Date: 20th August 2012 at 1:53am
Written by:

They don't make 'em like this anymore

"Have a bit of that you scouse c*nt!"

A few days on from Manchester United finalising what could be described as the most important transfer in Premier League history, I have found some reactions of the United faithful absolutely astounding.

Securing the signature of Robin Van Persie proves a number of things to the footballing world:

Firstly, it sends a message to the rest of the country that there is still sense in football.

Money isn’t the be all and end all to every player – and this world class forward, in his own words, made his choice because “Manchester United breathes football”.

Yes, I accept he may be on a good wage at Old Trafford, but ask any Arsenal fan and they will tell you, he was on a good screw at the Emirates. Ask any gloating City fan and they will happily tell you in no uncertain terms, whatever United could offer in wages, City could, and would, easily double it. Sense and passion over finance with Mr Van Persie.

Secondly, this transfer, I believe, will force the end of a Premier League giant. Arsenal have been a major threat to United since the Premier League began in 92. A club with rich history, tradition and a solid foundation bringing players through from youth level, season after season. However, over the past eight years, too many superstars have walked through the exit door.

Every great team goes through a transition period, every great team loses a superstar – but this Arsenal side have lost their very best player, to a United side which was already head and shoulders above them in terms of quality. Unfortunately for Arsenal, a club I respect, I believe this is the end. I only hope for their sake they do not become the new Liverpool.

Finally, the importance of this transfer is, fundamentally, the player. Robin Van Persie is a world class striker. A game changer. A leader. A winner. Granted, there is the niggle of injury problems, but what more can a man do than keep himself fit for a whole season to prove his worth?

Moving away from Van Persie, and on to the section of United fans who were unhappy with this deal – the fundamental problem is apparent: “We do not need a striker, we need a central midfielder.”

Why hasn’t Sir Alex invested in a world class central midfielder?

The simple answer is, there isn’t a world class central midfielder out there who is available.

Many of you will challenge this answer by rolling off the names of 10-15 central midfielders playing in the Premier League, in Europe, and around the world. But, thinking seriously and logically for a moment, ask yourself, would they actually improve our squad?

Obviously there are players like Ozil, Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Iniesta and Yaya Toure who are all outstanding footballers – but not one of them would join our club. There is more chance of Gary Neville coming out of retirement to play for Liverpool, than any of these players leaving their clubs. So on to a more realistic list of targets.

This week we have seen a talented young Englishman in Jack Rodwell join the noisy neighbours. Have we missed out? I do not think so. £15m for a player who couldn’t force his way into the Everton side most weeks.

The Newcastle pair of Cabaye and Tiote. Industrious, strong, creative. Would you pick either player ahead of Cleverley or Anderson? If this is even a debate, then the answer to signing them is a firm no. I do not want big bucks spent on a player who ‘might’ get in the side. It is either a signing in which they are the first name on the team sheet, or it is a young player who we can develop.

Luka Modric – an exceptional talent who rarely loses the ball – but £35m? Is he that much better at keeping the ball than Carrick or Scholes? He certainly doesn’t possess the hard work of a fit Darren Fletcher. Where exactly would Modric fit in and who would lose their place to him?

More names in the mix are Sahin, M’Vila, Moutinho and Lucas Moura. We have all played Football Manager, we have all won the league with Huddersfield. It isn’t real. Just because a player turns out great in the game, and had a good season last year in France or Portugal, doesn’t mean it will work in real life.

We have seen some very poor central players try and fail over the years at Old Trafford. Liam Miller, Kleberson, Djemba Djemba, Darron Gibson – need I go on?

I do not for one moment argue that, sooner or later, Scholes and Giggs will need replacing. I fully understand Fletcher may not return as the tenacious player he once was.

I accept Kagawa and Powell may take time to get used to the rigours of the Premier League.

What I cannot and will not accept is that the Robin Van Persie transfer money should have been spent on a ‘world class’ central midfielder.

The vision of Scholes, the skill of Ronaldo, the leadership qualities of Roy Keane, the fight of Bryan Robson… this player simply does not exist.

All comments welcome.

To respond to this story, or any of my news updates, I am on Twitter: @NathonW


79 responses to “The Reason United Haven’t Bought A ‘World Class’ Midfielder”

  1. Anybody fancy chucking Fellaini in the mix?

  2. Ez says:

    Fellaini really bossed us this evening, what a shame… Maybe I am having wrong ideas of “Get him“!!!
    And Baines really showed why he’s better than Evra, gutted we didn’t get him.
    Anyway Kagawa and Cleverly played there midgield part well.
    (Still crying for Tiote, got a short fantasy for Fellaini).

  3. Slaw says:

    I think fellaini would be perfect after seeing his performance against us 2nyt. I have been a fan of his for a couple of years so im not jst basin it on that but 2nyt killed any doubt tht he might not be able to step up to be man utd class. He single handedly bullied us tonight and hit the nail in the coffin. No one could touch him, his first touch was immense and he had just came back from an injury! Im not 100% but i believe he didnt play much if any of the pre-season either. If you want a player that can make an impact straight away i pick the man with the fro everytime! Also tiote would be second choice but i think out of the two fellaini would be the easier to get.

  4. kostas says:

    seriously carrick and scholes are good player but time has come to an end ,especially for scholes.(He is good to play against wolves and arsenal at old old trafford).if we want the title and C.L we need to give 40 M for real madrid player Diara and Tiote.. Both are far more better player than anyone else within the team in terms of biting the opponent like a dog.we lost tonight cause our midfield was nonexist.

  5. GazNevLuv says:

    “Securing the signature of Robin Van Persie proves a number of things to the footballing world. Firstly, it sends a message to the rest of the country that there is still sense in football. Money isn’t the be all and end all to every player”.

    Is this the same RVP who we’ve just made the joint highest-paid player in English football (alongside another one of our players, Rooney, on £220k a week?!?)

    Even if he’s only on, say, £200k a week, and that’s the MINIMUM he’ll be on, that’s over £65m all in, for a 29-year-old striker.



    • NathonW says:

      Oh I am sorry, I did not realise you worked in the financial department at Manchester United.

      Do you really think Man City couldn’t afford to offer him double what we did?

      If it was about money, he would be wearing blue.

      I admit he probably does earn well – but its plainly obvious that money was not the driving force in this transfer.

  6. Ez says:

    I will walk to South Africa to raise awareness we need a Defensive Midfielder. Watch the news and You tube.

  7. daniel says:

    i am that legendary player ur looking for ferguson 🙂

  8. Lucas says:

    I’m sorry, but the author of this article is extremeley biased, like most United fans. Please do us all a favour and shut up.

    • NathonW says:

      Biassed how, exactly? I can name many central midfielders who would get into our side, but none of them would entertain the idea of joining us.

      Those who would come, aren’t good enough.

  9. NathonW says:

    The Tiote fan club are very quiet today.

    Maybe he isn’t the answer to our problems – was he even on the pitch yesterday…….

  10. capital 27 says:

    yes i do agree tiote is a great prospect for the future bt would much rather see sum1 who has a cool head take command of that CDM Position sum1 with the calibur of essien or cisse …who require sum1 who wont depend on opportunity but who will make things happen.A scholes OF 5-6 years back would have been ideel bt we still would`ve required a player with the ability to make , enticipate and orcestrate the tempo of the game both defencisively and offencinsively . my opinion is that going forward rvp provides that extra bit of flare that we required coz (give the man his due ) he has proven he is worth every RED DEVIL penny we have spent …bt with that being said that hole in the midfield that cristiano ronaldo left with his departure has really hurt us big time , bt ja enough about that lets give our boys a chance u never know they might just surprise us…ANY1 SENSE A TROPHY TREBLE FOR 2012/2013 ?