Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Prelude to a new golden era

Posted by hakanrylander on August 26, 2009

No, I’m not thinking of our first three games as a prelude to a golden season. In fact, I don’t think this season will be particularly successful when it comes to winning trophies. Even so I look forward to the next nine months with great expectations. Which might seem a bit peculiar considering that we’ve sold the best player in the world and lost another world class attacker to City, and failed to sign replacements of similar stature.

The reason for my optimism is that I believe that we will see a rapid positive development of several players, which might in a year or two create an even better team than we’ve had for the last couple of seasons.

Firstly, we have a group of hugely talented youngsters of a quality that might even be about to rival the peerless fledglings from the early 90’s; Giggs, Butt, Beckham, Gary, Phil and Scholes (below).

Rafael and Fabio da Silva have taken to the PL like ducks to water. I’ve been amazed by how unfazed they’ve seemed when playing for the first team at only 17. This indicates mental strength to add to their obvious football skills. Only the excellence of Patrice Evra can stop them from both being first-choices before long.

Sir Alex has predicted that Danny Welbeck will travel to South Africa with England next summer. I find this rather unrealistic, but the last time I remember thinking that Ferguson praised a youngster a bit too much he was talking about – Paul Scholes.

Federico Macheda needed only 20 minutes or so against Villa to make it onto most people’s short-lists for both Goal of the Season and Player of the Season. Nick at the excellent manunitedyouth describes Macheda as a mix of Van Nistelrooy and Berbatov. Sounds good enough to me.

I admit that i didn’t think that Darron Gibson would ever make it to the first team, but he keeps on improving and will do so again this season.

Apart from the youngsters I believe we’ll see continued development from some of the more established players. The obvious example from last season is Darren Fletcher. Rarely has a player’s reputation been so enhanced by not playing a game as when Fletcher was suspended for the CL-final against Barcelona. A year ago very few would have predicted that Fergie’s main selection problem in midfield would now be who to pick alongside Fletcher. I think we will see him move on to yet another level this season.

I hesitate to include Nani in this group. Perhaps I’d better not. I’ll get back to him in a seperate post.

Finally, to achieve greatness we need a catalyst, much like Eric Cantona was in the 90’s. Regular visitors to Between the Lines will be well aware that in my opinion “le prochain Cantona” is already present at the club. It’s just a question of Dimitar Berbatov fulfilling this potential, as I think he will begin to do this season. I re-use my favourite quote: “All strikers must be soloists when appropriate – but rare ones, like Berbatov and Cantona, can also conduct the orchestra.”

Those were the days

Those were the days

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8 Responses to “Prelude to a new golden era”

  1. The Gaffer said

    They definitely have the potential to be just as good the players from the 90’s. Maybe I’m being really optimistic…

    Anyway, I don’t believe Danny Welbeck will be on that plane to South Africa, unless he somehow breaks into the first team or goes on loan. The latter is far more likely but I just can’t see him in England’s squad.

  2. RedJack said

    I think that chester, evans, anderson (though he may be included in the Nani post!!!) deserve including in this group

  3. Hakan said

    Gaffer: As you might have noticed, I’m also feeling optimistic today. 🙂 I would prefer it if Welbeck doesn’t go on loan, as I think he will get a lot of opportunities to prove himself at United this season. And I think he’s good enough to take advantage of those opportunities.

    RedJack: Evans should of course have been included. My mistake. Anderson is a bit of a special case, and I’m not at all sure in which direction he’s heading.
    Unfortunately I haven’t seen enough of Chester to have an opinion. How highly do you rate him?

  4. RedJack said

    I think he has done extremely well in the reserves. Also the brief highlights i’ve seen of his time at peterborough were encouraging.

  5. […] Prelude to a new golden era The Nani conundrum […]

  6. Venu said

    You forget Gibson who i think will play a bigger role than any of us give him credit for. He would definitely add goals from the midfield. I am excited about seeing Tosic and Ljajic, the latter more so given his reputation!

    • hakanrylander said

      You’re absolutely right about Gibson. The coaches have obviously encouraged him to shoot from distance, and this adds a dimension to out attack.

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