So here we go then; the Manchester United Preview. Ferg Campbell establishes his “I’ve been a ManU fan since before the Ferguson era” credentials (as they all do) before looking ahead to the defending champions’ season
I was sitting listening to “You give love a bad name”, a new release from a young fella called John Bon Jovi, on the wireless. David Lange was in the PM’s office in the Beehive trying to run the country and Crocodile Dundee was on at the movie theatre in town.
Teleport to Old Trafford, Manchester United had just lost 5-1 to Southampton and were in a healthy 21st place in the old First Division on what proved to be Ron Atkinson’s last day in charge of my beloved Reds.
It was Guy Fawkes Day 1986.
The next day a young fella from Govan in Glasgow, Alexander Chapman Ferguson, was offered and thankfully accepted a job that was to change his, and to a lesser extent my, life for the next 26 years.
To put it in perspective, Ryan Giggs was a pimply pre teen and Phil Jones dad was probably still yet to have his first shave when we last sat in this position of having a new boss in charge.
Fast forward nearly 27 years and we are on the eve of the first league game without Alex Ferguson at the helm for, it seems like, ever. It’s so alien to me.
Poor David Moyes, it must feel to him like a poison challis, a hospital pass of epic proportions. If he succeeds it’s because of the legacy if he’s fails it’s all down to him.
First I’ll deal with David Moyes. There seems to be questions from the Boo Boys if he is the right man for the job. Some will say he is unproven at this level and should never have been given the job and should be sacked immediately. Sorry but that’s a load of bollocks.
The only thing a true Manchester United fan should be doing is supporting him to the maximum after all it was Sir Alex that made sure he got the job and I’m absolutely certain that he didn’t take that decision lightly. So to the “Is he the right man to lead us forward” crowd I say, IN SAF WE TRUST!
As of today the only change to the squad that convincingly won the title is the retirement of Paul Scholes. This may change in the next two weeks but that’s in the future. Let’s look at that group we have currently.
Injuries aside we seem to be well set at the back with a good blend of youth and experience. As the season unfolds I think we will see the young guns, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Alexander Buttner and Fabio stepping up and Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra having less of a contribution. The one thing you can’t beat is time.
The middle of the park at Old Trafford is the biggest, and most well documented, area of concern for the coming season as it has been for a few years now. Michael Carrick is the only truly international quality player but in Tom Cleverly, Darren Fletcher, Shinji Kagawa and Anderson we have players that can step up and take a huge role this year. For some of these players it could be there decisive season and we still have Ryan Giggs in the mix.
Wide players with undoubted talent abound, Nani, Ashley Young and Tony Valencia though none had a great season just gone have the skills and experience to step up. The potential revelation is Wilfried Zaha, his raw talent and enthusiasm will have a huge impact and may well lift the other wide players to reach the heights that they are capable of. Zaha is a potential superstar and this season could see his arrival on the world stage.
Robin van Persie was undoubtedly the most dominant force in the EPL last season, his goals decided who was to win the silverware and for Manchester United to challenge this has to continue. Javier Hernandez (Chicharito), given a chance, could well merge as a provider of goals galore, his nose for goal is a talent that can’t be learnt. Danny Wellbeck is a good player but will need to start getting on the score sheet more often to continue his progress.
Wayne Rooney is an awesome talent and a player with the ability to become an Old Trafford legend, one of the greats spoken about alongside, Law, Best, Charlton and Duncan Edwards to name a few. The question is where will he be at the end of the transfer window. We are hearing so much speculation in the media every day, most of which is only worthy of using to wrap your fish and chips, about Wayne and I’m certain very few actually have any idea of the situation. The only way to know is to wait till the end of the month and see which kit he’s wearing but, to me, his retention is vital to the outcome of the season.
We have some great young lads that are ready for a bit of a run at the side, they could be the future of the club. Jessie Lingard, Angelo Henriquez, Adnan Januzaj and the previously mentioned Wilfried Zaha are an exciting group and one or more of them could make an impact given the chance, these are exciting times for sure. Reminds me of Alan Hansens famous words “You can’t win anything with kids”, will David Moyes make him eat his words as Alex Ferguson did with The Class of 92?
It’s going to be a season of transition for both the club and the fans. It’s the first season for over 20 years that we really have no idea just what Manchester United are going to produce and impossible to make a prediction. The last two weeks of the transfer window will be sure to form a plan for the months ahead.
One thing for sure, like every year for as long as I can remember, I’m excited about the season ahead, maybe even a little more so this time.
Bring it on!!!
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