Let the inquest begin

Tuesday 29th May 2012 13:04

Scholes: facing the exit door?

Scholes: facing the exit door?

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FanZoner Craig Malpas is worried Manchester United may be left trailing behind their neighbours.

United desperately need big summer signings

And so, there it is. City are Champions. Champions of England and, perhaps just as importantly, Champions of Manchester. The best team in the country swept United, Newcastle and then QPR aside to claim the title. Only on goal difference, only with two injury time goals and only with the last kick of the season some might argue. The finest of margins perhaps, but without doubt, the best team won the title.

United may only have been 8 goals behind but, in reality, City are streets ahead and without an industrious and expensive summer, being streets behind will be the best we can hope for in the foreseeable future. And so, here it is, we are the second best team in Manchester. Let the inquest begin.

Upon realising that City had won the title, I can honestly say I sat shaking my head for the best part of an hour. I woke on the Sunday morning thinking that United had no chance. No real hope and no expectations. For me, the title had been secured at Newcastle the week earlier. But then, as QPR went 2-1 up and the minutes began to pass, I could feel the hope, expectation and excitement growing.

We were going to do it, City had done a typical City, United had done a typical United and, as in most other seasons, won the Title. We all know what happened next and, in the space of 4 minutes, 44 years of pain had been erased and the enormity of the challenge coming from our noisy neighbours truly sank in. City fans will love it but losing the title in the way it happened was probably most United fans worst point of supporting the club. Ever.

Eventually though, the head shaking subsided, the texts from City fans were read and responded to and the parade in town was well and truly avoided. And I sat down to write this... No matter how much I haven't wanted to.


89 points is a remarkable points tally from the team and squad we currently have. A second place finish is just as remarkable in fact. Some will point to a fully fit Vidic boosting United next year. Others might suggest that a seasons worth of experience for De Gea, Welbeck, Young, Jones, Smalling and Cleverley will aid United's push. Realistically, I would take United getting 89 points next season and on that basis, it's hard to suggest an inquest, an overhaul and an expensive summer are all needed. They really are though.

Scholes, Giggs and Ferdinand are the most obvious candidates for replacing. Owen and Berbatov are likely to be missing from next season's team photo. Fabio will be out on loan and Anderson, as in every season, is likely to be there in name only.

The old adage to come out of Fergie's mouth is that there is no value in the market. On hearing this, I often have sympathy and looking at the likes of Carroll, Torres and even Bebe, it's difficult to argue otherwise. But, argue otherwise I will. For every Carroll, there is a Silva. Every £50million Torres, there is an Aguero and for every Bebe, there is a Hernandez. Heck, even at £80 million, Cristiano Ronaldo represented value in the market for Real Madrid.

My point is this, the question really is how valuable is the Title? How valuable a competitive Champions League campaign? Even a competitive Europa League campaign? How valuable would knocking City off their perch be? The answer to all those is priceless and another summer of hearing there is no value in the market won't quite wash. This summer is massive. Quality signings need to be made and money needs to be spent as freely as it will be in the blue half of Manchester.

City discovered a never say die spirit few thought was there and in beating QPR with the last kick of the season, showed that they truly are Champions, in every sense of the word. They cracked the FA Cup, they cracked the Premiership, they cracked and then watched United crack and then they cracked Fergie time. Never mind letting the inquest begin, times are changing and it's time for change.

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