The Rest of the Season

Discussion in 'Manchester United' started by Soccerholic, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Soccerholic

    Soccerholic New Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    Mile High
    After the humiliating loss to Citeh, even the most ardent United supporter would concede there is virtually no chance at the title this season. Obviously, there is still the FA Cup, which comes down to a neutral site game with Arsenal (against whom United have 1 win and 1 draw this year, but both of those games were a long, long time ago...)

    But what kind of strategy do you employ the rest of the season? Obviously, United are still in competition with Chelsea for second place and the automatic CL bid. But, the third place team still gets a chance to qualify for the CL, as United had to do 2 years ago. And with so many question marks about players, the more important thing to me is to see who you want to keep for next year.

    Dj2 and Klebs. Neither of these two players have gotten much playing time. Both were away visiting their countries for a while during the middle of the season. But both have shown flashes that they can be decent players in the right situation. Dj2 needs to be a destroyer, plain and simple. He can hold the ball reasonably well - although he had a tendancy to hold it too long earlier in the season - and can make the simple pass. When he's healthy again, let him play in Keane's position for several games to see if he has the potential to be United's d-mid of the future. If not, find someone else.

    Klebs is more of an enigma. He had several games early in the season where I thought he was one of the best players on the pitch. But he needs to play in the middle, not on the wing, and he needs a good d-mid as his partner so he can be creative. He spent a month or so in Brazil, the reasons for which are still shrouded in mystery, and hasn't played much since. I wonder if he is homesick or there are family problems in Brazil. Perhaps he has told Alex that he doesn't like living or playing in England. Maybe he's a prima donna or a whiner. Regardless, if he is firmly commited to United, play him with Dj2 and see if he can be a solid player for years to come. Otherwise, get rid of him during the off season.

    Butt and the Nevilles. All were servicable utility players, but they have not been cutting the mustard this year. Gary can deliver reasonable crosses from the right, but the rest of his game is limited, especially offensively. All three are in their late 20's and they aren't going to get any better. If you have to play them because there is nobody else available, then you have to. But I would prefer to let others play and see what they can do. Then I would sell Butt and one other in the summer.

    Defenders. Do United have any quality young defenders? Pugh, Spector, etc. If they do, let them play. They cannot be worse than what we have seen recently. Clearly United need a good central defender, and I think they will have to go to the transfer market to find one to suit their needs. And I still have faith that O'Shea can find his form from last year and be a permanent fixture on the left. Silvestre can play when paired with Rio, but I do not think that Brown has what it takes to play at this level. Also, United need someone on the right and they need several good backups.

    Ole. He was supposed to be our right mid until he got injured. Clearly Ronaldo is the right mid of the future, and probably of the present. Alex needs to figure out if Ole is still potentially our starting right mid, or is he a backup striker. Or is he a backup right mid? Whatever his position, this is where he should play.

    Fletcher. Stop playing him on the right. Alex has said he sees him more in the middle anyway.

    Strikers. Figure out whether you want to play the 4-5-1 or the 4-4-2 and stick with it. If it's the 4-4-2, see if Ruud and Saha can play together, because they haven't done a good job partnering each other when they've had the chance this year, as both are used to being the lone striker in the 4-5-1.

    Put players in their best positions. Giggs on the left, Scholes in the middle, Ronaldo (or Ole) on the right.
  2. Motterman

    Motterman Member

    Jul 8, 2002
    Orlando, FL
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Our recent defence statistics:

    20 goals in last 10 games
  3. TxTechGooner

    TxTechGooner we're having fun here, no?

    Feb 24, 2003
    1 win?? that meaningless penalty shootout game?
    guess ya have to grab at straws...
  4. Soccerholic

    Soccerholic New Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    Mile High
    Re: Re: The Rest of the Season

    I never said it was an important win. The way the Supporter's Shield works is that if you win, it was a nice win over a good team, and if you lose, it was a meaningless game.
  5. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City
    I for one feel that all efforts should be made to take 2nd place for a few reasons. One is the added revenue that comes with 2nd versus 3rd. Another is for the sake of competition - why give up? Also, I don't like the idea of assuming ManU will get through to the first round of the CL if they have to qualify. Those games are early in the season and who knows what state the squad will be then. Better yet, knowing that the club is in the CL helps the bookkeepers count on that revenue stream. And if they can do that, it helps ensure that SAF has some money to spend this summer on defense.
  6. Soccerholic

    Soccerholic New Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    Mile High
    Don't misunderstand me. I'm not suggesting that United give up. I just think that planning for next year takes priority over finishing in second place. And with the team lacking cohesion, players playing out of position, and recent transfers (Dj2, Klebs) getting so little playing time that it's impossible to evaluate them, I think that trying to address these problems now will help with the summer transfer market and also help the team next year.

    Do teams really get more money for finishing in 2nd place? I know the CL pays more than the UEFA Cup, but I wasn't aware that 2nd place was more lucrative than 3rd in the EPL.
  7. Achtung

    Achtung Member

    Jul 19, 2002
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wouldn't 3rd place technically be more lucrative potentially, since the added gate receipts from having to play in CL qualifying would add to team revenue? I'm not saying we should settle for 3rd, but just pointing that out.

    CL spots are still up for grabs, and we still have a home match against Chelsea. If the title is out of reach (and let's be realistic, it is), we shouldn't have to fall to third. Let's show the fighting spirit to the end.

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