Every god forsaken day I log on to NewsNow and see some website or other reporting an “exclusive” that we’re about to sign Wesley Sneijder for £xx million and I bang my head against my desk in a slow, yet firm manner as I let the stupidity of it all wash over me.
Fortunately, Sir Alex Ferguson is a wise man, who will leave the signing of Wesley to the Football Manager addicts of this world before pursuing more sensible, more relevant targets. We don’t need someone who’s just going to tread on Wayne Rooney’s toes and force us to entirely change our system overnight. We fucked up with that when we signed Veron.
There is absolutely no point in signing Wesley Sneijder for the kind of money being touted. He would not improve our 4-4-2 midfield and a change of system is certainly not what we need. Whilst creativity through the middle is something that we’ve been lacking this season, a far more pressing concern is that our central midfield appears, more often than not, incapable of doing anything right. We often find ourselves swamped and outcompeted and, whilst Michael Carrick has improved through the season, he’s never going to be able to boss Essien.
We were made to look stupid against Barcelona, but which right-thinking person can suggest a one-man solution to that problem? This is a Barcelona midfield that operates seemingly with a hive mind, forever one step ahead of their opposite numbers. Wesley Sneijder wouldn’t help in that situation. If anything, having him in the middle would just make things worse.
We’re moving back to a 4-4-2 which, when played effectively, requires two solid midfielders who can distribute, two creative wide men who can come inside and overlapping full-backs. We tick the wide man box with Valencia and Nani / Nani’s replacement, and our full-backs are excellent, but Carrick and Giggs is not a heavyweight midfield by any stretch. Anderson is a step in the right direction, but with his love of bombing on we need an anchor, a solid workhorse who can distribute the ball simply and effectively to players better than himself. We need another Owen Hargreaves.
There are players out there that we should be looking at, but nobody seems bothered. Yann M’Vila would have been perfect. Arturo Vidal is another. I think that, as a club, Manchester United doesn’t appreciate the defensive midfielder in the way that we would if we’d had Claude Makelele play the role for a number of years. We’re too worried about shouting “attack attack attack” at Michael Carrick to really appreciate what a player of that ilk can bring.
The only other way to fit Wesley in would be to drop a striker, play two wingers and an attacking midfield, and have two midfield anchors. That is not Manchester United, and who in their right mind would drop either Rooney or Hernandez, push Rooney out wide left again or play two genuine defensive midfielders when our squad contains none? Insanity.
So, whilst there is no doubting that Wesley Sneijder is an outstanding talent and superb in systems build to acommodate him, it’s not a system that Manchester United can afford to consider when we have a potent strike pairing of Hernandez and Rooney, top quality wide men, and a dearth of midfield muscle.
That won’t stop the rumours from flying, of course. Just check NewsNow tomorrow. You’ll see the same old rubbish.