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Man Utd era over?

The B-Man

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I was having a discussion concerning Man Utd at work today, and our feeling was that the years of success have taken its toll on the team. The players who brought the success are either getting older or have moved on, and the younger players who are being brought in are not up to the challenge yet. Its the changeover that is bringing the team down, give them another couple of years and things will be back to normal.
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It's fixable; they have some of the best talent in the world. Arguably the best young talents in teh world (Rooney and Ronaldo). Whether a change of manager perhaps can make them world beaters again I don't know. But Fergie must be aware he's getting closer and closer to the axe.
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They really do seem to have no sense of direction at the moment.


Ronaldo, is not performing where towards the end of last season he was top class.


Rooney is having to drop back far to often as the midfield is in pieces, leaving Van Nistlerooy up the front waiting for a ball that just not seem to appear.


As for the backline, well jeez. If it were not for Van Der Sar then things could be alot lot worse.


No doubt the loss of heinze and neville has been a blow. But if you intend to compete at this level you need a little more competition for places. Suddenly the descion to let Phil neville go to Everton is looking a bad one.


The comments that Roy keane has made in the past couple of days, were probably spot on. But i can't help but feel he should of told the players themselves. As club captain i think it's his responibility to let the players know what he thinks of there recent performences. But he should never of put the clubs tv station in that position.


The Manchester United has been slowly grinding to a halt ever since Barcelona 99. But if anybody is able to get it back on track then it's Sir Alex. It's just how long he's around for.

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I`ve always seen it as when Man United won the Champions League in 99 (their peak) there wasn`t as many foreign players in the Premiership back then.As more and more foreign players came into the Premiership there has been less of a chance for young English players to get established, and so Fergusson has had to buy from abroad which he wasn`t that great at.
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Sorry Jay C but CHRISTIANO Ronaldo is one of the most over rated players around today I thought he along with the rest of the team were beyond dire tonight.


Watch him in Euro 2004. Watch him in his debut season. The talents there he just needs to get his consistancy sorted out. Overrated? Sure he is. Why?! Because he puts fear into the opposition's defenders reading the team sheet because they know they're in for some confusion and when he doesn't perform people say he's crap. I've no doubt he's far from the player he's touted to be, but the fact remains you wouldn't bet against him being known as the best player on the planet in 4 or 5 years time.

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Manchester United's era has been over for a while now. Chelsea are so far ahead of them in every aspect that I cannot see United staging a revival for the next few seasons at least.


First of all, Chelsea have a better team. They have quality all over the pitch. They've got not one, but two of the best goalkeepers in Europe. They have the best centre-back in the world (Terry). Gallas, Carvalho and Del Horno are all established international defenders who are incredibly solid. Most importantly, these five work incredibly well as a team unit. Hence the reason why they concede so few goals. Next, their midfield. You would be hard pushed to find a better midfield trio than Lampard/Makelele/Essien. Makelele is the best in the world at what he does, namely protect the back four as best he can. Lampard is one of, if not the best, attacking midfielders in the world. His finishing, passing, work-rate, etc are all superb. Even his defensive work has improved immeasurably. And to cap it off, Essien is a mixture of both. He can tackle, shoot, create chances ... you name it, he can do it. Their wingers are all very good too. Arjen Robben is, when on-form, the most dangerous player in the Premiership. He hasn't found that form this season but when he comes good, everyone will see how good a player he is. As for their striker, I'm getting sick of defending Drogba. He isn't the best technical player in the world but he gives a Chelsea a new dimension. He holds the ball up well and is essential to the effectiveness of Chelsea's system. Also, when Chelsea's normal approach isn't working, they have the option of hitting it long to Drogba (it isn't pretty but it can be very effective). And of course Chelsea have Crespo and Gudjohnsen in reserve. So, Chelsea have a strong team all over the park and have strength in depth.


Now for United's team. Van der Sar is a solid 'keeper but won't be around for long as he's in his mid-thirties. Neville and Heinze are both very good full-backs but as we can see now, United do not have adequate replacements. At right-back Bardsley is an inexperienced rookie that hasn't really impressed so far and at left-back ... well, United don't have a replacement left-back. It's a choice of playing either Richardson or O'Shea out of position which obviously isn't ideal. Compare this to Chelsea who have Ferreira and Bridge as replacement full-backs, both internationals who used to playing in these positions. Silvestre is inconsistent but generally a good defender who gets too much unfair criticism and then we get to ... Rio. The epitome of everything wrong with modern football. Basically, the sooner he wakes up and realises that coasting through matches while earning over 100k a week is not good enough, the better. If United can get him to regain his focus, they will concede a lot less goals. As it is, they should drop him until he's ready to give 100%. The midfield ... this is really where Chelsea are miles ahead of United. Keane and Scholes are both well past their best and should be replaced as soon as possible. Smith is not a defensive midfielder - he can't tackle, for a start. Fletcher ... what does Fletcher actually do? I barely notice him whenever he's playing, aside from giving the ball away occasionally. However, it's not all bad for United. Their attacking players are up there with Chelsea's. Ronaldo and Park are fast, tricky wingers who can do a lot of damage. Rooney is a special player - United would be in a lot worse state without him. And Ruud is a goal machine who consisently scores.


Even still, both Chelsea's first-team and squad are better than United's. As well as this, part of United's problem is that their formation really doesn't suit the players. Both Chelsea and United use a 4-3-2-1 formation. The difference is Mourinho's team understand the formation and the role that they play in it. Accordingly, it works well. United on the other hand look all over the place when playing this formation. This nullifies Rooney's threat by sticking him on the wing and United don't create as many chances as Chelsea, thus reducing the effectiveness of the system.


The difference in the quality of the managers is quite big too. Mourinho is the best coach in the world, bar none. He is a brilliant man-manager, a tactical genius and the way he keeps his players motivated and hungry amazes me. Before anyone insinuates Mourinho and Chelsea's success is purely down to money, look at what the man did with Leiria and Porto. He won the Champions' League with Porto! There is probably no other manager who could have achieved that under the same circumstances. Also, money doesn't always buy success. Just see Ranieri's Chelsea and Real Madrid for proof. Ferguson on the other hand, is tactically inept and seems to have lost the dressing-room. He doesn't have the guts to drop Rio, he refuses to accept that his 'new' system doesn't work and his judgement of players' ability seemes to be waning (Fletcher, Miller, Djemba twins, etc). He should go at the end of the season. If United can get a good replacement, eg Paul le Guen, then they will improve a lot. If Quieroz or O'Neill gets the job ... in my humble opinion, United are screwed.


And finally the money factor. Abromavich has all the money Chelsea need and does not look like leaving any time soon. Therefore, Chelsea will have unlimited funds for the forseeable future (even if he did leave, Abromavich has cleared all of Chelsea's debt so whilst not having infinite money, neither would they go bankrupt). United, as has been well documented, is owned by Malcolm Glazer who is around 500m in debt. As a result, United won't have much transfer funding for a considerable period of time. Only 6m was spent in the summer by United - less than an eighth of Chelsea's spending over the same time period. This effectively means that United cannot compete with Chelsea in the transfer market and cannot go out and buy all of the top-class players they need.


As I said at the start, United's era is well over. Chelsea's era has already begun.

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Yeah have to say the Man Utd era has been over for a good couple of years.


They just haven't replaced players. Keane has been an idiot, and clearly wants to go badly as he's insulted all of his teammates, when in reality his form hasn't been great anyway. They've not got the strength and depth, the big players don't perform enough, and Fergie seemingly doesn't know what to do anymore.


They need a fresh start, and re-approach.

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They need another clear like the season when they sold Ince, Kanchelskis and Mark Hughes


They need to find young hungry players


Players like Scholes have been there done that and have nothing else to achieve at club level


I'd like to United Sell Rio Ferdinand and bring in someone like ledley King a proper center half


Ballack will be a great signing if we get him but I don't see him as a replacement for Keane more of a replacement for Scholes


Van der sar - Can't fault the bloke he's been amazing this season for us but we won't get many years out of him


Park Ji Sung will replace Giggsy I think he's done very well when selected


John O'Shea has been terrible for United except for first season when he broke into the first team maybe its been all the positional chnges he's been asked to do he needs to find his best position


The two guys up front have been good Van Nistelrooy is scoring goals as alway and Rooney can conjuer something up out of nothing


Christianno Ronaldo - Needs to get a run of games together. He's had alot to deal with in his personal life lately hopefully he can get his mind back on football and he'll be a big player For Man U


Darren Fletcher and Alan Smith shouldn't be in the starting line up of a team trying to win trophies


Alan Smith will never be a defensive midfielder the guy tries his best but you can't turn a Striker inrto a defensive midfielder maybe an attacking midfielder but a defensive midfielder it would like trying to turn Makele into a Striker

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Sunday's game at Old Trafford against Chelsea is an absolute must win for Manchester United. If they win that and their game in hand, they can cut the gap to a more respectable seven points and put themselves back in the title race. Anything other than victory for the Red Devils and they can kiss their title aspirations goodbye IMO.


While in the Champions League, although their morale draining defeat in the Stade De France against Lille last night was unfortunate, they can still easily qualify from their group as Benfica suffered what some may say was a shock home defeat to Villarreal, to open up the group


Manchester United need to get a run of victories under their belt to build team confidence this season and then people may start asking themselves 'What Crisis'. At the end of the day they are a still a very good side.

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