Sir Alex Ferguson is Manchester United’s greatest coach of all time. But some of his team selections were still questionable.
Most notably, many United midfielders have sparked debate over the years. People like Tom Cleverley, Anderson, and (occasionally) Darron Gibson frustrated fans with their performances. Yet they all played a role in the Red Devils’ triumphs.
John O’Shea, Phil Neville, and (oddly enough) Rafael have all been played in the middle of the park with varying degrees of success. The less that is said about Eric Djemba-Djemba and Kleberson, the better.
Even Darren Fletcher, who played an important role for United over the years, was beaten up by critics who failed to see his influence.
Of course there were exceptions – with Bryan Robson, Paul Ince, Roy Keane, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, all of whom were superb – but United also has a history of weaker midfielders. And now it seems that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ignoring this area in order to strengthen elsewhere.
(Photo by Tom Purslow / Manchester United via Getty Images)
The transfer window this summer was excellent. But a midfielder was at the top of every fan’s wish list.
Instead, United are betting on Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay, and the weaknesses are already clear.
The young Scot is likely to be a United player for years to come. But his midfield partners are not what Solskjaer needs.
Options are not good enough
Matic has had its peak a few years, while Fred is overwhelmed far too often.
Under Ferguson, these problems may have been easy to ignore. The United legend had a way to make more than the sum of their parts of their weaker teams. But that cannot be said of Solskjaer.
United stalls when they should fly.
With a line of strikers envied by clubs around the world and the best first-choice back four we’ve seen in years, United should be firing on all cylinders. Instead, themes in the center of the park continue to influence results.
Solskjaer will certainly sign a new midfielder next summer. The question is, is that too late?
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