One of the most interesting things happened the other day, both Manchester clubs were knocked out of the Champions League. One is left looking for excuses; one is left looking for reasons. Manchester United’s era is coming to a close just like many dynasties when your leader cannot control the troops any more, chaos eventually ensues; though this problem is not removed from their neighbors.
Let’s begin by discussing United, this sort of result began with the problems over the summer. Rooney asks to leave, and then signs a new four-year deal. The inability to sign a player that can replace the aging Giggs or the defensive-minded Fletcher. Ashley Young was the only bright spot over the summer. The English winger’s play has been on par for a Manchester United footballer. However, this is all countered by the recent injury of Nemanja Vidic giving the fans of Manchester even more reason to want a signing in the backfield.
As a future coach, I understand why Ferguson has stayed with his aging defense. Bringing in new players usually leads to new style of plays that don’t always mesh. The best example of this is Chelsea’s David Luiz, who has dropped slightly from his stellar form in coming to England. He brought in a new style of play and tested the old guard for minutes on the field, but now with the edge fading, the main problem is their lack of conformity. United previously had this unity throughout their backfield, and with Vidic done for the year the January transfer window will either mark a salvation or the end of a dynasty.
One impressive point in Ferguson’s squad is how they have seamlessly added some youth while maintaining a high level of play. The likes of Jones, Welbeck, Smalling, and Evans, have been impressive in domestic football, but these players will need time. This crop cannot ferry the wounded ship that is United, we will need to see changes, but will Ferguson make these changes? It remains to be seen.
If the record profits from TV deals, or record profits from transfer fees cannot force the debt-ridden club to purchase a morale boosting signing then the days of United will surely be coming to end. The only thing left to wait for will be the retirement for one of the greatest managers ever.
Manchester City on the other hand is a very different from the United situation. The current club has no history nor a collective style of play. It is being shaped with every game and every inclusion of a new player’s role. These players are being thrown together and for some reason, it has finally clicked this year.
The perpetual problems attributed in previous years were mainly solved by throwing money into the market and seeing results, however, with a two billion dollar bid for both Messi and Ronaldo this team is not is not getting any better.
They have the squad that can test the likes of the best in the world, or so we thought.
Despite the criticism, Mancini’s squad is the best in English football right now. They have answered every test and only have two speed bumps on their team sheet so far. The best conclusion for Man City’s epic collapse is the lack of experience in the Champions League, but with that being said, this kind of football is what separates the men from the boys. Obviously they have underperformed, but I expect big things from Manchester City in the future; they have the money, the youth, and the manager to extend this dominance for decades. As great minds have always said: “money doesn’t buy chemistry”, and truer words could not describe City’s place in world football right now.
– Sir Keefer