Date: 21st May 2013 at 9:53pm
Written by:

Farewell Fergie

At the back end of the 2011/12 campaign, after Everton derailed our title hopes by pulling off a stunning comeback in a 4-4 draw at Old Trafford, a friend asked me if that was the future Manchester United manager strengthening his claim for the hot seat when Sir Alex walks – and in a word I answered him; no.

To explain the simple thought process behind my short, sweet and agitated response:

David Moyes would be the obvious successor to Sir Alex if he was inheriting a title winning squad.

If Manchester United were to be reigning champions, and have a squad filled with experienced internationals and promising youngsters, then yes, I would be certain that Moyes would leave his post at Everton and come to Old Trafford to carry the mantle.

Not much would need changing; the machine would still drive onwards and upwards, taking the same route,  just with a new driver.

However, this question was asked after a 4-4 home draw which fundamentally prevented us from winning the Premier League.  Deep down we knew that match had ended our title hopes. There was no way United were going to win at the Etihad as it has been somewhat of  a fortress all season, and no way the huge goal difference would be overturned.

My answer at the time as to who would eventually succeed Sir Alex… yes you guessed it; Jose Mourinho.

With United odds on to fall short domestically and having been embarrassed in Europe, changes would obviously need to be made.

It might sound a tad harsh now, but I would not have trusted Moyes to come in and create his own title winning side – had he ever done it before? No…. But Mourinho, I certainly would have trusted him to come in and get it spot on at his first attempt.

The Portuguese coach never stays at one club for too long, but he guarantees silverware.

Portugal, England, Italy and Spain have all witnessed the greatness of Mourinho – so he would have been the perfect man to make a faltering Manchester United, great, once again.

Had Mourinho joined the club, I have absolutely no doubt we would have gone on to dominate for two or three seasons, but then what?

Does the club implode; with players falling out, the dressing room splitting and those who were once happy playing in red, now looking for an exit? Probably.

It has happened everywhere else this charismatic yet troublesome individual has been.

Needless to say, Sir Alex did not step down as a runner up. He stayed on for a year and fought. He added youth and quality to the squad. He won his title back. We won our title back.

The only word Manchester United fans should now be concerned with is continuity.

Shipping out six players will not do the squad, or the club any favours.

As fans, we certainly aren’t short on ideas when it comes to naming the players we would like to see walk through the exit door and who should be brought in. We have all apparently played Football Manager or Fifa 13, so we all know what is best for the club. Honest.

Nani, Anderson, Valencia, Hernandez, Young, the list of players who have probably underperformed or who we could make money on in order to bring in a better player is endless  – but this is not why Moyes was brought to the club.

Yes the new manager will have his own ideas; yes the new manager might add one or two additions – but this squad of players, despite all its short falls, is a championship winning squad – and not even an average one at that; an 11 point gap title winning squad.

With Scholes now retired, and a few players on the senior side, of course fresh legs would help maintain healthy competition amongst the players – but a mass overhaul is not the answer.

If the club wanted a revolution, Jose was the answer.

The club opted for evolution, and Moyes is perfect for that job.

Should Moyes try and continue getting the best out of the players we have, or am I mental and do we need half a dozen fresh faces?

Have your say in the comments below.

Are you on Twitter? Why not follow me @NathonW

For all United banter follow @RFFH


10 responses to “How Many Changes Does A Title Winning Squad Actually Need?”

  1. Adam says:

    A mass overhaul is never the answer, but we won the title because we had Alex Ferguson. We do have a good squad and some terrific players, but our first 11 is not as good as Chelsea or Man City. It was the drive and determination of Ferguson that I believe won us back the title.

    Moyes is a very good manager and he showed that at Everton. If he is to become a top class, dare I say a world class, manager then he will need to be successful with Man Utd. I believe he can be but it will require time and patience.

    Moyes needs to put his own stamp on the team though. I think the big question is about Rooney. Although I wouldn’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that his time is up, I do believe his departure may benefit us long-term.

    Rooney can still be a quality player, but in my opinion it is time to build around Shinji Kagawa. If Moyes wants to put a stamp on the team then I think handing Kagawa the number 10 role is the way to go. Kagawa is a lot better than what he has shown, and he still managed 6 goals. Klopp even said today that Kagawa is one of the best in the world, but his position is central.

    I agree that Kagawa role is central in a 4-2-3-1 formation. If we sell Rooney then it will free Kagawa to play that role, rather than be shifted to the left for Rooney. Moyes needs to sign a central midfielder alongside Carrick, and possibly an exciting wide attacker. We might be able to get £30-35 million for Rooney, and its the last summer that is possible.

    ……………De Gea…………



    …Zaha……..Kagawa……Isco (my dream signing)

    ………….Van Persie……….

  2. bob says:

    i completely agree with you except about fellaini and isco..fellaini is indisciplined and isco most surely bound for city….cheers

    • Nathon Woodhead says:

      Isco looks good but will cost a fortune!

      Fellaini being ill disciplined shouldn’t be a factor not to sign him…. look at Cantona!

      • bob says:

        yeah you’ve got a point but fellaini i’m just not too sure about him.besides he would cost a fortune at about 20million.wanyama or strootman would be much cheaper and more assured signings.cheers.

  3. Anagafo Michael! says:

    If United must compete with the best teams in Europe then the midfield must be overhauled. Carrick, Young, Valencia are not good enough. Rooney should be allowed to leave. United will do well without him.

  4. Nathon Woodhead says:

    Carrick not good enough? Are you dizzy blud?

    Seriously, Carrick could get into any team in Europe at the moment.

    I agree if Rooney wants out, let him go.

    Shouldn’t be too harsh on Young as he has had injuries. He was excellent away at City earlier this season.

  5. Alex says:

    For fans that insist that Mou would have done a better job than Moyes, I think that’s highly likely. But in true United spirit, the manager should be one who gives the youngsters a chance, someone who imbues more than just togetherness and someone who doesn’t split the dressing room up like Mou does. And he might win us some trophies, even the coveted elephant ears, but he will only be around for 3-4 years tops, 5 if we’re lucky.

    My opinion would be to ship Anderson and Nani out, and it’s a d*mn shame. Anderson is magnificent on his day, and Nani is a real game-changer (much like Bale) but those two are inconsistent as hell. Give them a good game and the next 10 matches would be one of mediocrity, or in the case of Nani, absolutely appalling. They’re 25 and 26 respectively and should be in their prime, but clearly performing way below their potential/ability (we’ve seen numerous glimpses of it, or in the case of Nani – one season).

    I’d fancy James Rodriguez to come in for Nani. He might cost upwards of 30mil, but 2 strong factors are in his favour – he’s 21 and he can play wing and centrally. His youth gives rise to the ability to develop even more, and of course the resale value if necessary, while his versatility means that he can interchange with Kagawa (I’m assuming he’s playing the No. 10 and Rooney isn’t staying – he’s basically declared out and I don’t think majority of the fans are ready to forgive him a second time round). He plays with flair (like for like replacement with Nani), and he has the physique to boot. Only thing counting against him is playing for the Portuguese league, although I don’t see a huge problem.

    I think Strootman (23) as our midfield enforcer would be great, plus he’s got the vision as well, someone in the mould of the current Xabi Alonso. For him to be given vice-captaincy of the dutch team says a lot about his ability. Strootman gets the vote just ahead of Fellaini because it’s my personal opinion that managers shouldn’t go for their old players no matter how good they are, unless you’re talking about Ronaldo or Messi. Managers should have a clean slate at a new club, and old players are just going to make the manager stick to his old ways – be it where the player should play, his preference/faith for such a player etc. I mean, he’s good, but just my opinion.

    Of course, I think Thiago would be a great addition, he’s a great passer, seems to pack a decent shot, is creative and also has the physique for the BPL. He could do with lots of first team chances but I think Moyes should give Cleverley his chance (if he does, no point going for Thiago as he wouldn’t get the first team games he wants and defeats the purpose of spending 18mil on him). The boss somehow lost faith(?) in him past mid-season for whatever reason and Anderson got the nod over him at times (shocking if you think about it). I think the problem with Cleverley is that he plays a high tempo game but he can’t sustain it for the full 90 minutes, and invariably tapers off around the 60-70 minute mark, and he becomes pretty much invisible. Maybe something could be done about his fitness? I think Cleverley has something in him and should be given a real chance, much like how Kagawa should be given a chance at the No. 10, even if Rooney stays.

    So, my vote goes for Nani (15mil?) and Anderson (10mil?) out, probably Rooney (25mil) too, while we bring Strootman (15mil?), Rodriguez (30mil) and maybe Thiago (18mil) in. 13mil net spend isn’t too shabby.

  6. bob says:

    while ando and nani are very inconsistent, there is also another factor that restrain their ability to shine…injury.they both have never managed to have an injury-free campaign since their sum up,there are two factors that point against them not fulfilling their great potential:inconsistency and injury.but several players have managed to overcome these.xavi was considered inconsistent and surplus until recently[6 or 7 years ago],and van persie had probably considered a job in nursing during his arsenal days.but they have both overcome it and bounce with’s a risk to keep them,but the risk can pay off.i believe the new boss should keep them both and judge their contributions for the team and decide whether he really needs them or not.otherwise i completely share your opinions mate.cheers.