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FZ: Planning For Next Season

Posted by Keano! on June 4, 2009

There’s no doubt that you learn from defeat and United’s defeat in the Champions League final certainly taught some lessons and highlighted problems which some didn’t know existed. It wasn’t specifically the defeat, more the performance. But the problems that were so visible did not appear overnight as they have been there for some time.

There’s no doubt that this season has been a success despite the final. Winning the League is always the bread and butter, and anything else would be a bonus. A Community Shield win is always a good start to the season. The Club World Cup, despite the lack of importance that some supporters feel regarding the trophy, is quite prestigious. After all, you’re only there when you become European Champions and the League Cup is always a welcome boost midway through the season, especially to the younger players who may be winning their first trophy.

But despite this success, it’s more than fair to suggest that United have not been at their fluent best this season. With a greater  challenge expected toCarlo Ancelotti - Threat to United come from Chelsea with the newly appointed Ancelotti, and Liverpool now having some experience of a title race, we can only hope that we can improve for next season and for this improvement to happen, these problems need to be addressed.

Despite the record which Edwin Van Der Sar set this season, this position is far from secure. A poor start to the season revealed a fragility to the United goalkeeper which, despite the record, has been displayed throughout the season.

Out of the mistakes he has made, quite regularly truth be told, not many have fell against him, with the defence doing their job or poor play for the opposition meaning that a goal was prevented anyway. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen and a blind eye should not be turned.

One of two things needs to happen. Foster needs to get more games – preferably as United number one, or United need to go into the market. Van Der Sar isn’t getting any younger, and the United defence could do without this fragility and need a new man.

You only need to take a look through the United squad to notice the numbers that are available for the midfield position. However, the management needs to assess whether the balance and variation of the midfield is enough.

Nobody can, or should, deny that the midfield was shown up in the final. However, with Hargreaves set to return and Fletcher being unavailable for the final there is no need to go into the market. Despite some being against Fletcher at United, he has been more important than they think.

One or both of them were needed against Barca. They are both excellent at Fletcher and Hargreaves - Cruical to Unitedlimiting the time and space the opposition midfield has on the ball, adding energy and commitment and are willing to put the foot in. These aspects are crucial, and it was glaringly obvious that they were missing against a superior Barca midfield.

Once Hargreaves is back fit and playing, only then can a full assessment be made of what is missing, if anything, and this will be seen to next summer if needs be.

Berbatov coming on proved yet again that the management has it wrong. There is not have enough variation up front. We’ve got three strikers who like to do the same thing, and a change or addition in the strike force is needed. It was also painfully evident to me that there is a lack of a striker in the class of someone like Eto’o.

In a perfect world, a striker with pace would be the perfect solution. It’s hugely disappointing that Saha was so injury-prone, because he’s an absolutely fantastic striker when available and is this perfect solution. But time can’t be turned back and that can’t be changed, so there is a serious need to find someone in the same mould.

If that can’t found, someone in the mould of a Van Nistelrooy would be an asset and would offer the different kind of threat that United are crying out for.

The only other problem could be the wing, but this is only potentially a problem. If Ronaldo does indeed head off, then a new winger is a necessity. If Park and/or Nani were also to be culled as was reported, then a winger would also be needed unless Tosic was to push on. Otherwise, the options available right now are fine.

If these problems can be solved, United will be well on their way to being the unstoppable force many wrongly believed they were this season.

Written by FanZone member – manutd004

One Response to “FZ: Planning For Next Season”

  1. Sean McErigle said

    Dont agree with all of it but i do agree with the van der sar part. he has one more year at max. to play and i want foster to get the nod more often. kuscak is just rubbish

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