The 5-5 draw against West Brom yesterday hinted that David Moyes should make one of his first signings a centre back.
It’s the one aspect of the match which would not have impressed Sir Alex Ferguson during his final game in charge because the defensive problems, which scarred the side at the start of the season seemed to reappear.
The central combination of Phil Jones and Jonny Evans is one which is going to form the basis of the United defence for many years to come but the defensive display may convince David Moyes he needs an extra body at the back.
United were conceding goals left, right and centre at the start of the season, which they were lucky didn’t cost them a lot more points as a result.
The five goals the side conceded yesterday just goes to show how much United rely on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic to provide that level of experience and stability to the back four.
Ferdinand will probably be kicking himself that negotiations over a contract extension started before the game yesterday, because if they’d started this morning, he’d have the grounds to demand anything he wished.
He’s probably been the best defender at the club this season for which he deserves a lot of praise, as plenty of people were starting to question his fitness and his lack of pace being an obvious weakness.
There is nothing wrong with the defensive reserves at the club but the fact Ferdinand and Vidic will be a year older this time next year means Moyes may find the chance to sign another experienced centre back very appealing.
In effect that gives Moyes the luxury of time and space to go out and make the right defensive signing because he’s not under any immediate pressure.
It’s just an alarming worry that sides can score a high volume of goals against United if they really get at the back four when the injection of experience has been taken away.
The obvious defence against the United back four yesterday is that it was a pointless match, with nothing to play for so it’s impossible to ask defenders to raise their game to the same sort of high levels.
United wrapped up the Premier League title weeks ago and ever since they have taken their foot right off the gas.
If Moyes does go after another defender, it shouldn’t be seen as something counter productive in the eyes of players like Jones, Evans or even Chris Smalling because they have all played admirably at times this year.
It’s a safeguard and something the new boss may seem necessary to ultimately ensure that the United defence doesn’t leak the volume of goals which have appeared in some games this campaign.
Do United need another defender?
image: © nasmac