Man United Squad Analysis – Part 1

By on June 2, 2011

As 2010/11 has drawn to a close now is probably as good a time as any to look at the squad. While we had a very good season there will be a bit of an overhaul this year. For the first time in a number of years we will see a raft of players leave the club due to injuries, retirements and a few who won’t have their contracts renewed.

As a result we can expect to see more new faces than usual this summer. If I were in Fergie’s shoes I would make the signing of two top class central midfielders my number one priority, one creative and one defensive (assuming that David De Gea signs to replace Van Der Sar). 

Below GGMU look at the squad player by player, we will look at squad numbers 1-12 today, 13-23 will follow tomorrow and 24-35 will be posted on Friday.

1. Edwin Van Der Sar: The Dutchman has become a true United Legend. His 6 years at the club have seen him pick up 4 league titles a Champions League and a League Cup. The best we have had since the Great Dane, he formed a telepathic understanding with Rio and Vidic and will leave a massive hole to fill. Retired.

3. Patrice Evra: One of the best left backs in the world, the Frenchman probably didn’t live up to his own high standards this season but a top class act nonetheless. Solid in defence and dangerous going forward there are not many better than Evra. Commitment to the cause and determination are also notable attributes. Keep.

4. Owen Hargreaves: What a waste. United have missed him over the last three seasons and many will wonder how those two Champions League finals would have panned out if we had someone like Hargreaves at the top of his game marshalling the midfield. Won’t be getting a new contract this summer and we wish him the best for the future. Hopefully he gets to play professional football again somewhere at some decent level. Out of Contract – Gone.

5. Rio Ferdinand: Still a class act and one of the best centre-halves in the world. His partnership with Vidic cannot be matched and when fit he’s one of the first names on the teams sheet. Injuries have held him back over recent seasons but he’s still one of Fergie’s most reliable lieutenants. Keep

6. Wes Brown: There has definitely been some sort of fall out with Fergie here. Wes has been a great servant to the club but it appears it is time to part ways. He didn’t even play enough Premier League  games to get a medal this season and I can’t see a way back at this point. Best of Luck. Ditch.

7. Michael Owen: Didn’t contribute much this year but I think it was the right decision to offer him the one year extension as I think Macheda and Welbeck could learn from having him around. Owen will work hard in  training and won’t kick up if not involved at the weekend. Could be a useful character to have in the squad, it won’t cost us to keep him on so I don’t see why not. Keep.

8. Anderson: The Brazilian’s season was disrupted by injury once again. He was impressive in the run-in and managed to bag a few goals too. His performance against Schalke in the second leg deserves special note. Ando needs to step up and consistently perform at the highest level, a breakthrough similar to that which Nani has had overthe last year is required if he is to remain at the Theatre of Dreamsand I would give him one more year to achieve that. Keep.

9. Dimitar Berbatov: Berba had his most prolific year yet in a red shirt but the question marks over his future will be bigger than ever after he failed to make the squad for the Champions League final. The Bulgarian is United’s most expenisve player ever and there can be little doubt that he has not lived up to expectations. 20 goals in the league this season (although 11 have come in 3 games), he hasn’t scored in the Champions League for a couple of seasons and has started less than 50% of the big games since he has joined. His link up play has been superb but he has missed chances in big games which have cost us i.e. City in the semi-final this year, Chelsea in the league last year. Fergie clearly doesn’t have 100% trust in Berba and as a result I think we should take whatever cash we can get for him now. Ditch.

10. Wayne Rooney: The man we look to when we need something special. Our star player. Keep.

11. Ryan Giggs: Another top notch contribution from the Welsh Wizard has secured another one year contract. What can you say about Giggs that hasn’t been said already? The man is a genius, one of the best ever and it was great to see some of the displays he put in towards the tail end of the season. Showed no signs of slowing down in 2010-11. Keep.

12. Chris Smalling: Former Maidstone United centre half Chris Smalling has had the season of his life. This year was seen as one for Smalling  to find his feet at a new club and learn from training with the likes of Rio and Vidic on a day to day basis. He has racked up over 30 appearances in his debut season and has staked his claim to be Rio’s long term successor. Another good bit of business by Fergie. Keep.

Agree/Disagree?

Submitted by Glory Glory Man Utd


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11 Comments

  1. decks

    June 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Berbatov scored more match winning goals than any other player in the league this season.

    • decks

      June 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      and take into account that he doesn’t take penalties. I think a quarter of Tevez’s goals were penalties this season

      • rutc

        June 3, 2011 at 7:54 am

        ahahha.. good comment guys!!!
        author of this article bring sentiment into his writing

  2. Matthew Lee

    June 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Keep Berbatov .. He should have played in final game against Barcelona .. He could keep the ball and give trouble to the Barca defenders

  3. guy

    June 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    berba should go and owen and hargreaves buy rodwell and there are a lot of young midfielders in germany that have potential but havent been regonized

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    June 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm

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  7. krass

    June 4, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Keep Berbatov, ditch. Rooney’s fiasco to get more money from the club and not scoring for more then a half season. Then scored on the CL final, but did not help the midfield to stop Messi and Co.

  8. Pingback: Man United Squad Analysis – Part 3 | Tukgo - Football News

  9. timbo

    June 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Anyone who considers Rooney the star player is long on rabid fan mentality and short on real football knowledge. Rooney is a blight on the team both personally and professionally, and will always impose limits that will hinder United against the better teams. He lacks the kind of physical presence, strength, and technical ability to play well as a solo striker, and robs the engine room of a much needed presence (look at the travesty of a game United played against Barcelona) through his preference to play behind another forward. Further, Fergie’s pandering, blind loyalty, double standards, and fierce defense of Rooney regardless of the consequences to the team are detrimental to the long term future of the club, and smack of the same mistakes Busby made with Best that ended up having such dire consequences for United in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Rooney is the most over-rated, over-hyped player in recent memory, a player whose energy and mongrel are perennially mistaken for class. He will always remain an anchor round the team’s neck, keeping it from reaching the highest levels. Domestic trophies may still come the way of Old Trafford, but United will continue to embarrass itself in Europe as long as a Rooney continues to limit the team with his presence. United need to go two ways – either find a Drogba-type individual who can handle solo striker duties with far more aplomb than Rooney can. Or give Berbatov a well-deserved shot at playing in the role, and pair him with a couple of world class midfielders who can match his vision and skill sets.

    As much as I admire Sir Alex for all that he has done for United, I think his behavior and judgment this season have been appalling, not least in his pandering, hypocrisy and blind loyalty to Rooney through his lousy form, loutish behaviour, petulant demands and greed, and fierce defense of onfield indiscretions that rebounded so badly on the team, right through to his disgraceful treatment of Berbatov, who has handled the repeated slights and insults with the same absolute class with which he plays football – and which Rooney is utterly bereft of. If that wasn’t bad enough, Fergie’s team selections for the CL final were utterly ridiculous, naive, and symptomatic of the fact that the man learned nothing from the shellacking United received two years ago against Barcelona. Playing a converted aging winger in Giggs, and a player in Carrick who was utterly traumatized by his experiences against Xavi and Iniesta two years ago, as United’s counterpoint to Barcelona’s superb midfield, was sheer footballing suicide.

    Lastly, those who wish to leap to Rooney’s rare good performance in a major game are completely missing the point. Yeah, the guy scored a goal. But by conceding to his weakness and playing him behind another striker, Chicharito (who had a lousy game) United lost the battle in midfield, which is where Barcelona clearly won the game. All the idiots who claimed that United could only win by attacking the Catalan team missed one salient point – you can’t attack if you don’t have the ball, and United spent most of the game chasing shadows – giving the Spanish team twice as much possession will do that for you. That’s the Rooney factor that will always limit the team. His one goal was negated by the three Barcelona scored via the midfield dominance his requirement for a second striker conceded. It’s that simple.

    Ditch Rooney, take the money his sale would bring, and bring in the kind of midfielders the team has desperately needed for 2 – 3 years.

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