Thursday, 6 August 2009

Manchester United's Midfield Conundrum

Let's assume Michael Carrick is guaranteed a starting role in the United midfield for the coming season (which he probably is), who is going to assume the position next to him??

Ferguson is more than likely going to revert to a classic 4-4-2 this season now that Ronaldo has gone, allowing Rooney to come in off the left flank and operate where he is most efficient.

With new signing Antonio Valencia impressing against Valencia last night, a place on the right seems assured with the left wing position being fought over between the likes of Nani, Park and young Serb Zoran Tosic.

There is also intense competition for that midfield slot alongside Carrick and I feel it can only go to one man: Darren Fletcher. Although many of you will argue the case for Scholes, Giggs, Anderson, Hargreaves or Gibson, Fletcher - for me - comes up trumps.

He is a classic Ferguson player, brought through the club since 2000 when he joined as a trainee and now finds himself as an established first team squad member. His performances toward the end of last season were of such quality he was considered as a certain starter for the Champions League final until that red card against Arsenal.

People may argue Anderson is the better player, he comes with a bigger price tag and naturally we are led to believe this. But on current form Fletcher is the man to partner Carrick. He has been solid during pre-season, unlike Anderson who has been woeful despite one moment of brilliance against Boca Juniors.

He can tackle, score goals and has a great range of passing. Despiting being of slight frame he is not afraid to get amongst the opposition, chasing down lost causes and making vital interventions.

Whether he can replace the creative force that is Paul Scholes remains to be seen but the coming season should provide a great indicator for a player that has come on leaps and bounds since his United debut in the 03/04 campaign.

N.B. When I first saw Fletcher play I instantly put him into the Richardson, Eagles or Bardsley category: not good enough for United. Oh how he has turned it around and I am very thankful to be eating my sour grapes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?