December 20, 2011

Solving Manchester United's Midfield Conundrum

Manchester United’s midfield - An issue that has been on most fans thoughts since 2009.

Can Carrick & Jones solve Fergie's problem?
The 2008 UEFA Champions League Final had a team containing Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Owen Hargreaves and Anderson, and the potential was there to build upon our Champions League victory of Chelsea.

However, since then Hargreaves hardly played, Scholes has retired, Anderson has failed to deliver or stay injury free.

That left us with playing Gibson vs Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals in 2010, and playing Giggs and Carrick in last seasons Champions League Final. Clearly, our central midfield has regressed season upon season. Hargreaves and Anderson were in fact Fergie’s last central midfield purchases.

This summer saw great speculation like the previous summer that a central midfielder with flair or a defensive midfielder may be brought it. However just like Ozil in 2010, Sneijder was not signed. Fergie clearly believing that there was no value in the market or he had faith in Cleverley and Anderson to finally deliver.

The second half vs City in the Community Shield clearly had an impact on Fergie, who felt these two were ready. And with Carrick turning into a holding midfielder, Fergie clearly thought that having Fletcher, Giggs, Park and Gibson was enough reserve. However, Fletcher is out for the season most likely, leaving us extremely short after the injuries to Cleverley and Ando. So what will Fergie do about this?

My hunch is that for the big games away from home (perhaps City away in the Cup being the first), he may revert to the 4-3-3 that was so successful in 2009. I specifically refer to the Arsenal performance in the second leg of the Champions League. If Fergie did not manage to recruit any world class flair player, I believe he may opt for a Carrick-Jones-Cleverley midfield three, which has a defensive foundation, combined with powerful forward runs of Jones and the flair of Cleverley. The front three would therefore most likely be Nani, Rooney and one other.

Let’s not forget, that we need to play City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs away from home after January, whilst City only have to play Arsenal away. That is a massive advantage for City, and the best way to protect our midfield is to play 3 in there. It will help us not to get overrun in midfield and it’s also a system that has been successful in the past. We’re only two points behind City at the moment, but I firmly believe that we will retain our trophy once again, with Fergie proving all the critics wrong.

Article contributed by @sayyidhashim


Anonymous said...

who do you think u r seriously??? you dont seem to know anything about football mate.. NONSENSE

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you have added intellect to the discussion.
I don't see your opinion???

Anonymous said...

The guy knows what he talking!

Anonymous said...

the unfortunate thing is United need a player either like Scholes was where his passing was so precise and the range was short or long that he could control the pace of play just by his passing or have a player like xabi alonso is or essien or a roy keane where they are a workhorse of a defensive midfielder but could carry the ball up the field. Carrick does a decent job at it but he struggles when his space gets crowded and he does too many backpasses then. He doesn't move forward enough or force the issue of pressing forward. one who can unlock a defense through his passes or runs because Carrick and Fletcher and Anderson can all do well being more central to defensive mids, and cleverly does well attacking but needs a couple seasons under his belt to really make some waves. unfortunately all the midfielders i'd say fit what we need are in spain, italy or germany.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. I commend your insightful writing. Note that there is no how sir Alex will not buy a midfielder in January if we are to retain the trophy. Mate, you may gain some measure of what is needed if you look at the video of United vs. Barca in 1994 and you will agree that we need people with skill and pace to beat clubs. One United!

Anonymous said...

who wrote that dumd this is the worst man u team i mean mid players man u has is their any rumor that any team want a mid player from man u no teams dont fraid that mid field any more

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