£30m for a new-look midfield

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by M160RA, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Aug 17, 2006
    #1

    M160RA Full Member

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    With Giggs and Scholes already past the 30-mark, I think Fergie realizes that not only does he have to replace Keane, but he needs to start looking into Scholes replacements. In effect, he seems to be looking to bring in two new players who will as a pair replace the Scholes-Keane midfield partnership of yesteryear.

    This thread is a little premature, but if the rumours concerning Hargreaves are true then it looks like it's going to be a Carrick-Hargreaves partnership that will be the future of Manchester United. Both are deep-lying central midfielders, which would apparently be necessary to accomodate wingers like Ronaldo and Park, who aren't as effective in covering for their fullbacks as Giggs and Beckham were in their heyday.

    I think the Carrick-Hargreaves midfield would be quite well-balanced. On one hand you have Carrick's vision, passing range, and playmaking abilities, while on the other hand you have Hargreaves' energy, tenacity and stamina. Both players are quite underrated by the general public, but neither are in the same league as Keane or Scholes.

    A lot of people will have their own ideas of how £30m could be better spent on restructuring our midfield - names like Diarra, Mascherano, Yaya Toure, Zokora, Nolan, Reo-Coker, etc will no doubt be mentioned. Fergie has said before that signing foreign players always represents a larger risk because they (i) find it harder to adjust to the new culture, playing style etc, and (ii) are less likely to pledge their long-term futures to the club. With players like Veron and Kleberson (who cost him over 30m combined) at the back of his mind, I think he has opted to buy English. We know that Carrick has the quality to hack it in the Premiership - he just needs to be able to adjust to his new teammates and keep fit. Hargreaves' playing style on the other hand is well-suited to the Premiership, and though he is Canadian, he has a lot of experience with Premiership players through representing England.

    I don't quite agree with having to pay over the odds for Hargreaves, but at the same time I think this new-look midfield partnership could just work for us. Both players are relatively young, but at the same time experienced; if they manage to build a good rapport together they could be first-choice midfield partnership for the next few years.
    There's no guarantee that David Jones, Fletcher or Gibson will make themselves fixtures in the starting XI, so we could wind up with Hargrick as our midfield combo once Scholes is out of the picture.

    I can't say I'm thrilled, but we need to be reasonable and realize that replacing Keane and Scholes was never going to be easy, or even possible! Players of their ability level are either past it as well (e.g. Vieira) or simply beyond our reach (Gerrard, Gattuso, Pirlo).

    I think Fergie is playing it safe - if he wanted to take a risk, he would look into signing emerging talents like Mascherano or Fernando Gago.
  2. Aug 17, 2006
    #2

    Escobar Poster originally known as Michel04

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    Just before the WC Fergie said there is not a good enough english midfielder to buy, no it seems he'll get two of them. Bit strange
  3. Aug 17, 2006
    #3

    Red17 Full Member

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    Carrick was probably a target all summer or even before then. But I think given what's transpired to-date, Hargreaves wasn't the first choice, but by no means a poor substitute, IMO. My guess is that it was Diarra, who unfortunately only have eyes for Real. Second choice is probably Senna but at £8m - it was no go. Vieira was probably a second choice along with Senna as well.
  4. Aug 17, 2006
    #4

    BezsMaracas Full Member

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    Rossi is probably the closest player you could get to Paul Scholes, just hope he turns out as good.

    It seems quite obvious to me that the Senna transfer is in place to go through, we're just waiting to see if we can get Diarra or Hargreaves instead. If nothing happens with those two I imagine the Senna deal will be concluded.

    Whatever you make of our transfer dealings this year, it pleases me that we are going for players who are young and likely to be playing for us for many years to come.
  5. Aug 17, 2006
    #5

    M160RA Full Member

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    I don't think Hargreaves was Fergie's first choice to begin with either. Gill did say before the transfer window opened that they were looking at bringing in a foreign midfielder who played in the Champions League - I really doubt he was talking about Hargreaves!

    I have a feeling that Diarra was one of the options, and IIRC Fergie himself did watch a couple of Lyon's games, didn't he? But with Lyon's asking price and Diarra's desire to join Real, he's probably been ruled out recently as an option.

    I think one of Fergie's main targets was Gattuso, but he was just waiting to see what would happen to Milan following the Italian scandal. Unfortunately for him, Milan were allowed to stay up and so Gattuso did not become available as he had hoped.

    Villareal's asking price for Senna could have also forced Fergie to look at Hargreaves as his fourth option. If Hargreaves was the top target, we would've nabbed him a lot earlier and he could possibly have been involved in a deal with Ruud going the other way.

    I don't think Fergie is looking beyond players who have CL experience and have shown that they have the potential to succeed in the Premiership...so that probably ruled out the likes of Manuel Fernandes, Javier Mascherano, and other FM legends.
  6. Aug 17, 2006
    #6

    soma1982 New Member

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    Spot on, can't disagree with a word you said.
  7. Aug 17, 2006
    #7

    KingEric7 Stupid Conspiracy Enthusiast Wanker

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    I totally agree with that. I've always thought that Rossi's creativity is in the mould of Scholes and is shooting from range is similar also. Im glad that Fergie isn't going all out on one player, then fecking it up and panick buying somebody else. He is keeping his options open. The only thing im scared of is failing to buy Hargreaves, and then Senna getting pissed off that he is 3rd or 4th choice in the list. :eek:
  8. Aug 17, 2006
    #8

    M160RA Full Member

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    For Senna this could well be his last chance to join one of Europe's elite clubs - he'd be making a mistake in turning us down.
  9. Aug 17, 2006
    #9

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    We've gone about it the right way. Stop about this keane/Scholes replacemenet already. We've brought in one quality midfielder who will do a job for a number of years. He isnt a Keane or a scholes and doesnt have to be. Hopefully Fergie will get another one before the transfer window closes, but things have to move on. And whats the point in getting a 'Scholes replacement' when Scholes is fit and Fergies hoping for big season from him. And when you have Giggs vying for the same spot. It doenst make sense at all.
  10. Aug 17, 2006
    #10

    devilish Juventus fan who used to support United

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    I think that SAF had finally realised that the time of one men armies are over. There are no Keanos and Robsons anymore. On the other hand, one can build a successful era around players who are specialised on their jobs well. Take Gattuso - Pirlo for example. Gattuso is not what you describe the most technically gifted midfielder on earth while Pirlo is hardworking but cant be trusted as a lone defensive midfielder even if his life depended on it, yet, such tandem had worked well both at club and at national level smashing midfields with much more technically midfielders around.

    It may end up in tears but Hargreaves - Carrick can actually develop into the new Gattuso - Pirlo tandem. I mean, Hargreaves is hardworking, committed and with endless stamina. He is that type of player who is always in the thick of the action and would never let you down. Carrick on the other hand is a bit slow, but let the ball do the work and if neccessary he isnt afraid to get stuck in. His passing ability can tear defenses apart and is able to create spaces for our strikers to operate. If such partnership works then we would have build that balanced midfield needed to beat Chelsea star studded team.
  11. Aug 17, 2006
    #11

    M160RA Full Member

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    I wasn't trying to imply that Fergie was looking for one-for-one replacements for Keane and Scholes; I'm just pointing out the obvious which is that a changing of the guard is needed. Keane's gone and Scholes is no spring chicken.

    The point would be that even though he's still around, he's reaching the end of his career and at his age there are no guarantees. I'm talking of a long-term replacement here - of course Carrick (or whoever) won't be an immediate "replacement" for Scholes. But when Scholes hangs up his boots, it will be comforting to know that Fergie already has a potential first-choice midfield pairing in place.
  12. Aug 17, 2006
    #12

    hardyboy New Member

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    I guess we won't be buying a striker now that we'll be spending 30m on the brand-new midfield.
  13. Aug 17, 2006
    #13

    Red_Molly New Member

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    I can't see the need. Saha was signed to cover Ruud's injury absence. Now he covers Ruud's transfer absence. He's perfectly capable of scoring 20+ goals a season, as is Rooney. Four strikers plus Rossi, Giggs, Ronaldo and Scholes able to play up front too is more than enough for the next treble cmpaign.
  14. Aug 17, 2006
    #14

    Redfighter Officially gullible

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    I thought he said there were no Roy Keanes available in the English market, but I see your point. Are we on plan D?
  15. Aug 17, 2006
    #15

    VoetbalWizard New Member

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    fair play to fergie for looking to buy english, i think he really just wants to play it safe and that's alright, i trust his vision. However sometimes too safe doesn't win you major trophies. Would the fergie of today have brought up the kids in 1995 after selling of kankan, hughes, and ince in a flash?

    Not going all out for nigel reo-coker is a mistake. He's young, talented, good leader, amazing engine, can drive forward and score or pick out a pass.....better than hargreaves, and probably would be cheaper. Carrick-hargreaves in the midle are too deep lying to play 4-4-2 with. They could flourish into the english version of pirlo-gattuso, but pirlo-gattuso could never play with 2 wingers, they need that third midfielder (seedorf-ish) with them. carrick- Reo-Coker combo however would work.
  16. Aug 17, 2006
    #16

    Mozza It’s Carrick you know

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    Between Carrick and Hargreaves you've just about got 1 Roy Keane at his peak, it'll do
  17. Aug 17, 2006
    #17

    Richardson New Member

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    Thats the most outrageous thing I have read in my life.
  18. Aug 17, 2006
    #18

    Mozza It’s Carrick you know

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    Mahamadou Diarra is shite
  19. Aug 17, 2006
    #19

    Richardson New Member

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    Whatever gets you through the night....
  20. Aug 17, 2006
    #20

    VoetbalWizard New Member

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    then it looks like we'll play 4-3-3, which is shite.
  21. Aug 17, 2006
    #21

    Mozza It’s Carrick you know

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    Fergie will drop Scholes
  22. Aug 17, 2006
    #22

    Parks Life New Member

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    Why would he?

    Scholes, Carrick and Hargreaves could all play in the midfield. All offer discipline, excellent passing, loads of work and vision.

    Leaves Ronaldo, Rooney and most probably Saha loads of freedom as well.

    Its the formation I'd like to see played against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and in Europe at least.
  23. Aug 17, 2006
    #23

    Mozza It’s Carrick you know

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    Becuase the team performs better in a 442
  24. Aug 17, 2006
    #24

    Parks Life New Member

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    Last season it might of done when we had Smith, Fletcher and Richardson as the central midfielders (game against Lille for instance :houllier:) however this season the balance would be a lot better.
  25. Aug 17, 2006
    #25

    Mozza It’s Carrick you know

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    Maybe, the 442 could well perform better with Carrick/Hargreaves in the center
  26. Aug 17, 2006
    #26

    Parks Life New Member

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    Yes it wouldn't surprise me at all. We needed more options so to be able to play both formations would be nice.

    However a 4-3-3 with Hargreaves, Carrick, Scholes, Ronaldo, Rooney and Saha will be a much better unit than what we served up last season and will be tried next season.
  27. Aug 17, 2006
    #27

    Barry Red Full Member

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    Ummm.... sounds good, but where would you fit Giggsy into this scenario? Would you have him dropped? No, I think that it's got to be either Carrick or Scholes. They play too similarly to play them both together - England had that problem when they had Lampard and Gerrard in central MF and it just didn't work. IMHO 4-4-2 is a better mix, with Hargreaves supporting either Scholes or Carrick in CMF and using two wingers in Ronaldo and Giggs. Rooney would then drop slightly off the central striker and I can see both Scholes and Giggs able to provide cover in the second striker role (for the occasions when Wayne gets sent off by another headline-hungry ref) with Smithy covering Saha as point man. plenty of possibilities for variation there, and OFC there's a lot more cover available.

    In short, I think Hargreaves would be a superb acquisition, even at the prices being bandied about by the press. Obviously not first choice, but definitely the best of the rest.
  28. Aug 17, 2006
    #28

    Nem 7 Full Member

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    Reo-Coker.
  29. Aug 17, 2006
    #29

    VoetbalWizard New Member

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    spot on. why we haven't made even an attempt at him is mind boggling.
  30. Aug 17, 2006
    #30

    VoetbalWizard New Member

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    the price is too high for hargreaves, but i agree with the rest of your assessment. Giggs is far too valuable to the team to be dropped and i feel his versatility that he has shown now will allow us to fluidly move between 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 in a middle of the game without having to make substitutions.

    --------------vds--------------
    nev-----rio-----brown----heinze
    Ronaldo-Hargreves-carrick--giggs
    ----------Rooney---------------
    --------------Saha-------------

    and if the situation calls for it:

    --------------vds---------------
    nev-------rio-----brown---heinze
    ----hargreaves-carrick--giggs----
    Ronaldo------Saha-------Rooney

    Scholes on the other hand is much less versatile and i feel can only play in the rooney position in a 4-4-2. Giggs tucks in well at the inside left centre in a 4-3-3 and if push comes to shove, can be substituted out for scholes if necessary. But the versatility afforded by this lineup midgame, is a positive thing, even if it means fergie should have scholes come off the bench.
  31. Aug 17, 2006
    #31

    Amir Full Member

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    Maybe we're looking for players with more experience.
  32. Aug 17, 2006
    #32

    VoetbalWizard New Member

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    ferguson of yesteryear would take the gamble on him though. I feel fergie might be playing it too safe and after being burned on the likes of djemba 2x, kleb, etc, that he doesn't have the confidence to unearth a midfield gem. Knowing us, we'll wait for a couple years and bid 20 million quid for reo-coker or watch him go to chelsea.
  33. Aug 17, 2006
    #33

    Amir Full Member

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    Maybe. But I tend to agree that right now, we need players of decent experience in midfield. Not a youngster, no matter how talented he might be.
  34. Aug 17, 2006
    #34

    Dreaded Full Member

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    Don't think it was ever really a priority. The midfield needed to be sorted and I think what we have now should be good enough.
  35. Aug 17, 2006
    #35

    Orton Ati-virus, keeps missing the n button

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    i'm really not to sure about it. Carrick and Hargreaves i have never rated so now we pay shitloads of money for them and they will probably turn out to be shite. If Scholes is shoved out the side just to suit this new midfield i wont be happy.
  36. Aug 17, 2006
    #36

    bcubed Full Member

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    Have I missed something here? I was under the impression Bayern were not interested in letting Hargreaves go.
  37. Aug 17, 2006
    #37

    M160RA Full Member

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    He's definitely worth a shot, although I really can't see West Ham letting go of their captain for cheap. They'll see how much we've paid for Carrick and they'll want something close to that.
    We should just go in with a bid of 10m and see what happens.
  38. Aug 17, 2006
    #38

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Quality young midfielder. Could go on to become world class. But might not. He's had one good season in the Premiership. At the same age John O' Shea had an awesome season. But is yet to fulfil his potential.

    We've got lots of promising youngsters (i.e. Jones, Gibson) but, as others have said before, I think Fergie wants players who can do the business right now. When you buy a 25 year old you buy a player who will be peaking over the next 3-4 years and that's what we need right now.