In the wake of a disastrous season under the “Chosen One” it was always going to be a hard task rebuilding the squad and recruiting top level players without offering the luxury of european football. Add to that the loss of three long standing pillars in defence in the form of Rio, Evra and Vidic at the end of last season and the task at hand for incoming manager Louis Van Gaal and Chief Executive Ed Woodward became that much more difficult. Reports of a transfer war chest close to £200 million being available at the clubs disposal helped ease the tension amongst the fans but the fear that Ed Woodward would fail to deliver the targets once again remained a huge concern amongst all fans. After the fiasco of the previous summer transfer window this was perfectly understandable. United fans re-energised by Louis Van Gaal’s Dutch side’s performances in the World Cup headed into the transfer window hoping that Ed Woodward had learned from past mistakes.
Serious investments were needed and they needed to be made fast. Confirmations of the signings of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera in close proximity of each other convinced many that our Woody had finally learned. Fast forward a month later and it looks like Woodward is failing to deliver in the transfer market yet again. 10 Days left till the transfer window shuts and Woodward has failed to sign the world class talents that the squad requires. In excess off £70 million has been spent on the signings of Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera but serious problems in the squad are yet to be addressed and with 10 days left before the market closes Manchester United fans have every right to be enraged by Woodward’s performance in the transfer market yet again.
The midfield is still lacking in quality even with the addition of Ander Herrera. The team is desperately crying out for a strong presence in central midfield alongside him. Players of the calibre of Arturo Vidal and Sami Khedira have all been linked but that elusive combative midfielder is yet to arrive at Old Trafford. Herrera’s debut in the 1-2 loss to Swansea in the opening game of the season highlighted the fact that he will need some time to adapt to the premier league’s physical aspect and the lack of a real physical presence alongside him will make the task that much tougher on the Spanish import.
In the opening day defeat to Swansea all three starting center backs Phil Jones,Chris Smalling and Taylor Blackett were individually doing some good things on the pitch but failed to work as a defensive unit. With the loss of experienced center backs Ferdinand and Vidic at the end of last season the need to bring in an established center back from one of europe’s top four leagues to lead a young back line was rather evident. 6 months since Vidic announced he would be leaving and Woodward has failed to sign a center back to lead the line. Mehdi Benatia, Mats Hummels, Thomas Vermaelen all look to have slipped through United’s hands. Marcos Rojo has been the only centre back brought in so far, a fine addition to the squad but he is definitely not that leader required in the heart of United’s back line. Rojo does add something to the squad in the form of his versatility and the passion with which he plays the game. With the ability to play left wing back he could also provide cover for the currently injured Luke Shaw. A good signing indeed but definitely not the calm and composed head required to organise the back 3 or 5 in the new 3-5-2 system.
Luis Nani is off to Sporting Lisbon on loan after another horrible season in the red of Manchester United. Ashley Young is simply not good enough to start each week for Manchester United. Antonio Valencia has quite simply forgotten how to put a decent ball in to the box. Shinji Kagwa is never a winger and we will never see his true ability out wide and Wilfried Zaha seems to be more interested in matters outside of Football. New number 11 Adnan Januzaj is the only winger of the standards required by Manchester United currently at the club. This is one of the many reason why Van Gaal is moving away from his favoured 4-3-3 at united. The iconic number 7 shirt is without an owner after some ridiculously undeserving players wearing it and it is about time we see a winger talented enough to deserve it wear it on to the old Trafford pitch. Angel Di Maria has been consistently linked with a move away from Madrid and United are reported to be the main party interested in accruing the services of the mercurial winger. But with 10 days left can Woodward pull of the biggest deal he has attempted to seal since he took over from David Gill.
10 days left in the transfer window and £70 million invested and yet the squad is no where near the standards it should be at. Some may argue that it’s at a worse state than last season. 6 first team players have left and only 3 new players have been brought in. The pressure that was taken of by early captures of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw is pilling on Ed Woodward yet again. United are still at-least 3 top quality signings away from reaching the standards required at Manchester United. A World Class Midfielder or two, A exciting Winger and a commanding Centre Back. Van Gaal’s management may drag united to a top 4 finish but it is about time Ed Woodward brings out the cheque books and invests in bringing the world’s top players to United like he claimed United could in a recent interview with MUTV. Ed has 10 days left to prove to the world that he is not only good at signing sponsorship deals but also able to complete deals for the players in the top talent bracket of world football. Without significant spending in the remaining 10 days of the transfer market another season without Champions League football may follow this season. The Pressure is on Ed Woodward and the Glazers to deliver or else face the backlash from the Old Trafford faithful. 10 Days.