Manchester United hasn’t had a great World Cup – One of our strikers was dropped when he could have helped his team win, another hasn’t been used in the tournament but managed to pick up two bookings in 10 minutes, and the third got a red card for a stomp that condemned Ronaldo to infamy.
So what can we take away from the World Cup?
Rio Ferdinand’s return to form
England’s best defender of the tournament. With him in the side (and Vidic and Brown in the squad as well), there’s little question about the solidity of our defence. Now if only we could fix the rest of the team…
Ronaldo’s strong performances
Manchester United’s best player of the World Cup, despite the diving and despite his involvement in Rooney’s sending off. He’s a strong character and thrives on opposition, which combined with the big occasion brought his best performance of the World Cup against Germany. If he stays at Old Trafford and can turn in such performances for United, the fans will be quick to forgive (although can’t say the same for the rest of England).
Van der Sar
He was the only other player apart from Ronaldo and Ferdinand who made a strong showing at the World Cup for United. And with news coming in that he might retire from the international scene, he is likely to be around Old Trafford for the next couple of years, giving us time to groom Ben Foster / get a good young keeper.
Our Summer Transfer Targets
The World Cup gave United fans a good chance to see our target midfielders in action. Michael Carrick, obscenely valued at 20 million, will definitely see a drop in his price while Owen Hargreaves impressed and surely must be United’s primary target (he’ll cost under 10, and is only 25.
Stephen Appiah is the only ‘unknown’ player to be noticed. Torres, Riquelme, Mascherano and Gattuso all impressed, but they are fairly expensive and with United needing two midfielders, spending 20 mil on each of them is just bad business.
Still waiting for the new kit to be officially released – due to come out on July 14th, and so are the new squad numbers. Samples floating around the net are mostly fakes, although you just have to look at the training kits to realise that the new AIG logo isn’t that hot.