The "We Don't Actually Need A Midfielder" Thread

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by KingEric7, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Aug 20, 2010
    #1

    KingEric7 Conspiracy enthusiast

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    Why do people keep going on about this? The amount of times I've read on here that the midfield is "a weakness", or that it's going to "let us down", is absurd. It is not a weakness - it's simply not as strong as other areas of the team, which makes sense given that we have some of the very, very best players in the world in their respective positions in every other area of the line up.

    The most common argument in favour of signing a midfielder seems to be that Giggs and Scholes are unable to play 50-60 games a season. Well, of course they can't; infact, I think Patrice Evra is the only player on the planet that actually can. What Giggs and Scholes can do is play in the games that matter, like when we mopped the floor with Chelsea the other week, mainly down to the brilliance of, er, Paul Scholes.

    To say that our midfield needs strengthening is a disservice to players such as Scholes and Giggs, who are both likely to be considerably better than any player likely to be signed. Both players, given that they remain free of injury, are likely to play 30-35 games this season, and only need be played in the games that matter, or when Ferguson sees fit. That is more than enough, and it's madness to say that the likes of Fletcher, Carrick, Gibson, Anderson et al aren't good enough footballers to contribute againt the rest of the teams in the Premiership.

    Yes, the Ozil signing would've been nice, and at great value, but ultimately it would've taken up another space in the squad that could've been allocated to one of the youngsters we've got in the squad. Like Ferguson says, and just as anyone else who has watched any academy and reserve games over the past year or two will vouch for, the youngsters really are all that and, unlike previous years, we have them in abundance in every position.

    We do not need a central midfielder.
  2. Aug 20, 2010
    #2

    Sir A1ex Full Member

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    I disagree strongly.

    Playing without a central midfielder would be suicidal.

    We should stick to having a couple there - Fletcher adn Scholes is probably the ideal combo, but if they're not available, stick Carrick or Anderson or somebody in.
  3. Aug 20, 2010
    #3

    Mainoldo Full Member

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    They weren't last year so we will see this year.
  4. Aug 20, 2010
    #4

    evra Full Member

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    We are lacking in that area, I'd have thought that was obvious if you watched last season against the top-level teams. Christ Everton's midfield completely dominated ours at Goddison.
  5. Aug 20, 2010
    #5

    RockOfGibraltar Full Member

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  6. Aug 20, 2010
    #6

    KingEric7 Conspiracy enthusiast

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    Anderson was injured for the vast majority of the year. Gibson played well enough against Bayern Munich, which shows that he has it in him.

    You conveniently ignored Fletcher, and also Carrick who has every chance of getting back to some sort of form.
  7. Aug 20, 2010
    #7

    esmufc14 9 Pages of infractions

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    Gibson did well enough when he played. Anderson actually started off the season well I thought and his high point was his goal at Tottenham. A lot on here then thought that would spur (pardon the terrible pun) him on. Unfortunately he had a dip in form, then was dropped, then he had that injury.

    On paper we have a very good midfield. It's just dependant on a lot of 'if's' at the moment. If Carrick can rediscover his form, if Anderson can do the same, if Gibson can improve, if Cleverley can transfer his form for Watford to United, if Scholes and Giggs can stay fit.

    The Anderson/Carrick/Fletcher trio is a very good one, a midfield which dominated Chelsea's at SB last season. Anderson in that game reminded me of a younger Scholes the way he was bursting into the box (Shame Rooney made a few bad decisions).

    I agree with KingEric7, basically. If however Carrick and Anderson fail to improve this season then we will be left short and we may struggle towards the end of the season. But then spending £20m+ on a midfielder isn't any guarantee either. We spent £28m on one of the best in the world in 2001.
  8. Aug 20, 2010
    #8

    esmufc14 9 Pages of infractions

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    We dominated Arsenal at the Emirates, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Dominated Bayern's for 55 minutes at Old Trafford also. Not forgetting that 20 minute spell in the San Siro and the subsequent return leg.
  9. Aug 20, 2010
    #9

    KingEric7 Conspiracy enthusiast

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    Like against Arsenal, Liverpool and City? :confused:
  10. Aug 20, 2010
    #10

    kiddaa Full Member

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    We lost the title last season , because no one really stepped up from the midfield when it mattered ---- fact.
    Also Scholes and Giggs would get skinned when they face stronger teams ---- another fact
    (Barcelona 2008 CL )
    We do need a central midfield player.
  11. Aug 20, 2010
    #11

    devilish Full Member

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    It all depends on how much fuel is left in Scholes/Giggs tank. Once these two pass from a bad patch then we will end up with little creativity in CM. i think that SAF knows that pretty well and that this season will be the make up or break up for many players (at least in terms of being considered as Scholes successor). If they fail then he will just have to bring in a new midfielder.
  12. Aug 20, 2010
    #12

    KingEric7 Conspiracy enthusiast

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    We lost the title last season because our defence sustained more injuries than those incurred from your average war.

    Scholes was very good against Barcelona in 2008. In both games. I think the idea in that game was to let Barcelona come at us, either way.
  13. Aug 20, 2010
    #13

    jojojo Full Member

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    SAF thought we needed a midfielder three years ago when he signed Hargreaves and Anderson. Hargreaves isn't playing. Anderson may start playing again sometime soon. In terms of the youth coming through the only one who's close is Gibson.

    Obviously we don't need just any midfielder, or even any flavour of the month midfielder but it's not outrageous to think we'll need someone (from inside or outside the club) soon.
  14. Aug 20, 2010
    #14

    WireRed Full Member

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    I agree with that but I also think people on here are barking up the wrong tree as regards to the type of midfielder we need.

    The Ozil's, Sneijder's, and Van der Vaart's of this world(the likes of whom people on the caf are dying for us to buy) aren't going to dominate other teams midfields and address that particular weakness, they are playmakers that come to the fore when their team gets a grip on a game.

    We need someone more akin to an Essien or Yaya Toure, someone who is physically imposing and who can contribute 5-10 goals per season. That type of player would relieve a lot of pressure on Fletcher to be our ball-winner and allow us to play either 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 in big matches, something we don't have the luxury of doing at the moment because we NEED three in midfield to give us a fighting chance in these games.
  15. Aug 20, 2010
    #15

    amolbhatia100 Barbiturates ain't got nothin' on me

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    Our midfield is alright. What we need is dependent on what the objective is. If it is to keep putting up a title challenge every year, I guess we're alright. But if we are to dominate the league and be the best club around, like we were three years back, we would probably need a few top class players in midfield. We have one upfront (Rooney). We have two in defense (Vidic & Evra). But in midfield we have noone that's truly top notch. Fletcher is good, Carrick can be good, Scholes can be sublime but it's rare and going to get rarer. Anderson could be brilliant but we'll have to wait and see.

    So yes, in the centre of midfield we could definitely do with one player of the highest caliber. Chelsea have their Essien and Lampard, and even Malouda when he plays there. Arsenal have Fabregas. The one we have who can match any of those and well, on his day easily out perform them, is Scholes. But he's now getting on a bit.

    The thing is, in top form, we still have no one even remotely close to the level of Paul Scholes. What happens when his time is up? Imagine a drop in quality like that.
  16. Aug 20, 2010
    #16

    Rado_N Grinner ruined my tagline

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    I'd say that's pretty accurate. I wouldn't object to a proven midfielder being brought in to bolster the ranks, but we're not really crying out for it.

    When we get overrun in midfield it's evidence we are weak there, when we overrun other teams in midfield it's usually because they have a bad day. Go figure.
  17. Aug 20, 2010
    #17

    esmufc14 9 Pages of infractions

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    Thing is, people said the same when Stam left, when Beckham left, when Keane left, when Ruud left. The same people said Fergie was a fool for getting rid of Ince, Kanchelskis, Hughes etc and replacing them with kids.

    And every single time Fergie has proven everybody wrong. People really ought to learn. Granted Fergie will probably be gone in a couple of a years, if that, but you can be sure he'll leave this club in brilliant shape for the next manager.

    We won't find anybody of Paul Scholes' calibre, so it's pointless looking, but Fergie will find a replacement.
  18. Aug 20, 2010
    #18

    RedRover Full Member

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    A significant assumption there. The fact is you dont know that either will stay injury free and its much more difficult in you thirties to recover. If we lose Scholes or Giggs who comes in? I can't see anyone with their pedigree currently in the squad.

    The question maybe isn't whether we need a midfielder now - its whether we do in teh near future. Ozil for example blows Fergie's argument "that there's no value in the market" right out of the water - a potentially top class player for £12 million who would have been a great addition.

    So what happens when Scholes retires, probably next year or Giggsy? We seemingly aint got the money to go out and sign a top player so what then?
  19. Aug 20, 2010
    #19

    Bilbo Full Member

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    Put it this way: If you heard of a team that played 38 league games last season, and had over 50% possession in 37 of them (the other being Arsenal away - ironically perhaps the best performance) then you'd struggle to claim that the midfield of that team was anything other than top drawer.
  20. Aug 20, 2010
    #20

    KingEric7 Conspiracy enthusiast

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    Perhaps it would've been better to say they are capable of doing so. And why would that not be the case? Both of them, as well as Alex Ferguson, repeatedly talk of how they still have the fitness and desire. There's also the fact that any player coming in could also get injured. It is unlikely we will lose Giggs and Scholes at the same time to prolonged injuries and, if we do, that's just dreadful luck. There are few teams that could deal with losing two of it's most gifted players at once to long-term injuries.

    This is when we should be expecting certain youngsters to step up. It's perfectly conceivable that one of the 6 or 7 youngsters waiting could make great strides this year. It'll be interesting to see what will happen with Eikrem and Anderson, in particular.
  21. Aug 20, 2010
    #21

    RedRover Full Member

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    I think we need both.

    Against the top teams in europe 4-3-3 is the way. Lassana Diarra would be ideal - not flashy, hard tackling and a good worker.

    We may not need an attacking player right now but once Scholes is done we will.

    Remains to be seen if Scholes can do it against the top teams. Against Newcastle he was closed down a lot in teh first 15 minutes and made a few dodgy passes. Once they tired and he got teh sapce he was great but that wont happen against the top teams.
  22. Aug 20, 2010
    #22

    RedRover Full Member

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    Its a fair point, I'm just suggesting placing the responsibility of success in a season onto teh shoulders of two blokes in their mid thirties might not be the smartest thing to do.

    You're right that we may find someone who can step up. The point I was making was that a potentially top player has moved for next to nothing.

    we may have tried to get him and failed, who knows - its just a dissapointment that we're seemingly willing to shell out £7million on a lad Fergie has never seen but can't nip in for a few million more and beat Madrid to teh signing of arguably the best your player in the World Cup - especially when (at least when Giggs and Scholes retire) he's exactly teh sort of player we lack.
  23. Aug 20, 2010
    #23

    shaydun Full Member

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    I seem to remember Utd beating Barca in 2008.
  24. Aug 20, 2010
    #24

    CnutOfAllCnuts Bald Boring Cnut

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    There's only a small handful of midfielders that would improve on what we already have at Manchester United, and none of those players are gettable.
  25. Aug 20, 2010
    #25

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    Forlan played 68 official games last season for club and country, so much for the "leggy" and "exhausted" excuses from players failing at the World Cup.

    Anyhow, as far as the point on the OP goes, I do think it would be a good idea to get a creative central midfielder. Not that we will fail without one, but, as you point out, Scholes can play the hard games and we can get a likely successor to bed into the Premiership against the easier opposition.

    It wouldn't be the end of the world, but when the Ginger Prince finally retires I would be more comfortable knowing who the feck is meant to take on his mantle.
  26. Aug 20, 2010
    #26

    Hectic Full Member

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    Also because at one point we had none of our back 4 there, or when Carrick was forced to play in defence, or when our first choice defence barely played together throughout the entire season. This might also have been a deciding factor.
  27. Aug 20, 2010
    #27

    Hectic Full Member

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    We don't need another midfielder, we have enough quality throughout the squad.

    We need to stay fit, and let the midfield perform as they should, rather then covering a weakened defence because everyone is injured.
  28. Aug 20, 2010
    #28

    CnutOfAllCnuts Bald Boring Cnut

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    Cleverley?
  29. Aug 20, 2010
    #29

    Laphroaig Full Member

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    :lol:

    I fully agree with the OP. Too much moaning about our midfield.
  30. Aug 20, 2010
    #30

    Mainoldo Full Member

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    And absolutely killed teams to death football wise just we just had a shit defence.

    However i see where your coming from the put i was just trying to make is that alot of how good our midfield will be will rely on alot of if's and but's. Carrick needs to step up (can he?) Gibson basically wont be enough even if he improves, Anderson has great potential but once again it's not just going to click but then again you never know. The only assurances we have are Fletcher, Scholes and Giggs two of which need to be used tatically. So another top performer would be great but even with the if's and but's we can still improve on last year without a new signing in the middle.
  31. Aug 20, 2010
    #31

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    I hope so! Hasn't done enough to prove he would, but I would be happy to see him get games and make his case. In that sense, it may be a January decision, not a last minute one to make now but, knowing Fergie, that would likely rule out European cup tied players.
  32. Aug 20, 2010
    #32

    Laphroaig Full Member

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    What an odd claim. Scholes concluded the season brilliantly, he certainly stepped up when it mattered.
  33. Aug 20, 2010
    #33

    iAm20Legend Full Member

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    We did really well from midfield in some games over the last couple of seasons against some really good teams, and did quite badly - and were overrun in midfield - against some too, I think every one of us will remember at least a few examples of either.

    I would say we don't need to go crazy about finding a midfielder - the young players we have are very promising - but not exactly finding any kind of consistency. Ando getting out injured was a blow but then you never know these things, he might come back refreshed and with a point to prove. Cleverly, Gibson - call them 'not good enough' for all you will, but you can't deny that they're maybe doing even better than Fletch was at that age ?

    And - most importantly - buying a midfield gem doesn't guarantee anything except maybe on football manager games - I guess that's very evident from all the transfer action that we see, not just at United. For all the big names moving around every year, you find maybe 20% of them clicking and the rest moving on again.

    So, if Fergie thinks the current lot could - if given some time - step up, that's good enough for me. Of course, in the process, we might go through a season or two not winning everything under the sun.
  34. Aug 20, 2010
    #34

    Crustanoid Full Member

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    We need a signing...any signing


    or else we'll all die
  35. Aug 20, 2010
    #35

    KingEric7 Conspiracy enthusiast

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    Hopefully one of the youngsters. :)

    It's a very exciting season just for this reason. When was the last time Manchester United had such a vast array of talent coming through in every position? I suppose that it's indicative of the change of strategy we've had to take up in order to cope with the ridiculous spending of Chelsea and City.
  36. Aug 20, 2010
    #36

    Shimo Full Member

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    And? A one of game at a fairly decent sides park doesn't mean our midfield is weak. Didn't Wigan dominate Chelsea at home last season?

    I do agree in that last year there were games where Scholes / Carrick were found wanting when pressed. Our weak spot for me is when you match up against a team like Chelsea that is powerful - if we can't beat them via our technical superiority then their physical side will dominate us. We didn't seem to have the personnel to really add some bite last season when faced against the likes of Bayern and Chelsea.

    Not having Anderson or Hargreaves did make us physically inferior to some some teams but, technically we have one of the better mids out there. This season against a team like Chelsea if we line up Fletch/Anderson/Carrick - I don't think we'll be found wanting to match their strength.

    Throw in Valencia and Nani who are both very strong - we can match up against anyone. With just one of Fletcher or Anderson in a physical battle in midfield - we are a bit thin. That's why a player like Lass or Merieles I think would be important for us to have.

    But, it's more of a case of what IF Anderson / Fletch aren't both available for those games.

    We don't need a CM this season but, still think a player that can help rotate with Fletcher or even play along side him that is a high energy/pressing type midfielder would be nice to have.
  37. Aug 20, 2010
    #37

    evra Full Member

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    Interesting post, you start off disagreeing with me and then come to the same conclusion I reached a year ago; that we are lacking somebody to perform the Fletcher role when he is unavailable. I'm not convinced that we can beat Barca/Chelsea/Inter when they are in form but I'm absolutely sure we can't beat them if Fletcher gets injured.
  38. Aug 20, 2010
    #38

    Shimo Full Member

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    I was just disagreeing with how you said Everton game was a indication of how weak our midfield and they aren't even a top club. It was a poor day just like it was a poor day when we got eaten alive in CM by Sunderland.

    As for the agreeing part - yep agree with you. It's been pretty much my only concern going into this season once the Hargreaves news came about. Even in the Ozil thread my thought was while he would be great to get as a talent, he isn't our most immediate need in CM for this season.

    Edit: I do think that Anderson can do the Fletcher role but, the problem is in some games you need both Anderson/Fletcher and then either Carrick/Scholes to run the show kind of thing. That is why we need one more of their type - energy/strength.
  39. Aug 20, 2010
    #39

    Chabon Full Member

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    Is the right answer. I seem to remember various combinations of Carrick/Fletcher/Anderson/Scholes guiding us to a league title and a European final all of 15 months ago. The first three especially played masterfully together as a unit at times, and repeated the trick at the Bridge back in November. I've never seen a compelling argument as to why this can't be replicated in future. If we need a midfielder, and its a big if, then its a replacement for Hargreaves as Fletcher's back-up.

    As an aside, why do so many people think Ozil is a midfielder? The lad himself was asked what kind of player he was a couple of days ago, and he certainly doesn't think he's a midfielder. Completely the wrong player for us.
  40. Aug 20, 2010
    #40

    Wan Full Member

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    Anderson will step up. He was unlucky to get injured in February last season..

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