What if Robben and Ballack had joined Manchester United instead of Chelsea?

Soccerlens reader and Manchester United fan ‘yfcs’ writes in the Manchester United forum:

Recent events regarding Robben and Ballack got me thinking… What if Robben and Ballack had signed with Manchester United?!?!?!?

Robben complained about the way Chelsea plays… he would’ve been in heaven in our system… looking back, would you guys change anything?

Ballack has been underperforming , I think, because he doesn’t fit in Chelsea system and the fact that they have alot of midfielders who can play his position… looking back, would u change anything?

Dont look at what they did for Chelsea… for arguments sake, think as you did a few years ago when we had just learned we lost them to Chelski

Apart from being wishful thinking, yfcs raises an important point – Chelsea is not fertile ground for superstars (wannabe or real), as Robben and Gallas found out, and as Sheva and Ballack are finding out now. On the other hand, Manchester United under Fergie have always been much better at managing egos (to an extent) and star players.

Would Robben have shone at Manchester United? Definitely. Ballack? I’m not so sure, because a year before Ballack came we were after Essien, and if he had come instead, it would have been a completely different ball game.

Over the last 3 years Mourinho has turned Chelsea into a European powerhouse, but that doesn’t hide the fact that Mourinho can’t handle big stars – or is it that he can’t accept playing players not signed by him?

Discuss in the forum:

What if Robben and Ballack had signed for United?