From the statements of Roy Keane to the opinions of Robbie Savage and Jamie Redknapp, everyone in English football seems to believe the soon to be disposed Premier League champions need to spend spend spend this summer.
It’s a fickle industry, football – one minute Manchester United are crowned Premier League champions in sensational style under Sir Alex Ferguson and the next minute the squad is considered threadbare and needs a complete overhaul just to even dream of competing for the top titles. I believe somewhere in between those two binary opposites lies the truth and the reality David Moyes will face this summer.
Looking at the first team presently, it’s true that a number of Moyes’ key players have been underperforming this term as well as suffering a number of key injuries but the spine of the team is there in essence. David de Gea is 23 and a top goalkeeper who can continue his development over the next decade, Phil Jones is the best young defender in England on his day and both Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling have improved enough to be considered top defenders aged 26 and 24 respectively.
In midfield, Michael Carrick isn’t getting any younger but Marouane Fellaini, regardless of how poor and lacking in form and confidence he has been this term, is a top player who will regain the level of performance he has lost since his move from Everton and Juan Mata is one of the most creative players in the world.
Wayne Rooney has all the ingredients of a captain for both club and country and you only need to look at his goal at West Ham this weekend for a demonstration of his quality and desire.
What United really need is to reinforce the spine they already have – they could definitely use some genuinely threatening players in wide areas and they will have to bring in some personnel to replace the old guard of Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Rio Ferdinand, Namanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and, down the line, Robin van Persie but you look at the quality in the young players who have come through and it’s clear there is already the skeleton of a top team at Old Trafford.
Adnan Januzaj, Danny Welbeck, and Tom Cleverley are all capable of being great players for the club, despite (especially in the case of the latter) perhaps some confidence and form issues this term.
This season has been a disappointing one for the manager and his players and the fans but pundits and former players who assert that the squad is completely void of talent and potential are just jumping on a bandwagon that is reactionary and based on poor results this term. The spine on the team of the future is already set in place and is as strong as teams of the past – the only thing David Moyes needs to add to that spine is a bit of confidence and depth to flesh out the areas around it.