Monday, February 10, 2014

Where do Manchester United go from here?


Liverpool won the title 11 times from 1972-90, but (as many United fans will tell you) haven't won it since. United have won it 13 times since the 1992-93 season - and while their total dominance is probably over, their ability to compete at the top hasn't quite come to an end,  but it could if they don't completely rebuild.

Manchester United are 15 points behind Chelsea after 25 games, and 9 points behind Liverpool who currently occupy the last Champions League place.

A draw with bottom-placed Fulham is the latest disappointment in a season that many are already labeling a disaster.

Competing for major trophies is probably unrealistic this year, and the process of overhauling the squad begins as soon as the season ends. People may be laughing at David Moyes now and saying he's clueless, but he needs to be given a chance to shape a squad.

Personally, I don't think Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata were the players that United should have spend the best part of $100 million on. Mata is a top player, but Fellaini doesn't fit United style. He may have scored a couple against Fulham on Sunday, but that's not the typical United way of playing. They need players who can open the door and create chances for Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Juan Mata could be that guy, as could Shinji Kagawa (although it seems his time at Old Trafford is done).

Nemanja Vidic is leaving in the summer, as will Rio Ferdinand. Ryan Giggs may call it a day, but he looks like he's done after an amazing career. Patrice Evra could go, as could Chicharito and Nani.

With all these players on the way out, United would need 6-7 really good players if they are going to compete with Manchester City and Chelsea next year. If they don't strengthen at the start of the summer, Rooney and van Persie could also exit - and that may be a hurdle too much for Moyes to overcome. He'll get the blame, but there doesn't appear to be another 'Class of '92' coming along to help him out.

There is still a huge amount of talent at Old Trafford, they've just lost the edge that Fergie gave them - and that will probably never be replicated. But how long the slide lasts is dependent on how well they rebuild this summer.