Gone are the days in which Manchester United fans mocked at clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City and others for spending recklessly in order to win titles. With every signing and passing transfer window, it’s clear to see that there was never something truly special or transcendent about the club with more championships than anyone else in the Premier League. They simply had a manager who made them different.
A new record for signings was almost made by Manchester United this summer had they added Arturo Vidal to the mix. Some say that a few million more, something Manchester United could afford even without Champions League football due to their huge proceeds from the biggest sponsorship deals in the world, and the Chilean midfielder would have been allowed to leave Juventus to the Old Trafford.
Still, there’s nothing too shabby about spending more than £150 million in order to fix the problems which were left by Ferguson when he resigned in 2013. A squad that only he was capable of winning with has been decimated and renewed, with only a few players for what some call the gap generation remained. Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones, David de Gea. For some reason, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia are still on the team as well.
There doesn’t seem to be a master plan from Louis van Gaal or the man in charge of purchasing, Ed Woodward. Woodward, a financial wiz according to all testimonies, isn’t as capable when it comes to completing transfers. David Moyes wasn’t exactly perfect for the job, but had he worked under a more experienced football director last season, maybe his fate would have been different, his ending at the club a bit chirpier and postponed.
Everything that’s happening now just proves once more how great of a manager Alex Ferguson was, and how badly he prepared the club for the future when he left. Not that it’s his job to make sure the managers that come after him are free from making big signing sprees. Still, the lack of quality in this squad, especially in certain positions, shows that mental toughness and leadership brought them to success in 2013 more than anything else.
Manchester City almost had a dormant summer. Chelsea sold just as much as they spent. Liverpool were quite busy, but nothing seemed like a panic signing, unlike Manchester United, who have simply gone crazy as some have put it over the last few days of the transfer window, adding Daley Blind and Rafamel Falcao just before the deadline, not to mention the huge prices paid for Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and a bit later, Angel di Maria.
Maybe this is a superstar team in the making, but something tells us it’s going to take a while before we see a glimpse of that. Developing talent like Adnan Januzaj has been neglected in favor of quick success. This is no longer a building project with the future in mind. This is about winning now, at all costs. The bank accounts were opened with only titles in mind, but with unclear tactics and a squad that’s lacking balance, right now this seems like an expensive assembly of players, nothing more.