Manchester United finally look like they are about to sign a world-class player.
Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata looks set to have a medical in Manchester later today before completing a club record £37million move to Old Trafford.
I say about time too. Manchester United has somehow managed to dominate the Premier League in recent seasons with a mediocre team.
The only reason that Manchester United have been able to challenge at the top of the table in recent years was the influence that former-boss Sir Alex Ferguson had on his team, the media and opponents. The wily old Scot was the master of mind games.
He would manipulate situations in his clubs favour and therefore gain an advantage over opposition teams. In many ways Ferguson was a great illusionist, making last season’s Manchester United team appear like world beaters.
This season the Red Devils have virtually the same team and the magic is lost, because Mr Ferguson is no longer holding the cards. The sorcerer’s apprentice seems to have lost the spell book.
Ferguson’s predecessor David Moyes is more accustomed to battles for Europa League places and midtable positions than battles for Premier League titles and Champions League spots. The younger Scot is on a very steep learning curve.
By no means do I believe that Moyes is a poor manager, I just think he will take time to get accustomed to the expectations of him and his team. Moyes was a cautious manager at Everton and it meant that the Toffees never really took any risks to win games.
Moyes spent so much time not trying to lose with Everton, that he has forgotten how to win games. This season Everton have proved what they can achieve with a more adventurous boss at the helm. Moyes has to adapt his mentality to take more risks and he will then earn the rewards from it.
Much of the Manchester United squad is now mediocre. Beyond Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie it is difficult to see much class within that United squad. The likes of Adnan Januzaj, Phil Jones and David de Gea are all players with big potential, but a club the size of United should not have to rely on such youngsters to get results.
Manchester United were expected to compete for the Premier League title this season, but not enough of their players are good enough for that challenge. Very few of the current United team would get in Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City’s teams at the moment.
Manchester United are looking short of quality in most departments and David Moyes may have to go for revolution rather than evolution. The signing of Juan Mata is probably the first step in Moyes attempting to change things at Old Trafford.
The likes of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra could all leave United this summer. Then there are question marks over the future of England striker Wayne Rooney, who is again being linked with a move to Chelsea.
The Manchester United team that takes to the field in the first game of next season may just look completely different to the current one, which may be no bad thing either.
The phrase a team in transition is used a lot and United are not immune from transition. They may be a big club, but every club has a transitional period occasionally and this season United are in one.
United fans have been lucky enough to have had stability at their club for the last quarter of a century and change was always going to be a shock to the system. It may be awhile until United get back to being title challengers and United fans need to be patient.
Their current team’s cycle seems to have come to an end and other clubs look set to dominate the top-flight for a short period. The thing that is majorly important is that during this ‘transitional period’ that the foundations are laid for a quick recovery.
Bitter North West rivals Liverpool have spent over 20 years attempting to recover former-glories and they are still not really in a position to challenge for a league title. Manchester United cannot afford to let that happen.
Signing Juan Mata has to be the start of David Moyes rebuilding a better Manchester United team. It is no good United fans saying they want Moyes to be sacked, he is there for the long haul and all you can do is get behind him and the team.
Manchester United are struggling in the Premier League table and look like they face an almighty battle to even claim a Champions League spot this season. The Red Devils are now paying for years of lack of investment in the team.
For all those slagging off Mr Moyes, next season you will see whether the Scot can cut the mustard at Old Trafford or not. It is crucial for Moyes that he brings in real quality in the summer and builds his own team at United for next season.
If he does not then United will be in danger of going the same way of Liverpool and I am sure nobody connected with United would ever want that!
Which players need to be brought to Old Trafford in the summer?
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