Although Premier League winners last season, Manchester United’s faults were exposed to all. Despite being at times scintillating, United clearly struggled away from home and that’s something that will need to be addressed for next season.
It could be said that the away form that dogged United’s season would’ve cost them the title in other seasons had one of our championship rivals gone on a run that’s traditional of a championship challenger.
That of course didn’t happen as United backed by our tremendous form at home went onto win the league with a game to spare. However it was clear to see that signings had to be made this summer in order to reinvigorate the side, to help our club’s dominance continue where it matters most on the pitch.
Barcelona as we all know, have over the last 4-5 years become the best club side in the world and whilst there’s not much Sir Alex can do about that, there’s no doubt that would have hurt Sir Alex slightly.
After all when we have been beaten in two out of the last three Champions League finals by Pep Guardiola’s free-flowing team without having much of the ball, clearly you have to make changes to compete with the ‘best’ as all teams in our situation would do.
We all know the Scotsman is not one to take defeat lightly, and he has acted in swift fashion. Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea have all been signed as the next stars of the new United era. Ferguson knows he will not be in the job for an awful lot longer, and he has signed these talented players for his next team’s development.
These signings will also make it easier for a new manager taking the post when Sir Alex does deciede to call it a day as by then they will have got used to life at Old Trafford and will hopefully be the stars of tomorrow so to speak.
Ferguson has spent roughly £55million so far this summer and many will argue that it has been the most fruitful transfer window during his reign. This ‘spree’ has nearly tripled the Gaffer’s spending from last summer when he spent just £23 million on Bébé, who has just been loaned to Besiktas, Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling.
It appears the United way is to get the deal done early, regardless of age, talent or reputation. This has worked, especially with the likes of Hernandez, whose value would’ve certainly shot up had it not been for an early deal in place. Anderson and Nani were both also signed before the start of July in 2007, as we made sure we secured their services before anyone else.
It can also backfire though, with the obvious example of Bébé taking many headlines. The policy also allows the players to get a full pre-season, and without the hectic final hours in August being needed. The priority is clear for all to see, Ferguson needs to focus his attention on a midfielder.
Whilst Tom Cleverley has been dubbed the new Scholes, Ferguson must gain someone with the world class tag. However if there is no value in the market, the Scotsman will not buy and that’s a sensible approach to have in today’s market which doesn’t have a great sense of reality to it.
I personally was not worried when Ferguson had not spent much of the £80million fee gained from selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid back in 2009. If people do not trust Ferguson after everything he has done for the club, then they really are supporting the wrong team – though of course every fan is right to have a view on our club, no matter what that is.
The issue of success is always at the heartbeat of our club. Ferguson has made some excellent signings to maintain the success. I am sure he has a plan to overthrow Barcelona, two defeats which he has not taken well. Some clubs would sit back and be delighted to reach three champions league finals in four years, yet this is Manchester United.
United have made some excellent and risky signings in the past. Dutchmen Jaap Stam and Ruud Van Nistelrooy were both signed from PSV Eindhoven and turned out to be successful. Seba Veron and Diego Forlan of course ultimately proved unsuccessful at United despite their talent they were not able to settle into the intensity of the English game.
But that’s football I guess, as nothing (however certain you may be) is ever guaranteed in the beautiful game. There are risks in every deal and if the manager gets one wrong every so often, it is not a catastrophe.
Somehow though, I doubt that any of the current signings from the 2011 window so far will be a failure. Ferguson is still hurting, and still yearning for success in Europe which is exactly what our fans want as well.
By Matt Joyce – @MattJoyce92