Manchester United are filled with good and great players. However, a dip in form has me worrying about the Red Devils’ success in the upcoming season. Keeping young players who show extreme amounts of potential is a necessity for a successful team, but keeping players who are run-of-the-mill okay players does not convince me that a team can continue a long line of success.
The team should keep Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, Juan Mata, Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj, Chris Smalling, Wilfried Zaha, Alexander Buttner and the young players, but get rid of the players who are simply just coasting. I have nothing personal against these players I’m about to mention, but they need to go: David De Gea, Michael Carrick, Nani, Rafael, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley, Patrice Evra and Darren Fletcher.
It is a combination of both age and form for these players, and many have seen a dip in form, including Young and Cleverley. If you asked me two years ago about Young and Cleverley, I would have been all for them starting and leading the team, but now in 2014, they do not live up to their potential.
Now, it probably looks like I am just picking out players simply because their age. Evra is 33, Young 29, Fletcher 30 and Carrick 33; I am not an ageist, these are simply facts. All that I am saying is that when it comes to soccer, it is about speed and field vision and unfortunately, with age comes a regression of speed. Releasing or transferring out the aforementioned players would easily open up room for much younger players who will immediately make an impact.
The goalkeeping situation for Manchester United is intriguing because United have two extremely talented keepers in De Gea and Anders Lindegaard. However, there is something that bugs me about De Gea — it could be his player photo, the way he styles his hair before every match, or the fact that he has been unreliable in big games and finished behind five other goalies in top performance.
He is young and will need some time to develop, but I have not seen the unstoppable force which was promised in net.
The defense is a mess as well. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are done at United, which leaves spots open. I would shift Marouane Fellaini and Buttner to a right or left-back position and keep Smalling and Jonathan Evans in the center. These players are the most reliable of the defenders and should be a main priority for Louis Van Gaal when it comes to selecting the first 11.
Manchester United have way too many midfielders. They brought in Shinji Kagawa and Mata, and they have old wings in Nani and Young that frustrate fans. Manchester United have three options when it comes to fixing this situation. They can shift the center midfielders out wide, search the transfer market and tap the Dutch connection, or scout from the youth academy and bring up a talented prospect.
Manchester United are similar to the New York Yankees as they like to reminisce on the past and not move on to the future. Also, they both have lots and lots of money. In order for the English Premier League Championship to be raised by the Red Devils come May 2015, Van Gaal will need to make the older and out-of-form players expendable.