Red Scot gives an impassioned rant over the state of affairs at Manchester United this summer.
What is the most sickening aspect of the transfer window, watching waiting endlessly, for some great news, from ManUtd.com, that United have signed a world class player, to be led on many wild-goose chases by numerous sites, that United are signing this or that world-class player. To no conclusion of a signature at Old Trafford.
This summer’s transfer window has been painfully wretched watching links with Thiago Alcantara, the Barcelona youth, grow and prosper into a nailed on signing at Old Trafford. I can't recall how many times I read, 'Alcantara will sign tomorrow' this summer transfer window. Did he? No he transferred to his long-time mentor Pep-Guardiola at Bayern Munich under the direction of Thiago's agent, Pere Guardiola brother of the German giants manager. One public humiliation played out in full view for all to see.
I can't recall Manchester United operating in this way ...ever, displaying to the world which players the club are interested in signing. It's fairly obvious with the benefit of hindsight you will be living in a great city; you will be playing for a manager who provided you with game time, featuring in the champions of Europe at a fantastic venue. Manchester United did not stand a cat in hells chance of signing Alcantara.
When Fergie picked up the phone with his guile and world-wide contacts he could persuade great players to transfer to Old Trafford, the don's tact, and aura pricked top-players attention to listen to Ferguson in the appeal of Manchester United. Top footballers from British clubs did arrive, Dimitar Berbatov, Roy Keane and Robin van Persie, at record breaking fee's. Of course there has to be symmetry, that the fee is agreeable to both clubs, the player wants to play for United - the key ingredient.
Naturally, United have not always been successful in their pursuits of top players. Ronaldinho, Patrick Kluivert, Karim Benzema, Wesley Sniedjer, Samir Nasri and Lucas Moura a few examples of players recently linked, that did not end up at Old Trafford.
Value is in the eye of the beholder, Ferguson moaned about the lack of value in the market after Real Madrid gazumped United when trying to attract Benzema from Lyon to Old Trafford. Did he bemoan in selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a world record breaking £80m fee? United don't set the fee, it's a free market dictated by how much are you willing to pay, how much you want the player, is he available?
United are not wasteful with spending intentionally, but do make foolish purchases, we have all seen the top-10 worst United player transfers and their cost, some quite shocking. A key reason why David Moyes was hired because of his ability to work with a frugal budget but exact top value in identifying European players with potential to improve at Everton, his top transfer spend £15m Marouane Fellaini.
Should Manchester United even be remotely interested in the Belgian, particularly now as his transfer clause in his contract lapsed on the 31st of July. If Fellaini is that great a player, why are other top clubs not in pursuit of his signature?
United do want value, more so than ever since the Glazer's hi-jacked United with their leveraged buy-out, putting an albatross on the back of the clubs financial muscle, with the crippling burden of debt repayments, servicing the clubs loans. Manchester United don't set the price of a football player, there are too many variables, particularly other wealthy suitors; Man City - Abu Dhabi, PSG - Qatar, and not least Chelsea with Russian oil money.
But we at United have the frugal David Moyes, who after United's lack-lustre display at Liverpool on Sunday thinks this United team is good enough. The squad lacks depth and sparkling world class players which we have seen linked to United through the whole summer, to a dead-end in signing a world class midfielder.
Ander Herrera is dead in the water as the Bilbao coach said " He will be staying.’’
Just as Barcelona implied very early on regarding Cesc Fabregas, a blind alley, yet United publically gave all the 'soundbites' we were interested, why?
To sell season-tickets and pacify investors, bringing in more and more sponsor deals. But no new players to improve the team.
Mr Moyes noted after the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool; " We'll continue working with what we have left of the window to get what we can in, but I was really impressed with the players today. I can see why they were champions. I think we played really well, we just couldn't get that last bit to score. With the few exceptions of the few minutes when we gave away a bad goal, it was probably the best we have played all season."
Winning the Premier League and winning the Champions League are two different scenarios, Manchester United should be challenging to win the Champions League, with the other premier league teams visibly strengthening by spending; Tottenham Hotspur, nearly £100m to-date.
Can Manchester United not spend £50m to add some steel grit and guile in the central-midfield?
As far as I'm concerned Mr Moyes has effectively closed Manchester United's summer transfer window, from the beginning of the transfer window that Manchester United have a £75m to £100m fighting transfer fund, to spend £1.1 m on a south American youngster is a hoist of deceit.
Do you think Manchester United will sign any new players on Monday the 2nd of September?
image: © Jason Gulledge