I can understand that seeing Chelsea sign 5 players before the World Cup and seeing Tottenham and Liverpool sign a whole host of players this transfer season makes Manchester United fans worried about the club’s future, but is there really any cause for the constant bitching and moaning about Manchester United not signing anyone yet?
To begin with, I’m a Manchester United fan myself. My friends tell me this whole football blog gig is just a front for me to rant on and on about Man Utd, and you know what — sometimes they’re right.
But for the life of me I cannot understand why everyone is so worried. This is a team that came second in the league and managed to cut down an 18 point lead to 6 points at the top of the table and had we beaten a couple of the teams we drew with, the end league table could have looked different. I’m not happy with our result, but considering our resources it is quite surprising that we ended up where we did at the end of May.
But forget ‘what might have happened’. Think of what DID happen.
Manchester United was rotating John O’Shea, Giggs and Darren Fletcher in the midfield after Keano was sent away and Alan Smith got injured. Two players who would normally be sitting on the bench (and in Fletcher’s case not even on the bench) and a natural left-winger who is past his best.
And we still managed a fantastic run-in to the end of the last season.
Why am I reminding you of all this?
Because Manchester United play best when they are boxed into a corner. Even at our worst, with players ‘losing concentration’, caring more for flash than effectiveness and what not, we can win a game whatever the situation might be. Liverpool will cite the 2005 Champions League Final and Arsenal may look back to the 5-3 comeback against Boro for inspiration, but the fact is that Manchester United has made a habit of getting out of hairy situations.
It’s the ‘getting into’ these difficult positions that we have to avoid…
But back to the topic at hand. The media is having a field day with linking Manchester United to different players and re-running the same stories over and over and over again in the effort to squeeze one last buck out of our transfer inactivity. Ronaldo and Ruud are just two examples of the mess that has been made by the media (and gobbled up so gullibly by our fans). In the transfer speculation business, you only have to look at the rumours surrounding Fernando Torres and one Michael Carrick to see the amount of BS being printed up and believed in.
There are two big things that are bothering me about this transfer speculation.
One, the reaction of Manchester United fans. It would be fine if the young and fickle fans were acting insecure, but even long-standing die-hard fans (like the fine folks at United Rant and a certain ‘H’) have taken to making ridiculous statements such as Alex Ferguson not having a clear-cut strategy for the future or for this season’s transfers for that matter.
Are you fucking kidding? Do you think that Ferguson just gets up each day and checks the news to see who’s still available and then calls David Gill to ask for money, only for the Glazers to intervene and give him a bitch slap?
I don’t completely agree with Ferguson, and I especially don’t agree with his actions in the transfer market this summer. He has made a move for two players we don’t need and ignored a handful of truly talented players that could be bought at value (not over-priced like Mr. Carrick) and would be extremely successful (and not a risk like Mr. Torres). Manchester United have also made a few mistakes, the biggest one being the claim that all transfers would be concluded before the World Cup started.
But to say that Ferguson’s got no clue is remarkably short-sighted of us. I would only get worried if we go into the Old Trafford ‘opening’ match with Seville without a transfer to our name.
The second gripe I have with this mess is the ridiculous rumours floating around that Manchester United are willing to offer a player-plus-cash deal to Tottenham for Michael Carrick. Considering that after their preliminary bid of 10 mil was rejected, Manchester United have not made any contact with Tottenham over Carrick (the supposed 12 mil bid remains a rumour) and according to Ferguson they HAVE been waiting for the mess in Italy to resolve itself before resuming their interest in Carrick.
That means that unless Ferguson receives a clear ‘no’ from Gattuso and unless Vieira jumps ship to Inter, we’re not going to be moving for any other midfielders. And since the final date for the appeals to be settles is July 24, wait till July 25 (Tuesday) for something concrete to happen.
Till then, let’s just tone down the panic and keep our fingers away from the bid red button, shall we?
And while we’re on the subject, can someone please pass this note to Sir Alex Ferguson?