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No Ronaldo? No Problem For United!

Obertan_Valencia_OwenThere is no doubting the immeasurable void that’s been left in the United side following the departure of one Cristiano Ronaldo. When you remove a player capable of scoring 42 goals in a single season, there’s bound to be a gaping hole left behind. While Sir Alex clearly had no choice but to allow the Portuguese the chance to fulfil his dream of playing for Real Madrid, our trusty Scottish manager has undoubtedly had a major say on who potentially joins/has already joined the club this summer.

Antonio Valencia, Gabriel Obertan and Michael Owen – the three newest members of the Manchester United squad. OK so the aforementioned signings certainly haven’t got pulses racing amongst many of us but shrewd they are nonetheless at a combined total of around £20 million. The underlying fact is that no one in the world can replicate the unprecedented talents of our former number 7 and that’s been represented in our transfer dealings. Ronaldo simply can’t and won’t be replaced, but my question is…are we really that worried?

I am firmly of the belief that some of the transfer fees being bandied about during the current transfer window are utterly ridiculous. OK so we are hardly innocent with the £80 million received for Ronaldo but I guess that’s the price you have to pay for the world’s absolute best. I ask would we really be comfortable with the purchase of Franck Ribery for a similarly extravagant price? I certainly wouldn’t. Especially not when we may just have all the ingredients for a successful campaign already in place, right under our very noses.

The stage is set for another Portuguese international to step up to the plate this season. The sale of Ronaldo could just prove to be a god send for Nani and this is his big chance to grab the limelight and prove his fantastic credentials. I wrote an article not too long ago suggesting that perhaps it could be time up for the former Sporting Lisbon man at Old Trafford. Well scrap that, as starting from August 16th, this is Nani’s new beginning.

Antonio Valencia has already shown glimpses on his debut against Boca Juniors yesterday that he could be a very useful addition indeed. Zoran Tosic looks neat and tidy and with a terrific left foot and we know all about the tenacity and work rate of Park and what that brings. While little is known about Gabriel Obertan, Fergie wouldn’t have brought him in if he wasn’t convinced that the Frenchman was capable of developing at the club.

When you put it like that, life after Ronaldo may turn out to be very rosy indeed. Wayne Rooney has already indicated that he’s ready to take on the burden and deliver the goals this season and Sir Alex has appreciated that Dimitar Berbatov could be a much more potent threat if he’s played as the more advanced striker. With the predatory instincts of Michael Owen and the youthful exuberance of Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck, I believe we have enough attacking options without needing to unnecessarily splash the cash.

One of the key components that contributed towards our success last season was the consistency of our back four. Well to my knowledge, nothing has changed in that department and I suppose an added bonus that comes with the sale of Ronaldo is an extra willing worker vacating his place in the midfield. I must also point out that in Ferdinand and Vidic, I am in no doubt that we possess the strongest defensive partnership in European football (with arguably the most promising centre-half in Jonny Evans too).

Although let’s pause and take a breath for a minute. I can’t deny that there is a very small but niggling thought lodged firmly in the back of my mind chipping away at me with every day that passes in the build-up to the new season. I’m hopeful that it will be put to bed by the time we reach Christmas but, dare I say it, what if we head in a similar direction as Arsenal and life after Thierry Henry. The Barcelona star was a similarly massive influence to the Gunners as Ronaldo has been to our cause over the last few years but let’s try not to dwell on that as I’m confident we have the strength in depth to not only cope, but to flourish without the world’s best player among our ranks.

214 Comments

214 Comments

  1. NicoQB

    30 July 2009 at 22:17

    @Footy4Eddy: Funny thing Scholes used to be one hell of a penalty taker, back in the days…

  2. [OPTI]Madschester United

    30 July 2009 at 22:18

    We had 2.5 chances all game (Berba’s woody, Owen and Rooney’s missus)..

    The game seemed more like a training exercise where Fergie told the team to play deep and keep Bayern from scoring. We really did not provide Bayern with a real threat in the First half and our midfield was so far back.

    I am not going to judge performance too but found Nani, Berba, Valencia to be positive on the field while Scholes, Gibson, and Fletcher were very quiet.

    Defensively we were strong but Bayern were missing all their attackers, so not much to conclude there.
    Offensive , nothing much but the the 2.5 chances we had. A bit upset that we did not try some long range shooting nor did we run forward much when given open channels. But again point is moot as this was a friendly.

    Friendly friendly friendly… can’t wait to CS at Wembley at least that game has honor at stake for players and teams. 😎

  3. Matt

    30 July 2009 at 22:21

    Doesnt matter about the result but the way we played was awful at times and again it all came down to our problem area, the CM.
    Ferguson is the best manager in the world and yet some of his tactics are just absolutely treadful, i just do not see the logic behind playing a midfield of gibbo on the right with scholes and giggs in the middle. Bit of sentimentality there for me, and that does concern me because for a few games last season, notably the champs league final, we were picking players for sentimental reasons and not for the fact they were the best suited for that game or they deserved to start. I hope this season we dont see more of that, scholes and giggs should be looking at 20 odd games each, last season they were getting 35+ games, im sorry but scholes especially aint up to it anymore, any more than 20 games and i will be disappointed with fergie because they are holding back players who on form deserve to start above them.
    Plus points though, nani i felt did a good job today, he definitely needs to start the first few games this season to get into his rhythm, valencia too did well in the short cameo he got, very impressed with him overall. Cathcart didnt look out of placed on the pitch and although i heard some negative comments on berba on other sites i thought he did well again today.
    Overall i look at the team and think its 90% good to go. As long as nani is given a chance and we no longer select players on sentimental reasons were ready to go, for me though we just miss a DM enforcer and that for me is a position we need to buy this summer. I love hargo but any1 who thinks he will play over 10 games this season i think is mistaken, maybe next season he will be back but something tells me we may never see hargo play again for us and that is extremely depressing and sad.
    Just a short term replacement would be ideal, if hargo gets back to full fitness by next season then we rotate, some1 like senna on a 2 year contract would be perfect. Any1 who says hes past it doesnt watch him, last season for villareal was a beast, buy him on a short term deal and he would be a brilliant stop gap option, even the way we were over run by some of the asian sides in the tour was a joke, this guy would protect the back 4 and allow the likes of ando, carrick etc to get forward more, plus he would be pretty cheap and wouldnt ask for first team football all the time, it would be another shrewd move, cant see it though and i think the decision not to strengthen there could harm us in the coming season.

  4. NicoQB

    30 July 2009 at 22:26

    Oh and before I forget…

    Highlight of the game:
    Matthaus’ goth girlfriend!!! 😯 😯 😛

  5. [OPTI]Madschester United

    30 July 2009 at 22:30

    @Matt: Why you so angry… this was a training exercise.. nothing more. Tactics were second to match fitness levels and getting us ready for the post-pre-season.

  6. Matt

    30 July 2009 at 22:41

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: Im not angry, i couldnt care less about the defeat, but it comes down to the stupid tactics again, i just thought we would have learnt from the defeat to barca and yet here we are again with more crazy tactics.
    Any1 who has seen the pre season games and the end part of last season can see scholes is past it, if he gets in the team it is for his name only not because he deserves a start.
    Overall im not disappointed, i know i sound it, its just the decision to play giggs and scholes together in a midfield 2 with gibbo on the right is just crazy, yes i know we want to get players any games they can and its all about getting back to fitness, but i still thought we would want to win the game and surely it would have been wiser to play one of scholes and gibbo in the middle with say toisc on the wing with nani, maybe even giggs on the wing, and instead we go with a giggs scholes combo. I truly hope we dont see these 2 together very often, sounds disrespectful i know but come on, its sentimental to pair the two together, giggs still has something left to give us aslong as he has a strong CM next to him but scholes is past it and any1 who says different is deluded or just blind, we need a senna or gattuso ASAP and no its not just this game where ive come to this conclusion, ive been saying this for ages but this game just confirmed it.

  7. gator

    30 July 2009 at 22:47

    @NicoQB: +1 she was hot as hell

  8. frankie

    30 July 2009 at 22:52

    I think we played much better in the second half and that includes Giggs and Scholes. Valencia and Nani give us great pace up front and we will create lots of opportunities. We were solid at the back and Evans is class in spite of missing the penalty.

  9. m34ch

    30 July 2009 at 23:02

    @NicoQB: Good call my man, I noticed her too – well played Lothar, well played.

  10. NicoQB

    30 July 2009 at 23:10

    @gator: @m34ch: Heh… 😉

    Pretty boring game, then! :mrgreen:

  11. Will

    30 July 2009 at 23:36

    it is a well known fact that Germans NEVER loose a penalty shootout.

  12. m34ch

    30 July 2009 at 23:41

    @NicoQB: Always got an eye out for talent me man 😉

  13. Roge9

    31 July 2009 at 05:10

    @Stephen Darwin: Perhpas my dissatification with our squad has clouded my judgment and blinded me to the probability of success. 😀

  14. Redrich

    31 July 2009 at 05:38

    @Roge9: Alas, not this year mate! 😐 😥 😥

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