That funny feeling you get as champions

There’s this movie I really took a liking to. Lord of War. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, if not actually seen it. At one point there’s this Zen-ish aphorism that the narrator spews out. “There are only two great tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, and the other, is getting it.” Highly inspirational stuff, I assure you. Works better than the famed white snorting powder…

The great tragedies have both taken place in Fergal’s (Ferguson, Alex, Sir) life. He wanted the fame, fortune and glory. He yearned for it. He got it in the great years that were the 90’s. He wanted the CL. He picked it from between Bayern’s teeth in the greatest season yet, result-wise. He wanted more glory, he whooped Wenger’s wrinkled hindside (though took quite a few hits himself in that verbal furore).

Now he wants that second CL. And he isn’t getting it. Look at the way he’s been romping around trying to get the kind of players who’d willingly lay down and die for his dream, with more than a grin and a thank you. (figuratively) Its a funny thing to watch him, chewing gum and all, watching United being decimated by Seedorf, Kaka and co. Really tragic, but funny nonetheless. He’s on fire.

To my mind, that alone is enough for the church to canonize him saying that its a f*cking miracle! I mean, how many fellows other than the ‘Human torch” of the Fantastic Four fame can boast of the same thing?

No, seriously. I think that this summer, despite all the trios floating around on the www’s, Fergie will buy just one main player. It is likely to be Hargreaves, but that is it. Beyond that, its going to be all youth, if anyone at all. For those of you who expect huge names and are waiting with pupils agog, this might come as a delusional statement, but please- hear me out.

Exactly what do you think is amiss with our current squad? Wingbacks? No. Striker? With Rossi waiting in the reserves? I daresay- no. Wingers? Giggs, Ronnie, Richardson, Park, Eagles- Hello! Goalie? Hohoho. The only position that requires attention is that of the Defensive Midfielder. That is it.

In fact, my guess is that Fergie might actually butt out Heinze (no regrets there for my part) and Saha (no regrets there for anybody’s part). He’ll be in a no gain, no loss position yet again financially. Wait. Am I forgetting the bald Frenchman? And we’ve still got the burden of lugging the balding American. and I am not even beginning to talk about any of the Glazers.

Squad depth is one thing, but having a set of no-go players is another. Our reserves deserve a tryout. Rossi is good enough. Pique has no space yet but can work his way up. Bardsley, Evans and Eagles are good to go and can learn a lot if they train with people like the Ginger Ninja. Giggs is old enough to play just one more season. That is about it. And that too in a free role and not stifled by having to cover Evra.

Remember what he did the last time around with a bunch of ‘kids’? My bet is that in the view of sanity and long term planning (not to forget the 600 million quid we still owe somebody someplace) he is going to repeat his little trick and let everyone call his bluff. Read this and weep.

The only major change will probably be the change in the mainstay tactic. I believe we will see a 4231/4411 tactic next season. the striker will be amongst Rossi, Rooney and Smith. The forward/central attacking midfielder will be a free-roled Scholes. He was born for that role . There are few in contemporary football who have his kind of deadly (yet stealthy) ability. The wingers will be pushed up and given a far freer role. Ronnie deserves it- look at his brilliant performances with Portugal. Giggs is capable of destroying oppositions if he doesn’t have to play guard-dog all the time.

The two central midfielders will be Carrick and whoever arrives this summer. Carrick, if supported by another holding midfielder, will surely play better than this season. And that is something! The back four stay pretty much the same. EVDS is still around for the next season.

The experience is there. The young blood is well mixed in. The capability to score and defend are there (except on the wings. That though, has been our bugbear even this season. All three of Milan’s goals started out wide…) I doubt SAF will look any further than this when he can easily use the occasional injury as an opportunity to try out the younger generation.

Logical? If only. The only thing that is playing on my mind as I attempt to rationalize this turn of events is Fergies own whims. If he is planning for the longer term then I am pretty sure this is what will be the outcome at the beginning of September. If, on the other hand, his visceral desire for the CL gets a grip, well, in that case I am quite happy to put it this way- many Reds ‘fans’ will see their wet dreams come true.

A huge spending on experienced and proven (possibly even dusky and ageing) players will be my guess. Either way, I am happy so long as we win. But if the latter case were true, I ,for one, will have a lower opinion of one Sir Alex Chapman Ferguson, god bless him.

For more Manchester United news, head over to Red Rants, the new Manchester United blog.

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  1. dexter 9 May, 2007
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  16. Karl 11 May, 2007