1) Ashley Young
Uh huh ( clears throat, clenches fists, okay it was hard to type like that ). So Young is in the league of overrated Englishmen who have been buoyed by the media early in their careers with him even being compared to Messi and Ronaldo after he scored two goals against Everton by Martin O’Neill. He was high I am guessing. Anyway there is no denying that he has a quality right foot which is capable of good deliveries into the box when there is no defender around cause when there is, Youngy doesn’t know what to do with the ball. He still is quite creative at times but in the end he is and never was United quality regardless of those two goals against Arsenal. He is the perfect player to play at Aston Villa and well Sir Alex Ferguson bought him to replace Giggs. I am sure even if Fergie thought he was good enough, Young has failed to deliver and cannot handle the pressure before his form takes a ‘dive’ too often.
Result : Not United quality, no not even as a squad player.
While Giggs is now 40 and can make you moan and groan about him being in the starting XI , yet he still is the most creative midfielder we have who can find a pass and make things happen. Yes, he has lost his pace but still holds the acceleration he had, and he may not be able to run and be energetic throughout the match which shows his age. He will probably go this season or next or the next one or never, but I for one, am not going to undermine his importance to the squad and the coaching staff. But, his inclusion sometimes shows how poor the other midfielders are or how thin the midfield is at Manchester United which used to boast players like Keane and Scholes. Still has to score in the PL this season to keep his magnificent record of scoring in each PL season going.
Result : Legend. Shall soon be permanently in the coaching staff working the United way.
I hope he is not boning Moyes’s daughter, cause that’d be naughty. Jokes apart, he was bought from Crystal Palace for about 12m and he hasn’t featured for United , well almost at all. Whille no one doubts his talent, maybe the coaching staff is taking it slow with him and getting him used to United. While we have underperforming wingers, I am sure he will get his chance this season or next.
Result : Will soon take the center stage. Good talent. Good U21 performances. First team soon.
Late bloomer. He is probably the only midfielder that is not getting stick at the moment and I would be lying if I would say that I always believed in him or never gave him stick. When he came down to United, it was tough to look beyond Scholes and though he is very different to Scholes, he has become the rock solid midfielder who has place cemented in the starting XI. He would not get into dirty tackling or to put it mildly, he is no Yaya Toure. He is a midfielder who has such a brain, that he intercepts more than he tackles. His reading of the game is excellent and he is getting the recognition now. His performances have been consistent over the course of last 2 seasons and he is good with his forward passes too. But he cannot do it alone and it has become too apparent lately. He needs a partner to rely on and help him lie deep and dictate play. One thing I have against him is getting goals but he lies deeper now. Can still try and shoot more though. Wouldn’t hurt to score once in a while. Did you know Guardiola voted for Carrick as the best midfielder in 2009-2010 season ahead of his players of Barcelona?
Result : He is a god to the United midfield moment and this is actually not nice. Definitely first team quality.
Where has the real Nani disappeared? He was never going to be the next Ronaldo but he sure did make a name of himself since he arrived. He has the skill, the speed and his 09/10 and 10/11 seasons show that he has what it takes to become one of the best wingers around. He lacks what is one of the most important part of being successful, consistency. He has flattered to deceive now and despite being given a new 5 year deal, his current performances have been low even drawing boos from the United faithful. Despite all this, he is still one of the few in the entire big squad who can give us a magical goal or a touch and make our jaws drop albeit not often these days. It is his time to shine since Young is out of favor and he can cement his place in the squad.
Result : Given a consistent run of games, First team quality. Crucial season ahead for him.
He is one of the Manchester lads, who were supposed to hit it big. Trust me, I cannot truly imagine how he got a stint in the first team while Paul Pogba couldn’t even sniff it. He scored 11 goals for Wigan when he was on loan and there and after watching a YouTube video of that, I am like why doesn’t he shoot!?? Sir Alex Ferguson says in his book, that he can score, but can he? Cause I have seen him pass back to the CB instead of making a forward pass right infront of the opposition box. He has exceptional crossing ability and each match he has a passing accuracy of at least 90% but that is because it is mostly forward passes. He is combative and likes to play a pass and move game, but that doesn’t help when he doesn’t score or doesn’t assist. I have yet to see him a defense splitting pass to justify his inclusion in the first XI. Being a homegrown player, he should prove why Pogba was left behind and why he is here. Issues or not, he is a decent midfielder but his recent performances have suggested that he cannot pass risky or run with the ball. I think a few YouTube videos of Barcelona’s midfield and Yaya Toure wouldn’t go amiss.
Result : For now a squad player. Needs to improve his all round game to even think of succeeding at United. Current season will justify his position in the squad.
Fast and pin-point crossing. That is what Valencia is all about? No, he is about not using his left foot at all and passing back to the RB whenever possible. He has lost confidence and the winger he once used to be. He took on LBs for fun, well just beat them by pace and if he couldn’t, he would at least put in decent crosses. Now, he has a run of 6-7 bad games, and then has a decent game like the recent away 0-3 win at Aston Villa. Don’t get me wrong, but usually he is pathetic these days. Runs out of ideas, but well doesn’t the entire squad lately? LBs have worked out how to play against him and he is now usually picked in the side because of his physical presence and speed, and defensive duties rather than attacking. Clearly letting Oviedo scored because Valencia wasn’t positionally aware of his presence behind him so using him as a makeshift RB is okay but dangerous. After his injury, he has been average.
Result: Squad player. Not first team quality on a regular basis.
The kid is 18 and is already being touted as a potential world class talent. Well, he is good and United are lucky to have him specially being groomed at the United Youth Academy for 2 years, but he still has a lot of learn and with experience and his current performances, one can only imagine that the sky is the limit for the boy. His ideal position is behind the striker and he can play on either wing too. Adnan Januzaj will ba a name that you shall be hearing a lot come the next few seasons.
Result : Squad player. Future first team player.
Since the inception of the award – Golden Boy, great young talents have won it like – Rooney, Fabregas, Agüero , Isco, and most recently Pogba. Well our very own Anderson has also won it. He is Brazilian and there is no doubting the talent he once possessed or still does. But he has not lived upto what he was bought for. One can say that he has always been played out of position since he likes to play as a CAM, while he has been deployed much deeper, but one cannot argue the loading up he has done on the burgers. He has gained weight, lost fitness, he was a handful in midfield in the past for opposition, now he is a handful for himself. One of the things that he still has over all the current United ‘central’ midfielders is that when mildly on-song he can run with the ball, take it forward and he usually looks for a forward pass. He still can find decent passes but one does not see him as a future United midfielder anymore.
Result : United would do better without him for his own sake. Should sell him. Not first team quality.
It is not often that you see someone who is suffering from such a bad illness to make his way back to playing first team football. Unlike others, Fletcher is a combative midfielder and atleast was. Now, he looks to have lost some weight and only time will tell how he does on the field after coming back. Hope he doesn’t have any repercussions and is able to play for United. If completely fit, Fletcher would add a much needed strength to the United midfield.
Result : Squad player, first team opportunities would hog him if he can attain the levels before his illness.
When he came to us, everyone took to him, and everyone raves about him, and it is not just talk, his performances for Japan and sometimes for United seem to suggest he is amazing. The sad part is that Rooney takes his central position behind the striker and Rooney isn’t a bad player either, this pushes Kagawa wide. He is not a player who can beat players on the wing. As seen against his magical performance against Bayer Leverkusen , it is his intelligence that sets him apart. He is the most creative midfielder we have. His through balls are delicious and he has a knack to open up defenses but this is what I think of him. Kagawa is a player that thrives on good, fast gameplay and not shoddy slow play which United has become accustomed to recently specially under Moyes. He suits the speed of the German and English league but what doesn’t suit him is the physicality of the EPL. Hence he is a player who will struggle in EPL due to the physicality but will thrive against other opposition in Europe as seen already. Some talents don’t make it at a club, just the wrong player and the wrong club sometimes. I am still hoping he can be accommodated and we can see the best out of him cause we could certainly use a player like him and work on changing the formations too.
Result : First team quality, needs to be accommodated along with RvP and Rooney somehow. Note to Moyes : Use different tactics and formations in training at least .
Decent player. Did well against us but is he what we require. Up till now, no. While he is considered to be a tough tackling midfielder, I think he did better for Everton up top and not at his ‘desired’ defensive midfielder role. Along with Carrick, a midfielder is required who can run with the ball, and United’s midfielders are not mobile enough, Fellaini included. So maybe he isn’t the answer, or he will eventually grow. He certainly gives us a different package to present on the field but needs to justify his hefty price tag which I am sure he is aware about. Expectations are high, hope he comes through. He won’t be suited to playing alongside Carrick, if he does not move. All of United’s midfielders don’t press the opposition, keep falling back and inviting shots and pressure and then can’t counter attack with pace. They look for side passes. Under Moyes they have done excessive work on keeping possession and Fellaini has stated that currently everybody is better at it than him and it shows on the pitch. He loses the possession often. Maybe a goal or two would help with his confidence. So I hope that happens soon. He is sure at a precarious position.
Result : Needs to learn to press and be mobile to play in tandem with Carrick. Take responsibility as the shepherd dog with the ‘sheep’ United midfield. Squad player for now.