Moving on, here I take on each player one by one and deem him if he is fit to be in the United squad or not. Mind you, it is just my opinion and I am not the leader of fans or David Moyes. Well, a bit cocky there, ain’t I? I am sure to be getting stick for that. Here goes nothing! For the ‘defense’ in this article.
1) David de Gea
He is destined to be one of the top goalkeepers I the world. Certainly does well recently to keep the scoreline down for United even when they should lose by 2-3 goals to almost each team they play this season.
Result : He is United first team quality.
He has emerged well and while technically he was always considered inferior to his brother Fabio, his hardwork has led him to become one of the better right backs in the country. Certainly can be a deputy to Dani Alves in the Brazil Squad. Sometimes goes amiss while defending but usually astute and a threat going forward always. More than Valencia. Needs to stay fit.
Result : United first team quality
To be honest, I bloody hell love Patrice. He is a loyal servant to the club, stands up for what he believes and loves the club to the core. His passion shows. But with that I have to admit, he has not been good enough in the past 3 seasons. Attacking wise he has improved, on corners and his crosses but then he can’t track back now and his defensive positioning is like non - existent, as evident when Debuchy ghosted past him to shoot at de Gea in the last match against Newcastle. Maybe United need a new LB, or well promote Fabio. Evra needs to mentor the new LB, so he should play a bit part role cause he has a lot to offer.
Result : Should act as a senior member. Play a bit part role and mentor youngsters.
He will not become a midfielder because he doesn’t have that ability to pass. Hence he often messes up the simplest of passes, but then he has the courage and has been brilliant in marking out players. He is a good CB, brave. But as a destroying midfielder, only if he works on his passing but I don’t think he’d want that. He will be a United great should he keep clear on injuries. Changing his position too much won’t help him. But I love his courage and intensity in the midfield or defense and he actually tries and shoots unlike Cleverley who tries to find a pass.
Result : United first team quality if you designate his desired position.
At 35, Rio gave United an imperious season last time round but he has been beaten too many times this season already to suggest that age is catching up and he will give you inconsistency rather than the brilliant defender we are used to watching. He should remain a bit part player until he retires which might be at the end of this season.
Result : Squad player
Jonny boy is certainly one of the best defenders United have got. Assured, sometimes makes silly mistakes in big games, but he has rectified that recently. Since the past two seasons he has shown immense courage and responsibility, his block to stop Kiessling from scoring when Rio was beat showed he can cover up well. He should be the mainstay on the defense side of United.
Result : United first team quality. ( Priority player )
He is a decent keeper and a good choice to have on the bench. May leave the United camp soon, but then he would not be missed that much. But he is quality regardless.
Result : Good keeper for the bench.
He is still the best defender United have got, despite his age, and recent injuries. No matter if Negredo and Lukaku managed to shrug him off this season, we all have certain limits to our god-like capabilities. While he is still one of the best, he still marshals his defense pretty well and should be present for at least sometime more. Might soon be demoted to accommodate young guns which should be likely considering the constant changes at the back.
Result : Captain marvelous . Still got some first team part to play.
He has scored some decent goals for United and seems a decent player, after all he is Brazillian just that his progress has been halted by injuries. Clearly after scoring against Norwich in the Capital One Cup and waving to the Stretford End, it might be the end of him at United. But after watching his displays for the U21s,and Evra’s current form. He should be given more of a chance to prove himself. It helped Rafael, maybe it will help him too. That’s one less player you’d have to spend on.
Result : Needs to be given a chance in this ‘transitional period’
The best way to describe him is that he was the 4th best LB in the Dutch league when United scooped him up which is why he would never going to make it as a first team LB at United. He has got the pace and skills to attack but his defending is questionable to say the least which is evident whenever he plays. He may develop soon but United don’t have that much patience.
Result : Squad player and can be employed as a winger
The Uruguayan RB is yet to feature for the first team but he has been given a decent run out for U21s and has shown immense quality. United might promote him to the first team next season which would be a good idea considering how much trouble they are having to find a proper cover for Rafael. Smalling and Jones provide height but show that they are not naturally Full Backs. And with Janko also showing promise, Varela is bound to improve under the watchful eye of Warren Joyce.
Result : One for the future
Well, he has some pace about him and is a decent header of the ball but I have seen him been beaten physically too often and sometimes in the air he struggles defensively though flourishes offensively. He let Kompany score at the Etihad two seasons back, regardless if he had scored, he failed to mark him adequately and even against Cardiff, he was not proper in his marking. He is not a RB and should not be deployed there despite his display against Arsenal this season. He is decent defensively but wingers find it easy to take him on and he offers not much in attack which is needed when you have wingers like Antonio Valencia on the right wing. You need to help them. Sir Alex regarded him highly and he should be employed at CB. How does Moyes plan to accommodate all the CBs and specially the young ones, it is upto him. It is clear that he is finding it a problem as of now. Just needs to exude some more confidence and responsibility.
Result : United first team quality
Read our article Moyesy Time written by me here.