‘Forget Griezmann, Man Utd should prioritise Marco Verratti’

Date published: Wednesday 15th February 2017 12:54

Fans purr over the performance of PSG as they thump Barcelona 4-0, while Arsene Wenger reaches crunch time, United fans want Verratti and Chelsea consider strengthening their squad.

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Are you Liverpool in disguise?

That Luis Suarez…well overrated in my book!

What a game that was last night, and for the first time in living memory it seems, Barca get mullered, and how good did PSG look? As my son said while we were watching it last night, it was like watching Liverpool! I know what he meant because their pressing and harrying of Barca reminded me of what we can do when at our best!

Hightown Hope

Barca v/s Bayern in CL semi final 2013 – barca got hammered 7-0 on aggregate.

I thought that Barca played like us when we’re at our worst – a high level of possession, accurate side passes but no clear cut chances, every counter attack of PSG resulted in a goal opportunity, midfield was inexistant and pressed.



Verratti runs the show

I watch PSG every week. Today during the first half he was doing no more than what he’s been doing all season. Brilliant player – probably best creative midfielder in Europe. I’ve never seen him have a bad game.

During last summer when United were negotiating to buy Pogba, Verratti was the second choice. I don’t think he wanted to leave PSG at that stage and I’ve often wondered if United had some sort of option on him. Hence the lack of rumours about United looking for a creative MF. Why look for a replacement for Carrick when Verratti could be one his way.
In spite of the stories we read about Greizmann, I’m of the opinion that JM’s priority should be a creative MF. With Pogba and Verratti, United would have the strongest MF in European club football.

And if you want to know about the importance of having a strong MF, just look at today’s game PSG v Barca. PSG were all over Barca. Rabiot had the best game I’ve ever seen him play. Could we sign both Verratti and Rabiot?

Barca, and RM, prefer to spend big on forwards and less on other players. Last summer Barca bought Andre Gomes for £40 mill. – never made an effort to sign Pogba. Too much for them? The summer before Barca decided that they needed cover at CB so they sign Umtitti rather than better, and more costly, players such as Laporte or Jiminez. Same with the signing of Denis Suarez – buy on price rather than ability.

As I mentioned before the strength of any team is dependent on the quality of the MF’s. To explain this further let me say that Arsenal will never win anything until Wenger has two quality MF’s. At the moment he doesn’t. He might not realise the importance of having a good mid field.

But getting back to Verratti again, he should be JM’s first priority, regardless of the cost. With Verratti in the team I’m sure Pogba would come into his own and UTD would be amongst Europe’s best club sides. Fix the MF and everything else would fit into place.



Tough time for Wenger

So in our next five matches we have four away from home. Bayern, Sutton, Southampton and Liverpool with 1 at home Bayern again. The home game against Bayern may well be immaterial but defeats in all of the away games could signal the end for Wenger. I expect a hard game tonight and the inevitable defeat.

Surely we will get past Sutton, although I don’t think it will be easy on an artificial pitch, especially if Wenger picks the likes of Ozil, Coquelin, Xhaka, Walcott who could all turn out to be passengers. Defeats against Soton & Liverpool will see us out of the top four and down to 6th. Personally I can’t see us winning either game so anything we get will be a bonus. We then have Leicester (H), WBA (A) followed by a big game against Man City.

Given the weaknesses in our squad and continued injury problems due to Wenger’s training methods our season may well fall apart. Wenger needs to make his mind up whether he intends to stay or go, his grandstanding and posing is not doing the club any good. It shouldn’t be up to him, the board of directors should have laid it on the line and lined up and agreed deal with his successor. As usual there is no forward planning at all at Arsenal. Still as long as season ticket money rolls in and Wenger has his £8.5million + profit sharing and bonuses who cares.

The Oracle


Nothing needed for Chelsea?

Mauro Icardi: Striker linked with Arsenal

I know the thought of signing new players is exciting for supporters, but I think we need to calm down here a bit. We are eight points clear of second in the PL with 13 games to go. That suggests to me the current squad is not entirely without merit and I would say on this season’s form, six of our starting 11 would walk into any side in the world – outside of the two Spanish giants, what other sides could say that?

Of course, we can always improve and to compete in the CL next season we will have to with two or three players, in terms of both quality and depth of squad, but really guys, I don’t think the wholesale changes some are suggesting are anywhere near necessary.


I’m not suggesting wholesale changes. Three quality additions are needed to fight on all fronts

Van Djik is relatively decent in the air and can play out from the back very well. This in turn gives Moses competition with Azpi for the right wing back role.

Verratti to replace Matic (more squad depth in CM) and Icardi to share burden with Costa.



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