“Ringo Starr isn’t the best drummer in the world, no, he’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles.” – John Lennon
There are many football fans who will share a difference of opinion such as the one above, that’s what makes the game great, it’s the ‘banter’ down at the pub or in the office which brings us all onto a level playing field, opinions matter but sometimes you just have to disagree.
The one issue that has irked me in the last few months is the way many Manchester United fans have said Leighton Baines is the saviour, he’s the player that could change the fortunes at Old Trafford and turn the season around, for me however this isn’t the case, for me he’s not the best left back in the Premier League, he’s not better than the experienced Patrice Evra and he’s not my choice to start in the World Cup ahead of Ashley Cole, but that’s my opinion and I’m not saying I’m right, I like Baines, I think he is hugely talented but by touting him as a possible signing for the January transfer window, I think David Moyes would be attempting to solve a problem that he doesn’t have.
We read in the media almost every day that United’s biggest concern is their midfield, so surely that has to be the priority, in the last two games United have been humiliated at home, first by Everton and then by Newcastle, losing both games 1-0, the once mighty fortress of Old Trafford has fallen, the empire is crumbling and the fans are turning.
On the field ball retention has been poor, creativity has been non-existent and the final ball has been lacking, further evidence that money needs to be invested come January, and for what it’s worth United should be targeting an Everton player, just not Baines.
During their last two games, the 1-0 victory over United and yesterday’s 1-1 draw with league leaders Arsenal, one player has stood out, a player who should be top of the Red Devil’s Christmas list and who I believe will change the fortunes of the club, despite the damage that has been done, Ross Barkley.
The midfielder has been sensational, and as United called back Paul Scholes from retirement last season to help wrestle the title back from Manchester City, they can’t do that this season so Barkley is the obvious choice.
Former Toffees legend, Tim Cahill said of the 20 year-old attacking midfielder: “He is the most talented footballer I have ever worked with.”
Whilst former Arsenal defender Martin Keown is quoted to have said: “Barkley will be one of the best players this country has ever seen.”
High praise indeed.
Barkley has come of age this season, dictating the way that Everton play, he has scored twice in 15 appearances and created a host of other chance, he presses forward and finds space reminiscent of the way Scholes once did, he is tough in the tackle, powerful in the air and can pass a side to death, when the chips are down he drives forward and has impressed so many this season so much so he Is now a shoe-in to go to the World Cup and will do so with three England caps to his name.
Maybe it’s wrong to say that Moyes will keep raiding his old club, and the fans that say that United shouldn’t be buying from teams below them, (in stature not league position) but United have to buy the best and without the magnificent Luis Suarez, Barkley stands alone for me as the league brightest star, he’s still raw talent still learning and still unfulfilled, would he come to United many ask, well yes, because despite this seasons poor start they are still a huge draw and until May, still defending Champions.
image: © birdies-perch