Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dzeko, Villa or Benzema??

It's inevitable at this time of year, moving into the transfer silly season, that the biggest club in the world will be linked to any number of high profile transfers. Given that Sir Alex has declared that he thinks the squad needs only one or two minor tweaks rather than a mass overhaul, a diagnosis I agree with, I've been thinking about our depth up front, as well as certain aspects of our forward line.

Given my opinion of Dimitar Berbatov is well known, for the sake of my pondering, I'm going to assume he has been shipped out during this forthcoming window freeing up a spot in the group of strikers at the club.

Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko has been linked with any number of high profile European clubs, including United, and with good reason. He, partnered with surprise packet Brazilian Grafite produced Europe's most deadly strike force last season for shock German champions Wolfsburg. I'd love to see Mr Dzeko come to Old Trafford, as I think he'd be a perfect foil for the club's almighty talisman Wayne Rooney. Dzeko's proven ability at both holding up the ball and creating danger for opposition goal keepers combines two of the most highly sorted characteristics of any striker.

I think the addition of Dzeko into a 4-4-2 formation would create a stable, steady structured United with the ability to attack both from the flanks, in the form of Nani/Park/Valencia and deeper through the centre of the park with players like Giggs/Carrick/Scholes finding through balls to a slightly deeper Dzeko or higher up to a penalty box hunting Rooney.

Should we not go for Dzeko, I think it'd be worth buying someone like David Villa, although his priced tag of around 40m could be a stumbling block. Villa is a more central, more rigid, more traditional striker who causes genuine threat by purely being in and around the box and would free up Rooney to move more around the park and use his devastating presence on more blades of grass and more opposition defenders.

Finally, Fergie's admiration of a certain frenchman hasn't been well hidden, even after Karim Benzema's move to Real Madrid. I personally can't see what the addition of Benzema would provide to the club, but I'm not one to question Mr Ferguson very often so we'll leave it at that.

Finally, given Michael Owen's injury prone state, Macheda and Wellbeck's relative inexperience and a lack of anymore genuine forwards with Premier League experience, would it be worth Fergie also adding a more surprising addition to the squad, purely to provide another option and at worst an extra body in the squad?? Not sure who this might be, but would like to hear your thoughts readers, Good luck and Enjoy the run into the title, it's going to be a very close finish.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dimitar for Hunterlaar. United none the wiser.

Goal.com's article
Caught Offside's Take :

If during the summer, Sir Alex decides to call time on Dimitar berbatov's Manchester United career, I hope he has a look at the list of strikers he has signed for the club that have subsequently left, having struggled to adapt to the harsh climate at the summit of the Premier League.

Dimitar came to this club with high regard, a reputation of being a classy player, making the seemingly impossible effortless, and using his head to out think, and  out play his opponents. But what we fans did not realise, is that the elegance and advanced simplicity with which Dimitar operates, was actively cultivated by the Spurs manager, Martin Jol. Players sought him out, passed the ball to him, and operated on the same "wavelength". Over time, they developed an understanding of when to pass to him, where he was going to be, what type of ball he was expecting, and in general, supplied him with the ammunition to score goals, and lay off assists for Robbie Keane, Mido and Jermain Defoe. Even there, in 70 appearances, he only scored 27 goals, a recored he is channeling at United, appearing 61 times for his 21 goals. But to see an improvement, and for him to become truly integrated, the rest of ther squad must start looking to Dimitar as a they once did Ronaldo. Not how they did in the early days, passing him the ball and expecting a miracle, but finding him in gaps , where he can hurt the opposition by passing it on to others in scoring positions, or taking a shot.

The real problem, this year, isn't Berbatov, his supposed lack of movement or pace or languidity and lethargy, but rather the midfields inability to make the most of him. Until that changes, and the midfield supplies the ball to him as he requires, whether it be in linking up play in the attacking half, or delivering the final ball for him to score, the midfielders must realise that he is not a target man, nor a long range shooter, and the balls played into him need to be at pace, to his feet, and into a modicum of space.Not unlike Ruud, Dimitar requires a deeper level of service. There is no point in Valencia or Nani swining in crosses for him if they are closer to the 18 yard line than the 6.

Moving for Hunterlaar may indeed be a good thing, but only if we keep Dimitar as well. All  the top sides have 4 top class strikers, with Klass, we'd then have Wayne, Dimitar, and Micheal, to share the work load, with Javier Hernandez ( assuming work permit clears), Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda, Mame Diouf and Febian Brandy making up the numbers and pushing for places. Most of the goals scored this season by Wayne Rooney have been rather mundane, the only spectacular fact being their regularity. So much so, i'm sure that Berbatov, had he been in as many similar positions over the course of the season, playing futher up the pitch on the shoulder of the defenders, would've scored similarly. That's no slight on Rooney, the ability to put away all those chances, after getting into position in time, while being onside, is a feat in itself, but its not beyond Berbatov.

Hopefully, this proves to be another baseless rumour, and Dimitar stays. Over the off season, while the rest of the world watches the world cup, i hope Anderson, Hargreaves, Fletcher and any other available midfielders get together with Dimitar and work out how to get the best out of him more consistantly, 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Transfer Rumours of the week

Vidic to Ac Milan: Mirror
Milner to United:  Mirror
Dzeko to any english club, including us, of course:  Mirror

the past week has seen us linked with  2 talents players, andVidic is once again rumoured to be leaving, this time to Milan, that said, he's recently come out and told the media to shut up and let him play, and stop distracting him. While that's good to hear, there's usually no smoke unless there is fire, so a move may still yet be on the cards, especially if he thinks that post World Cup, Milan, Madrid or Barca might see doubling his wages as a simple means of strengthening their defence.

On the other fronts, i'd welcome the arrival of another english talent, especially in midfield. With the wild rumours surrounding a possible move for the disgruntled and unloved Joe Cole, i'd rather offer Milner 75% of the wages Cole is haggling for, and a hefty transfer fee to secure the services of a young, quick and improving player in Milner.

For me, Dzeko needs to play in the prem elsewhere before we think about bringing him to Old Trafford. Scoring goals in the bundesliga is not the same as scoring goals in the Prem, just as Ant. Voronin. I'd personally like to see an inquiry made for Roman Pavlyuchenko, and if not a gamble on Agbonlahor, before spending a vast sum on Dzeko.