'He's not a Keane replacement..we need a DM'

Discussion in 'Manchester United' started by Dark Savante, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!

    I'm reading this a lot lately. People saying we need a Keane replacement as in a player who does what Keane does but is younger and I'm finding it confusing.

    Let's be clear here, Keane in his 20's was a true box-to-box central midfielder not a defensive midfielder. He got into the box more times in a game then Gerrard does and got back to defend as frequently.

    As far as I am awares, thinking of Fergie's entire reign at the club, we have never had a DM at the club nor in the youth ranks. That is to say we have never had a Mascherano, Deschamps or Makalele type of player whose sole function was to destroy. The closest we've had is Nicky Butt..but basically he was just a CM who was poor in attack. None of the youth currently in our ranks are 'DM's.' They are all CM's, players who go box-to-box as per tradition of the club.

    I'm saying this because the occurances of 'we need a Keane replacement - get a DM' are becoming more frequent and it is quite baffling as I can't ever recall us ever going in for a sole funtioning DM. The likelyhood of us going in for a Mascherano type player seems non-existant to me unless the 4-3-3/4-5-1 is to become our new default system...as far as I can see, as soon as we have the correct midfielders again we will immediately go back to the 4-4-2 - it is what every level of youth learn: the traditional M.U 4-4-2 and I can't see us changing our tradition to the extent where Fergie ever buys a DM. He's never bought one why would he do so now?

    I can imagine us pursuing a Gerrard/Essien/Lampard/Baptista/Vieira/Ballack in an ideal world...i.e all players who whether attacking or neutral midfielders can all get back and defend but contribute a lot to the attacking aspect of the game either via their passing or by their goal contribution (or both if you're lucky) ...Robson/Ince/Keane/Jones?/Fletcher? kind of thing.

    I dunno if anyone else gets this feeling that Fergie is the type of manager that would rather take an attacking CM and teach him how to get back and defend (if he doesn't have that in his make up) rather then take a defensive type of midfielder and 'teach' him how to attack (I'm not sure it's a teachable skill? The best coach of all-time couldn't turn a Makalele into a CM) that's why I've never thought a player like say Gattuso will ever be in serious consideration for a spot here - he has the heart of a Fergie type player but not the attacking/passing skills of a Fergie central midfielder.

    This isn't a rant ;) I just thought it was something that was worth pointing out. If we ever see a DM brought in during Fergie's reign I will be amazed.
  2. manuniked

    manuniked Member

    Oct 26, 2004
    New York
    we are a more attack orientated team than we used to be. Beckham and Highes, Mcclair got back a lot more Ronaldo,or Ruud does and Giggs, Scholes can't do what they used to either a la Keano.
    Having said that I agree with your point and would take a Gerrard over a Makele anyday for what we need. Having said that Viera is pretty much a DM and I think he would be great too. (gerrard better though).
    I disagree that we will always be 4-4-2, it may well vary and be more of a 4-3-3 or even 4-2-3-1 and that you can teach a defensive game on the level we are talking about to a new signing. Make no mistake this is as important a signing as we have made and the player coming in must be able to dominate CM immediately against the greatest sides in the world if we are to achieve our aims.
  3. triplelake

    triplelake New Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Bay Area, California
    Ince was a DM, and Keane has always been a CDM (central defensive midfield). The fact that Keane went box-to-box does not mean that he was not a defensive midfield.
    When you are playing 4-4-2, the 2 central midfields cannot both be offensive, one of them has to help out with the defense, hold the ball, distribute, plug the gap between defense and attack.
    Central defenders is your last line of defence, you cannot expose your last line of defense for the whole 90 minutes.
    Since we already have Scholes, we need either a DM or CDM, but definitely not a AM like Baptista.
  4. SirManchester

    SirManchester Member+

    Apr 14, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    Fergie should at least try Smith out as a DM in pre-season games. We've all seen his determination to win the ball, but because of his striking instincts he'll go up a lot but its worth a shot.
  5. benni...

    benni... BigSoccer Supporter

    Nov 23, 2004
    Chocolate City
    Essien is the solution.
  6. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    Ince was box to box just like every other central midfielder we've had. I'm saying we've always had midfielders in the middle who were comfortable going forward and scoring or being part of a goal. Whether they are more of an attacking type of midfielder (like Lampard/Gerrard/Ballack/Scholes) it's always been integral to the team that they could get back and help in defence. We never have players that just sit and don't commit to attack...players like Phil and Butt just weren't very good at it but they try/tried. I think it would be a change in Fergie's philosphy to see us go in for a pure DM.
  7. Mac_Howard

    Mac_Howard New Member

    Mar 5, 2002
    Mandurah, Perth, WA
    I agree with DS - Keane has never been a DM - he was at his best around 99/00 when we won the Premiership with 91 points. But we also let in 45 goals (as against 26 this season). Not a lot of defensive protection there. Like Ince and Robson before him, Keane is primarily a box to box player who would prefer to dispossess the opposition in central midfield and never restricted himself to defensive duties. Alex is right - Gerrard is a similar player though probably even less defensively minded than Roy. There's more to a DM than tackling ability. It also requires a defensive tendancy of mind which Keane has never had.

    But, though I wish you were right, DS, I'm not sure you are about a return to 4-4-2. It looks to me that Quieroz is in charge of tactics now and prefers the much more cautious three man midfield - Keane, Scholes and A.N.Other along. I think A.N. Other will be a mix of Park and Fletcher though the "one more man" that Gill refers to may affect that. There were a number of opportunities towards the end of last season to go to 4-4-2 but it never happened.

    I don't like it because you can then only play three of the RvN, Rooney, Ronaldo and Giggs quartet therefore lacking either width or bodies in the box. It's a bummer! But that's the way I think it will be to accomodate the three CMs.

    We need to forget finding "Keane's replacement" - at least we need to forget about getting another Keane. They threw away the mold. It just ain't going to happen. Another CM with a reasonable amount of defensive skills will do - and make him much easier to find.
  8. Vermont Red

    Vermont Red Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    DS: I'd rep you if I could. I've tried to make the same point but some people are obsessed with getting a DM. I don't think some people realize the limited (but important) role that Claude has on Chelsea. But the price of having Claude play that role is that Chelsea is more defensive than we would want to see at United. (I don't want to hear about how many more goals Chelsea scored.) If we are going to purchase a new midfielder I want a CM who can play box-to-box.
  9. Invincible

    Invincible Member+

    Mar 28, 2004
    You speak the truth DS, for a while there I almost forgot.
  10. nxttc

    nxttc Member+

    Jul 14, 2004
    word. you speak the truth.
  11. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    Re: the 4-4-2/Quieroz thing. We've been using this benign system (the 4-5-1)for some years now, longer then Quieroz has been at thte club certainly, but I think at first it was because Fergie had seen continental sides use is and it was successful, although conservative - our cavalier style was entertaining but a little too uncertain for Europe so we switched. I think now however, the system is used to prolong Keane and Scholes' careers. They can't do the 2man midfield thing at their age - Keane is no longer 2men hence, the need for an actual extra body in there. I do believe that if we had say Essien and Baptista (just as an example) and were no longer obligated to our captain (i.e he'd retired) then we would immediately shift back to a 4-4-2..,and probably play the 4-3-3 in big games and in Europe.

    If 4-3-3 was our new club default don't you think the kids etc would be groomed in that system instead of the M.U 4-4-2?
  12. omar_mufc

    omar_mufc Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    my first choice would be essien and baptista, but i would also want david jones to ATLEAST make some headway into the 1st XI, however, maybe we wont buy anyone, maybe fergie thinks that fletch can push on in his development this coming season and really take games by the scruff of the neck, much like what he was doing towards the end of last season, against So'ton and Arsenal, maybe fergie thinks that jones is ready to step into the team and deliver the goods, which he, by now, surely is, and that ngalula could push on his development and get onto the fringes of the 1st XI, i think he could be the perfect keane replacement (i.e. the defensive midfield destroyer, a la makalele) maybe fergie thinks that all 3 of Jones, Ngalula and Fletch have what it takes to be our next generation 3 man midfield.

    something like this wouldnt be bad for us in the coming years:



    Ngalula, from what ive seen is just as good, or better, staying back and defending, rather than bombing forward, and he was signed from anderlecht as a central defender, so he has got some defensive nous to play that role, and his distribution, on its day is fantastic...

    Fletch can play his current role, mopping up and using his great vision to unlock defences from a deep position.

    Jones could take Scholesy's role, distribute the ball, make those intelligent runs into the box, and of course, SCORE GOALS.

    Add to these three talents, the likes of Ritchie Jones and Darron Gibson, we have the talents to make it at MU in central midfield...
  13. llanitotaylor

    llanitotaylor New Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    we do need a box to box midfielder..........plus Scholes needs to raise his game this season and produce the form of old!

    Essien is ideal!
  14. Ronaldo07

    Ronaldo07 New Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    i think the games evolving so much that a DM is now becoming a priority, squads are getting younger and teams are breaking quicker.
  15. johno

    johno Member+

    Jul 15, 2003
    in the wind
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    DS and others...

    We can't have our cake and eat it too! What I mean to say is, we cant replace Keane without making some sort of sacrifice either, a huge huge purchase or... a defensive midfielder, the pricetag of a Keane type player is that of Essien and Gerrard... do we have that kind of money?

    Its been well proven that a 442 without someone capable of controling the midfield and someone who is committed to playing some defence in central midfield will not work. Lampard and Gerrard paired doesn't work for England, any combination used by Madrid after Makalele has not worked either.

    Gerrard, Lampard, Ballack, Baptista would all be too attacking to play Keane's role imo. If we paired them with Scholes we'd be unlikely to control possesion and the midfield the way we usually do. We would essentially be a counter-attacking team. We did alot of that in the past, but that was with 2 forwards who both wandered, 1 excellent long ball passer, 1 blazing quick aggressive winger and 2 cms who could run for days.... now we lack the good long ball passer, we have 2 explosive wingers, but our CMs no longer have the gas in the tank to play that fast pace anymore. So in replacing Keane, we'd probably have to replace Scholes as well.

    I dont see our future as one with 2 attacking mids in the center of midfield... maybe, maybe we wont need a true DM, but we need someone more defensive minded than the Gerrards, Baptistas and Ballacks of this world.

    I'd be comfortable in the future with us playing Fletcher and Jones... 2 mids who have balance to their games, without both being ferrocious attackers, because like it or not, we do need someone to hold in midfield, unless of course, we uncover another Keane, and since that seems unlikely - we are going to have to change our approach just a bit if we dont find another Keane.

    To hold us over the period of time between when Keane needs more and more rest/needs to retire and Fletcher and Jones are ready to take up the reigns in midfield, it might just be advisable to get a DM... its not like there are not games in which we need more of a defensive force. Also, having a DM frees up your other mids to attack as much as they desire, we'd be rid of this damned nonsense like Scholes tracking back, what kind of foolishness is that?
  16. 50 Euro

    50 Euro Member

    Jul 29, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Keano Forever!! We don't need no stinkin' DM

    This post has been brought to you by Satan :mad: :

    The number of the Beast
  17. StrikerCW

    StrikerCW Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    Perth, WA
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wow, and on your 666 post.. or are you playing games with my head Lucifer?
  18. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City

    Great points, DS. To add to them, I'd also ask this question. Why do people think that SAF, let alone any manager, is so simplistic that they're simply looking to replace a player with an equally similar player? To some extent it makes sense. He's obviously not going to bring in Zidane to replace Keane. But the thing is, who are there is really like Keane? Even a Keane that stays at home a lot more than he used to? There aren't many to choose from.

    My guess is SAF still believe Keanes got it. And not out of blind loyalty, because of on the field performance. I wouldn't be suprised if he's still thinking Kleb will turn the corner and looking for someone else to toss in the middle of the park. Essien is the obvious choice for this. But I wouldn't be suprised to see nothing happen again until late next June.
  19. johno

    johno Member+

    Jul 15, 2003
    in the wind
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    ahem... we are in July...
  20. listen_up_fergie

    listen_up_fergie New Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    He probably means June 2006...I myself wouldn't be too surprised if the big Keane replacement is signed then
  21. haven

    haven New Member

    Jul 9, 2003
    Boston, MA
    By DM, people don't mean a dedicated defensive midfielder, at least in terms o a Keane replacement.

    Rather, they mean someone who can cover the back 4 efficiently enough to let the other CM attack without worrying too much about defending. I still maintain that most of Scholes problems from last season were a result of him being forced to track back excessively.

    At least, that's what I mean...
  22. Achtung

    Achtung Member

    Jul 19, 2002
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah I think DM is a bit of a loose term meaning a midfielder who can track back well and support the backline. I don't think we're willing to sign someone who won't be able to contribute effectively to the offense. In his peak, the run of play always went through Keane, and he really was a crucial offensive tool. He isn't so much anymore, but obviously that has contributed to our offensive woes as well.
  23. Vermont Red

    Vermont Red Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would still like to see Klebs get a run out during a game in which Keane is being rested. He could be the Brazilian Pirlo. (However, he may need Fletch and somebody else to help him.)
  24. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    I don't think you read my reply to howard, it covers a lot of the things you went into detail on.

    My point stands. Fergie has never once in his career bought a DM. I would be seriously amazed if he ever does. The logistics of what you say are beside the point beings as I nor anyone else on a forum is the one making decisions. What I pointed out was merely a factual observation: Fergie has never bought a DM. It would be a huge sign of the times if he ever did. It's just not the way he operates.
  25. ASUCruz

    ASUCruz New Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Los Angeles/Tempe
    Smith is a tenacious player that's for sure, but making tackles tracking back from a forward position is different from protecting the back 4. Also I don't think Smith is all that great of a passer, decent enough for a forward, but I think he'd give away too much possession in midfield. I'd guess its worth a shot in pre-season, but it seems like his best spot is up front. Why waste our team giving Smith minutes in the midfield when we can give a guy like Jones time there.

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