tempted to call it match-fixing.

The one thing that numbs the pain ever so slightly is the fact that we have 19 league titles, and a history steeped in tradition. When someone asks me to name United legends I instantly recall; Robson, Charlton, Best, Scholes, Giggs and Neville. Who have City got? What makes me so bitter about City winning the league is the fact that before Sheikh Mansour took over the club, they were a middle of the road team at best. After 1 billion pounds of investment in facilities, staff and players, City have a league trophy to show for it.  With United, there is a sense of pride when a player who has spent many of his young years being trained at United breaks into the first team. Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck are a couple of recent examples. As a United fan, if you’d told me a couple of years ago that I’d find a team I hate more than Liverpool, I would have had a laugh at your expense. Step up and take a bow Mancini, Tevez, Balotelli and co.

Anyone can see that United are going to have to invest in the squad this summer to avoid being left behind by Manchester City, who are sure to ship out some players and bring in even better ones. United’s long term transfer target, Eden Hazard who, along with Neymar, is probably the most coveted young player in Europe, is one who is looking likely to choose City over United. If City do sign him, it will certainly be a cruel blow to Sir Alex Ferguson and United fans. One player who looks certain to arrive is Shinji Kagawa from Dortmund, but the question remains, where will he play? Sir Alex has recently stated he is not going to invest in a holding midfielder so the 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 formations that United employ look set to stay for the forseeable future.

Aside from central midfield, I would love to see United invest in two new fullbacks. It is time for Ferguson to take the hard line and accept that Patrice Evra hasn’t been United quality for a while now. Leighton Baines and Jordi Alba are two options who have been mentioned and both are in the 10-15 million pound brice bracket. I believe United also need to purchase a specialist right back. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were surely signed first and foremost as central defenders and Rafael (the first choice and only specialist right back) was dumped for the derby because he lacks the temperament. Smalling plays admirably at right back but has had ongoing injury problems, and Jones hasn’t looked in good touch since Christmas. The impressive Kyle Walker has recently extended his contract with Tottenham, so perhaps someone like Gregory van der Wiel or Łukasz Piszczek could be an option. It’s a pity we didn’t sign Micah Richards when we had the chance a few years ago.

So, it pains me to say it but Manchester City are champions of England (and Wales), and admittedly we are all a little jealous of City’s celebrations today. Sir Alex Ferguson is going to have to act quickly again this Summer if he wants to avoid being gazumped on his transfer targets. It should be an interesting summer ahead.

Follow me on Twitter: @levibarrow


16 responses to “You Can’t Buy History, But You Can Buy For The Future”

  1. ole says:

    Hi to all
    It does not feel great to lose does it but for the rest of the pl fans they are or appear to be delighted.
    That is astounding considering the hatred that should be there for city and their millions but it clearly illustrates that united and their fans have not been gracious winners so maybe this will be good for all both players and fans.
    As to the future well if the best signing was Scholes this season it illustrates what the future holds for united, SAF summed this up by starting to bleat on about the clubs history which is what you hear from the club down the East Lancs road.
    That for me is an admission that far from coming back stronger the club will now wither and die only chasing the odd domestic trophy , it was nice for all while it lasted but get used to the real world again as now you will also see referees behave differently towards united no longer allowing themselves to be intimidated by the players fans but mainly the manager,the 12th man has now gone get used to playing on a level playing field like the rest of the PL teams have to.
    Finally there was no better sight on the final day than watching the sunderland fans doing the Poznan at least they didn’t roll over and die like their team did.

  2. ole says:

    do you really think uefa can enforce FFP itwill be in the european courts for restriction of trade before you know it and I am sure Platini will not be so keen to fight now PSG have got a loaded benefactor.
    It is almost laughable to hear you hiding behind legislation and lets face it if it cant be bypassed all the richest clubs will form a breakaway european league ,it is unfortunate that if the criteria is loads of money and no debt it wont include united thanks to the glazers.
    On that note what happened to the green and gold movement. It appears it died last year when a title was won , no doubt like lazurus it will now be resurrected as nothing was won this year.

  3. Anagafo Michael says:

    Sir Ferguson is not prepared for the Gity challenge. He is still living in the past. For him to have extended the contracts of Scholes and Giggs clearly show his mindset. How on earth does he think Scholes 38, Giggs 39 and Carrick 32 can compete with the likes of City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle midfields with younger and more energetic players? Unless he change his mindset and buy young and creative midfielders, what is happening to Liverpool now will be United’s lot next season.

  4. blue jim says:

    Just seen a vision of the future for all you united and it is already in print;-
    Sir Alex Is Queuing In His Local Building Society, When A Gunman Bursts In Through The Door Demanding Money. Ferguson Attempts To Tackle The Raider, But Gets Knocked Over…As He Falls, His Head Smashes The Counter And Sir Alex Is Out Cold. The Robber Escapes And The Cashier Tries To Revive Ferguson. After A Few Minutes He Comes Round And Looks Bewildered. His First Words Are “Where The Hell Am I?”. The Cashier Replies: “Don’t Worry, Its Ok, You’re In The Nationwide.” Ferguson Replies, “F**K Me, Is It May Already?”

  5. Phil says:

    Fewer things make me happier than seeing Man Utd (with the second most expensive team in the league) winge about Citys money. We don’t have history? We inflicted the biggest defeat at Old Trafford in 50 years and won the greatest title race of all time. If that isn’t history I fear what is yet to come.