There has been a lot of hue and cry regarding what Manchester united actually need to complete the missing pieces in the complex puzzle, the puzzle being the long and tough road to the domestic and European trophies.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United can be described as the ”golden era” for the Red Devils. His ability to work under budget constraints and the fact that he rebuilt the Manchester United side in the dynamic football environment are a few reasons that show that he was best at what he did. As fans and the football fraternity bemoaned the retirement of Sir Alex from football, the Manchester United board and players decided that it was to prepare for life without Sir Alex at Manchester United.
Sir Alex took the onus on himself to find a successor for the club and former Preston and Everton manager David William Moyes was appointed to steer the club forward in all spheres of football. Though a lot was expected from him, he certainly hasn’t lived up to those expectations. He didn’t sign enough players when he should have, as a result of which many problems have cropped up in various key positions.
The defence has been the biggest trouble for Manchester United. With the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra ageing. Even though Patrice Evra has performed very well this season, the same can’t be said for Rio and Nemanja, as they have committed quite a few blunders. The backups for these three players, namely Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Alexander Buttner are not ready to represent United on a regular basis or have been forced to play out of position for a variety of reasons. Also, Rafael, the 23 year old right back, who has shown a lot of potential, has been plagued by injuries this season, leading to either Jones or Smalling playing out of position as united do not have a recognized wing back. Antonio Valencia has also been forced to shift to this role and hasn’t performed well.
United need two signings to address their defensive problems. One wing back as a backup/competition for Rafael and a centre back as a backup for the ageing pair of Ferdinand and Vidic so that both Jones and Smalling do not have to play out of position and can develop well.
Competent alternatives for these positions can be
1) Ignazio Abate (A.C.Milan) – His dribbling skills and speed in the right wing allowed him to out run opponent defenders, his crossing into the center also result in goals regularly, which suits United’s style of play and will adequately support the wingers.
2) Nevan Subotic (Borussia Dortmund) – His physical presence in the box can greatly help Manchester United who are often bullied by physically strong oppositions. Also a great attacking threat for oppositions.
The United midfield and forward problems and solutions will be discussed in a separate article.
By Guest Author – Apoorv Mahalwar