By Parit Yadav
Blaming Sir Alex for his choice of successor and leaving a weak squad behind him would mean trivialising the issue and would not do justice to the situation. This is the same group of players that won the league by 11 points – even with a bad season you would at least expect the squad to make it to top four. If you consider United’s collapse this season as a regression model, then there are multiple variables that can be used to describe the situation. Partly its Moyes’ own lack of ability, partly the weak squad he inherited, partly Woodward’s unsatisfactory show in the transfer window and partly poor display by players who seem to be disillusioned by the post-Fergie era. David Moyes was given the big job of Man United manager. It is now his responsibility of making the players play for him. If the players are stuck with Fergie fever and are not up for playing under him then he needs to weed them out. Too many times this season he has given the impression that he is glad to be in Sir Alex’s seat and was really lucky to get the job. It is time he grows into his own and shows some ruthlessness. He was Everton manager for 11 years and should not be afraid of making tough decisions.
After an embarrassing defeat at home to Liverpool many fans are calling for Moyes to resign or the club to axe him soon. To be fair to him, he should be given one more summer to build his own squad. He inherited a squad from Sir Alex and tried to give everyone a chance. By now, it is expected that he knows whom to keep, whom to transfer and more importantly how to rebuild the team. Ideally, he should have started some of this work last summer but he did not.
So who stays and who goes? What does the squad barometer say?
1. De Gea – superb player. Need to shield him from preying eyes of Europe.
2. Rafael – he wants to win – has the battling spirit – loses discipline on the pitch at times. He has the heart to be a Man United player. He could blossom into a top European right back. Stays.
3. Evra – has had several great years with the club – past his prime – replacement required – maybe helpful with left-back transition by staying on for one more year. Goes.
4. Jones – needs to settle down in to a permanent position. Give him chances to transform into a top quality defender. Build the defence around him? Maybe.
5. Ferdinand – will go down as a United legend but his time is up on the field. Goes.
6. Evans – good piece to have in the squad. Stays.
8. Mata – we didn’t have our eyes set on him and got him when he became available. If Mata was the type of player Moyes was looking to get, then why didn’t we pursue Ozil in the summer? Can offer a lot to United once he settles in.
10. Rooney – the de facto leader of the team? Perhaps.
11. Giggs – time to transition into coaching role. Goes.
12. Smalling – good piece in the squad. Needs to keep improving. Stays.
13. Lindegaard – he is fine. Stays.
14. Hernandez – has had a difficult season. Chicha might be inclined to move out in the summer due to lack of chances. It would be good if he stays.
15. Vidic – Captain has decided to leave the ship. His timing of announcement could have been better.
16. Carrick – hasn’t been able to replicate his form of last season. He will be 33 in July and needs new signings around him in midfield to phase out well. Stays.
17. Nani – I would have said yes to let him go if they hadn’t renewed his contract this season. Can be a threat on his better days. Stays.
18. Young – He is not a match winner and the diving brings unnecessary trollage. Should be sold.
19. Welbeck – not a lethal finisher but adds a lot of value to our strike force. He of course stays.
20. Van Perie – hasn’t been the sharpest lately. Lack of form or lack of motivation? Fergie would consider selling anyone showing dissent. Moyes? Don’t think so. Stays.
23. Cleverley – genuinely tries but not enough quality. New midfielders should be brought in (Kroos?) and he can be transferred. Goes.
24. Fletcher – only time will tell how much he can offer again.
25. Valencia – terrible two years after his player of the year performance. Should he be sold? Yes maybe.
26. Kagawa – A hard decision to make. I’d like to believe he can provide lot of quality to the squad. Stays.
28. Buttner – nothing great about him as our #2 left back. His staying or leaving doesn’t affect the team much.
31. Fellaini – he needs to prove that he is worthy of United jersey and the money Moyes paid for him.
44. Januzaj – Silver lining of the season. Adnan will take a few years to mature and a potentially become a world star. Fingers crossed.
Zaha and Powell – should add value to the squad on arrival.
Macheda and Anderson – might prefer to move on.
Slow-long term development plan sounds really good to say but what if Moyes is not the right man to do that job? Of paramount importance for the club is immediate replenishment of the squad. To say the least, the club needs to sign two central midfielders, one centre back and one left-back. We will continue to spiral down if top quality reinforcements are not made this summer. Anyone can tell you that Moyes does not have the same pull as Sir Alex for a player but at least Man United’s stature is still big enough to attract talent. It is time the club invested heavily to keep its identity high.
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