Sir Alex’s scorn is to be dreaded thing! The legends of hair dryers, flying tea cups and cut eyes are testament to this characterisation, but one thing irritates him more than his players underperforming and that’s the apposing club that beats him. Through the years Manchester United have often been pipped to the league title by Chelsea, Arsenal and others only for him to regroup his squad and come back stronger soon after. Even the Barcelona defeats in the Champions League grind at him like a persistent woodpecker outside the window of his Old Trafford office. He relished the second chance at European vengeance but to no avail.
Now cometh the challenge from their richer, more vulgar, noisier, City neighbours. Would Sir Alex still be at old Trafford if this, possibly greatest of adversaries had not come to the fore? Surely the allure of seeing off the blue half of Manchester would be as big a coup as “knocking Liverpool off their bloody perch“.
So City have won the Premier league and United have had a few months to take stock and prepare for the 2012/13 season. How have they looked at last years performance to mount a challenge the champions?
Fans have for many years expected a formidable Red Devil set up at the back of the pitch, with solid dependable characters scoring three or five goals each a season. This is often one of the reasons united have had their head above everyone else for so long. But the lengthy injury to Vidic was a massive blow to the squad. With Rio Ferdinand not getting any younger Vidic, as captain is the rock of the whole team. Jonny Evans just doesn’t have the world class talent of Vidic and from an inexperienced and much hyped Phill Jones, return remains to be seen.
Six goals conceded at home against City and a further four shipped with two goals in the last ten minutes against Everton are a shocking indictment on the United defence, this statistic should be unheard of.
Many people have mentioned that this is the worst Man U side in years though they still came within a hairs breath of the title last year. The reason for such critical observation possibly comes from the lack of star names in midfield. To often groans from United fans can be heard when Carrick is named in the squad with others disillusioned at remarks from of Gary Neville and Paul Scholes asking fans to be patient with Cleverly and that he will one day be England captain.
Shinji Kagawa added to the squad is a typical far eastern footballer. Very quick, small and a good engine that will run for more than 90 minutes. Though it might take him a year to settle into the physical English game, He is also an attacking midfielder. The centre of Man United’s midfield is still lacking a ball winner. Giggs and Scholes as we have seen, cant last a full season anymore. FACT.
If Sir Alex had stumped up the cash to buy Wesley Sneijder last year they would have had better control of the centre of the park and won the league. It has been said many times before, midfield is key.
Last year they scored 86 goals. Only City scored two more with United scoring more than 4 goals in 8 games. Rooney, Hernandez, and Welbeck were as strong as ever. The inclusion of Van Persie will add world class talent no doubt giving more formational options in attack. But is this really what is needed to win the league? Had they have not conceded those goals against City and Everton, gold crests would be on red shirts instead of blue.
Would 25 million pound be better spent on stronger defence or holding midfield players rather than in attack?
In spite of all the comments about the lack of strength in the United squad, I still await the scornful inquest into why Man City couldn’t comfortably win the league ahead of United last year. Let alone leave it to goal difference on the last day of the season and also let alone the fact that city could not beat QPR by a multiple of goals on any given Sunday. A winning goal in the dying minutes is all very exiting but for all those millions spent we should see class competent football all season long and not last gasp victories like this.
If City are to win the premier league again with what looks like very little delving into the transfer market Mancini will have to galvanise his players a lot better this term. They do have the squad to do this though and reckless money spent on more goals over better defence could lead to a lot more irritation and aggravation for Sir Alex Ferguson, further enraging his scorn for the opponent.