United must spend to solve problems

Sunday 5th January 2014 22:33

Manchester United: Suffered more disappointment against Swansea

Manchester United: Suffered more disappointment against Swansea

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Manchester United FanZoner Craig Malpas believes a lack of quality in the squad is to blame above all else for the club's problems this season.

For those of you that followed my early season United blogs, I'd like to apologise. Firstly, that you followed them in the first place, and secondly, that I haven't written for four months. Like the club I write about and support, I've not been seen since late August.

So what's happened? Well, I bought a house in September. It looked great from the outside. A good size, in good condition and at a good price. I'd landed on my feet in a massive way, I thought. Four months on, I found it had damp under the floor, an ageing interior and, on closer inspection, very suspect, crumbling walls.

It's costing a fortune to repair and, you could say, is where the basis of my sympathy for David Moyes begins.

Back in May, Moyes must've thought that his years of hard work at Preston and Everton had finally paid off. He'd hit the big time and he was walking in to Old Trafford with a squad of champions. Sir Alex Ferguson's latest domestic conquerors surely needed a little bit of tweaking and only a little bit of managing.

But now i''s 2014 and United are out of the FA Cup, out of the running for the title and have a very slim chance of terrorising Europe's top clubs. The Capital One Cup is worthless. It always has been and the fact we are having a disastrous season won't change that.

The question now is, is it Moyes, the players, or both that are to blame?

There is no doubting that Ferguson would have had United higher up the table. But in the same breath, there is no denying that Moyes is a good manager and now has a squad similar to my new home. In summer it appeared a good size in very good condition. Now it appears to be crumbling more with every game played. For me, the quality of the players is where the problem lies.

So what to do? How to renovate an ageing, previously overachieving and woefully depleted squad? Well, as I've found myself, there are three things to do.

Firstly, Moyes must strip out the squad in place and keep the players who can be reused. For me, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Rafael have a future at United. While Nemanja Vidic can provide much needed experience in defence, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Fabio really must go.

The midfield is in a much more critical condition. Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Adnan Januzaj are 'Manchester United' players. Perhaps Antonio Valencia and the defensively lazy Shinji Kagawa may be worth keeping as part of the squad. The rest, beginning with Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young and Anderson need to be relieved of their duties.

The attackers, providing they are all fit and happy, are solid enough. However, therein lies the question. Of course, United need Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney but, should either no longer see their future at the club then so be it.

The long standing 'no player is bigger than the club' saying still applies in the post-Ferguson era.

Second, money, money, money. I quickly gathered that I'd have to throw an awful lot of money at the hovel I bought. The old 'polishing a turd' phrase springs to mind with my house and most definitely with United's current squad. If the Glazers want to keep the fans from becoming further disillusioned with their regime, they must spend on a massive scale.

Third, and most importantly, is expertise. Now, I could have spent the money I spent on my house on all sorts of things. I've had people come in telling me that, for the right price, my two bed terrace could feature on Grand Designs! Others could somehow spread out a days work for one man over five days between two of them. Idiots.

But then I spent the time in finding the tradesman for the job. See, expertise is the order of the day. And I dearly hope Moyes has spent the last four months finding the men for the job.

Right now, Moyes is safe. But should the decisions he makes in this transfer widow and the next not improve United's performances significantly, he may find that all the hard work at Preston and Everton where in fact the highlights of his career. It's sad to say but United are now chasing Liverpool for fourth.

Liverpool, having their best season in years, are five points clear of United, having their worst season in the Premier League era. Put like that, it's not quite to death of the club some are suggesting.

Moyes, Woodward and Glazer, its over to you.....

You can follow Rich on Twitter at @SeventhRed - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too for links to all the latest blogs.

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