I’ll cover the Nani / Anderson moves to Manchester United in much greater detail in the next couple of days, but to kick things off I just wanted to make a few observations:
Anderson needs a work permit, although I doubt that it will be too much of an issue, what with Anderson playing for Brazil this summer in the Copa America. At worst, Manchester United will have to put the matter into appeal and get things done by August – which makes this ‘early’ business a very good thing.
Nani is not Ronaldo, so let’s not expect him to win games on his own for Manchester United next season.
Anderson has been hyped more than Nani, and I’m a bit surprised to see Manchester United sign him. Oh, and someone should tell the Guardian staff that Anderson plays as a striker as well.
Sky Sports should issue a public apology / retraction for posting bogus news last week about Nani signing a new contract. Ditto for Goal.com, but I doubt they’ll bother.
Arsetnal + more money + better manager = Manchester United. We’re picking up good kids, but we’re balancing the squad with experienced players and the team is flexible in its style of play – and yes, we’re spending a lot of money to do it.
Manchester United’s 9th title lost a bit of its shine when United lost to Milan and Chelsea. The two new signings (plus Hargreaves coming in) have turned the optimism knob way into overdrive. Let’s try to keep our feet on the ground and not emulate Liverpool or Tottenham in making grand predictions about the next season. We’ve now got a good core of young kids who will hopefully grow up together at Manchester United and help us win more titles.
We need to sell two players now – a striker and a winger. I want to keep Saha and Eagles, so for me it means that Smith / Ole and Richardson should go.
As a side-note, Silvestre says he wants to stay but should he really? Heinze is not leaving (more on this tomorrow) so we’ve got two left-backs already. Pique ahead of Silvestre (to give him experience, if nothing else), so where does that leave the Frenchman? Newcastle anyone?
Ok, I’m branching off into unrelated talk now, so I’ll wrap this up by saying that it’s excellent news that we’ve got our transfer business more or less wrapped up by the end of May and that I hope that we’ve got all our players in when pre-season begins.
By the way, the current squad now looks quite a bit like one of my Football Manager configs – although I had Marcelo in, had sold Evra, Smith, Dong and Ole and had brought in Klose too. Oh, and Kuszczak and Foster again out on loan with Buffon in and EVDS on the bench.
Oh, and since everyone seems happy to do this, here’s my next season’s starting XI:
Neville/Brown, Rio, Vida, Heinze
Ronaldo, Carrick, Hargreaves, Nani
Scholes and Giggs rotating with the middle 4, and Saha rotating with the front two.
I’m out. More on Nani and Anderson soon.