Manchester United, no longer a force to be reckoned with… 5

Is it time to refresh the Manchester United ranks with fresh blood?

Is it time to refresh the Manchester United ranks with fresh blood?


Manchester United have begun their season in a very unconvincing and un-Manchester United like fashion, conceding 9 goals in the first 6 games. If defense is what wins championships, then, this is not championship form.

Their season opening 3-2 home loss against Everton should really have set off the alarm bells at old Trafford. Their recent run of results have continued in a similar vain and it is apparent that all is not right with Man Utd, with conceding goals and defending in general a huge problem.

The loss against Everton was followed up by an equally tepid display against a Fulham side that has typically gone to Old Trafford, looking to do little more than make up the numbers and give Man Utd the 3 points. On this occasion however, the visitors put up a solid fight with the game ending with Man Utd scraping by with a nervy 3-2 win.

The following week Man Utd struggled again, conceding two goals against a newly promoted and struggling Southampton side in a 3-2 win.

While, in the battle of the two most winningest teams in English football, Man Utd some how found away to squeak out a victory, in a vastly a under whelming performance against 10 man Liverpool, again in a display racked with defensive errors.

But the worse was yet to come, the biggest shock of them all, was last weekends 3-2 Spurs win at old Trafford. Like Fulham and Everton before them, Spurs were another team, that went to Manchester and Old Trafford to pretty much up make up the fixture list, go through the motions and as expected go home with a loss. And in the case of Spurs, this is a club that has not won at old Trafford since 1989.

In recent years Manchester United’s Old Trafford was a fortress, with a back 4 defensive unit of Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Gary Neville, backed up by the veteran Edwin van der Sar; scoring goals against Man Utd, was not something that came easy. The mere thought of conceding 9 in the first 6 games was unheard of.

But, as often happens, age and injuries have taken their toll, Ferdinand, Evra and even Vidic are not the players that they once were. While Neville and Van der Sar have long since retired and in goal, you have two young goal keepers who have yet to make the grade and maintain the same high goal keeping standards.

Against Spurs, their defensive frailties were brought to the fore with not only speed being there biggest culprits, but size also. The combination of the speed and size of Spurs Moussa Dembele & Gareth Bale, destroyed not only the Man Utd back four, but also their midfield giving fits to the 36 year old Paul Scholes.

Their defensive shortcomings were horribly revealed, where two of the 3 goals scored were the direct result of Man Utd players being out run and out muscled. On both goals Spurs players ran by both Ferdinand and Scholes as if they were standing still and the occasions of Evra being beaten too easily is becoming a usual fixture.

I am sure Sir Alex Ferguson is aware of Man United’s defensive frailties and overall weaknesses and is addressing the problem as we speak.

When the backbone of your team is based on a 36 year old Paul Scholes, a 38 year old Ryan Giggs and a 33 year old Rio Ferdinand…… I think it’s time for some new blood.