The undying desires of a football fan might have just ceased to those who found solace at the Theater of Dreams. Old Trafford, once the glorious ground which stood for the pride of the greatest team in the history of English football, now stands as a wreck.
A single season was all it took to bring down the impenetrable fortress, and all the records shattered to the ground. In such miserable times, Manchester United dug deep for redemption. The departure of Sir Alex left a hole far too deep to plunge, the ‘Chosen One’ ended up a failed gamble as the realms of victory and joy slipped far beyond his reach.
And in the end, after a forgettable season, the club winced back to the tried and tested. An experienced man was appointed and by no fault of his, he finds himself in the world’s most criticized job, perhaps only after that of the FIFA President.
But, as he relishes his final days with his country, the club has resorted to buying players at a never-seen-before rate. Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, the two magical names brought a smile to the gloomy faces that we had seen for so long. For at last, the board chose to fill the vulnerable spots in the team. The sudden furore in the Manchester United community has been a desired one, something that should have happened at least a couple of years ago.
Sir Alex might just be the biggest name in Manchester United’s history, but his farewell wasn’t without unseen problems. Leaving to his 13th title and after knocking Liverpool off their F****** perch, he made it such that the man replacing him had more than a herculean task.
When he left, everyone was in tears, what was perceived as the most colossal transformation in the history of Manchester United, turned out to be more than that. Sir Alex left United with a team that wasn’t world-class. The immediate difference in results showcases the genius of Sir Alex Ferguson, but then, a portrayal of his genius doesn’t really keep the ship floating.
Paul Scholes was, arguably, the greatest player Sir Alex ever managed. He was the greatest midfielder of the Premier league era. Period. And when he left (2nd time) the game, the midfield at Old Trafford came to a standstill. Surely, they won matches but it just wasn’t the same anymore. When a team loses two of its most important components on the same day, they are bound for some damage. And in United’s case, it was tremendous.
And fast forward a year since the departure of the duo, Ander Herrera stands in front of us, satisfying our strong claims for a center midfielder. But then, the situation at Old Trafford is beyond being solved by a single transfer. What we desire is for another Paul Scholes, another Sir Alex and another Roy Keane.
One day in the future, Ander Herrera might become as good or even better than the above mentioned players, but today is not the day for such a transition. Ed Woodward, another figure criticized for ineffective transfer dealings in the post-Ferguson era, has now been on the receiving end of many applauses. For his part, he has acted as a financial mind and secured a Spanish midfielder for a high fee.
Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera shall be the two players who will mark the difference between Manchester United till now and in the future. Within the span of a week, the two were signed to answer some rousing rants by the fans. The new manager is one of the most experienced in the current roster and is on a very good run leading Netherlands into the semifinals of the World Cup with more to come.
However, the two players are relatively new to the advent of English football. While Luke Shaw had an exciting season at Southampton, at 18 years old, he is still young. Ander Herrera has been very good at Bilbao but the technical brilliance of La Liga players is often made null in the Premier league.
The recent reports have suggested that Manchester United shall go for every player who plays well in a single match at the World Cup. (Not a Joke!)
That’s the situation the Red Devils find themselves in at this point of time. We are so desperate to get our club back in track that shelling out 100mn for Paul Pogba seems a viable option. The agreed upon transfer fees for Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw add up to around 65mn. With such expensive buys, all the clubs now know what Manchester United go in for and the status is as such, they quote the price and we satisfy that.
The United that everyone knows often failed to adhere to such demands and Carrington Road served as their feeder, but alas, once and for all, the trend seems to be changing. Danny Welbeck might just have the distinction of being the last player to emerge out of United’s youth academy and become a success.
The signings have been made with the future in mind, while the manager seems quite the contrary. Manchester United were, for all these years what Sir Alex built and sustained. However, those sturdy walls seem to be crumbling as Van Gaal takes up a challenge to resurrect the club to its former glory.
With two high-profile transfers, United are trudging hitherto unknown waters which shall make or break them. For so long, there was a fine line in the sand that separated Manchester United from the other top clubs. But recent acquisitions have shown that United have just about smudged the difference which represented everything good about club football that Manchester United portrayed.
When we look back one day, unwary on how the club is then, we shall see that this and this summer alone would have made all the difference. For my part, I hope it is on the positive!