This time last week pundits were overwhelmingly backing Manchester United to win the Premier League this season after the Red Devils pulled off the biggest transfer of the window with former Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie joining in an astonishing £24 million deal. And with Van Persie joining Japanese attacking-midfielder Shinji Kagawa and English youngster Nick Powell as new United recruits, you’d be a fool not to be predicting at least one piece of silverware this season.
However in what was supposed to be the perfect stage for new signings Robin Van Persie, 29, and Shinji Kagawa, 23, turned out to be the opposite as Everton managed to defeat Manchester United in the Red Devil’s first Premier League game of the season. It’s unfair to blame Kagawa and Van Persie for playing any part in the defeat however they just did not live up to the hype they’d been given before the big kick-off. However they were not the problem, neither was the other 12 players who took to the field last night as it was clear that Sir Alex had not dealt with a huge problem of United’s midfield.
The solution is the introduction of a new formation and a new big-name. Last night against Everton, Sir Alex Ferguson opted for his traditional 4-3-3 set-up with Rooney up-front with Welbeck and Nani playing accompanying roles. It just did not work and United’s attack could not prevent Everton from pushing forth and picking at the suffering Manchester United defence. I believe Ferguson needs to go into the market and sign a high-profile holding midfielder and place him in a 4-1-2-1-2 set-up allowing Rooney and Van Persie to begin their formidable partnership, Kagawa to play in the hole and the use of Nani, Valencia, Cleverly and Young to come into affect.
Daniele De Rossi is perfect for the holding-midfield role in the United team and comes with a ton of experience. The Italian, 29, was immense at the Euro’s in the summer helping Italy reach the final with his old-fashioned defensive approach. He’s similar to England and Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker in that he never gives anything up. However De Rossi has recently been linked with a potential move to city rivals Manchester City and this could throw Fergie off and his age comes into question.
Another name that can be thrown into the mix is FC Porto playmaker Joao Moutinho. At 25 years old and easily the best midfielder in Portugal, Moutinho is said to be a player Sir Alex likes. Moutinho has been the subject of rumoured interest from several Premier League sides with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur both expressing an interest in the player. However Moutinho who like De Rossi impressed at the Euro’s would be a perfect signing for the Red Devils and could be the perfect replacement for the eventual departure of Paul Scholes as he is very creative despite being known for his defensive qualities within midfield. Porto however are known for doing brilliant business and making the big clubs pay heavy prices.
So do you agree that Manchester United’s weakness is the midfield and that they lack the required strong holding midfielder of which Manchester City posses in Yaya Toure to give them the edge over their rivals in the title race? Or do they needn’t worry? Or do the problems lie elsewhere?
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