Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bring It On!

I felt I needed a week or so to soak the unadulterated joy that Manchester United has provided me by winning the double, viz. the Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions league before trying to write about the magnificence of the squad of players that they possess. There have been occasions in the past where the best team in Europe has failed to win the Champions League. Barcelona was probably the top team on paper over the last few seasons and they triumphed only once. This time though objectively speaking, I feel the finest team in Europe has won the Champions League. Man United have played some dazzling football all season long and unquestionably deserved to lift the trophy at Moscow. Though, for all their spectacular attacking play, I believe it’s their astounding performance at the back that has stood out this season.

The back four comprising of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra have been quite simply outstanding. Brown has forever been regarded as an unpredictable and error prone defender, but given a consistent run in the team this season, he has ensured that the club captain Gary Neville has been scarcely missed. The partnership of Ferdinand and Vidic has been likened by many to the celebrated Pallister- Bruce pairing. Rio much like Pallister is extremely comfortable on the ball and reads the game as well as any defender in the world. Vidic on the other hand is very much in the Bruce mould. He is a physically imposing defender and many deem the manner in which he attacks the ball, as reminiscent of Bruce during his glory days. Evra at left back has been in glorious form throughout the season and in the final against Chelsea some of his link up play with Ronaldo was breathtaking to say the very least.

Even though the season has only just concluded, I still cannot wait for next season to commence. There are rumours that Ferguson will complete all his transfer dealings over the next two weeks or so and although there isn’t much strengthening required, two or three reinforcements will certainly do the team no harm. With the departure of Luis Saha very much in the offing, I would expect United to sign a centre forward. There is talk that Luis Fabiano, Sevilla’s Brazilian star could well be on his way to Old Trafford for as less as 8 million pounds. With Pique returning to Barcelona, there is probably also a need to sign a central defender as a back-up to the presently existing defenders. United would also do well to sign a full back who can act as a long term successor to Gary Neville. It is imperative though that the core of the present team is retained. The stories of Ronaldo moving to Real Madrid have refused to die down with Madrid adopting their characteristically immoral methods in the transfer market. Having said that, I still believe Ronaldo will remain at Old Trafford for at least another two seasons in which time United would hopefully have surpassed Liverpool on the league titles count and equaled their European Cup triumphs. Wishful thinking some may say, but I believe there is nothing that is beyond this team's abilities.


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Suhrith said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Yay and all from this 'jaali' fan! But more happily, the following lines, "Evra...some of his link up play with Ronaldo was breathtaking to say the very least" made me feel like a knowledgeable football commentator myself! :D