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Derby Day and Dad – Why Wes Has To Stay

Wes BrownThe first loud cheer of derby day last weekend came when Wes Brown made a thumping challenge on Petrov in front of the Stretford End. In contrast to Manchester City, who played on derby day with just four Englishmen in their sixteen man squad, none of whom were Mancs, United boasted local lads Scholes, Brown, Giggs and Simpson and should have been up for derby day success. It wasn’t to be.

Wes Brown’s father passed away just three days before the derby clash and was clearly playing with this in mind. Despite obviously being given the option of sitting out the match, Brown insisted he wanted to play. It is this kind of commitment to the club most Premiership sides seem to be lacking at times and the idea of Wes moving on seems like insanity.

Offers for the defender were rejected in the January transfer window, and despite claims from United he would not see an improved contract, with Neville still not back in the fold and Hutton signing for Spurs, it would be nonsensical to allow Wes to leave.

I have usually been of the opinion that if the money is what makes or breaks it for a player at United, they should move on. Beckham is probably the best example of this, hungry for more money than we’d give him on image rights. Jog on. However, with Brown, I have a better understanding of where he is coming from. He has given his entire career to United, having a regular place in our starting XI for large periods of time, and has been our first choice right back since Neville’s injury in March last year. Despite this, he has reportedly been offered just £40,000 a week, a third of the contract players like Rooney, Ronaldo and Ferdinand find themselves on. I’m not suggesting Brown should be earning the money Ronaldo is and I imagine Brown isn’t asking for that either, but I believe he should have been offered a more generous contract.

This is not the first time Brown has had problems with his contract offer, but they were resolved. For his ability, his willingness to play wherever and whenever he is required, his passion for the club, we need to give him a more respectful contract.

Last time an agreement was made, can the same happen again? The question is who will back down first, or at all, the player or the club?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. David Quinn says:

    I agree 100%, you can see when Wes is playing he has so much enthusiasm and will bust a gut for the team, when Tevez scored against Spurs you know to look at his reaction he is United through and through. If it means offering him 50/60k a year so be it because the lad deserves it and I don’t believe for one second he wants to leave us.

  2. Red Ranter says:

    I have to disagree Re: Becks. Yes he did quibble over image rights and whatever deal we had to offer at that time. But had he not fallen on SAF’s bad books he’d have still kept his mouth shut and continued with us — at least for a couple more years (who knows?!). He is a thorough professional, who loves the club and has made that pretty much clear numerous times.

  3. Red Ranter says:

    About Brown, if he still feels, come the end of the season, that he deserves more he should be moved on provided we have a deal in place to get a decent replacement during the close of the season. Unless, of course, we can be 100% sure that Neville is fit as a fiddle and Simmo does a lot of growing up in the summer.

  4. Scott the Red says:

    He spent 18 months renegotiating Red Ranter. If I was manager, he would have fallen out of my good books for that reason alone!

    Don’t buy in to the Beckham bullshit. His relationship with Fergie wasn’t on the rocks for the last year and a half he was with the club – but thats how long it took him NOT to settle on the money we were offering him.

    Beckham loved the money more than he loved United. I don’t doubt he’s seen the error of his ways now though.

  5. franky says:

    We have to admit that Wes has a cracking season, even if we still call him the weakest spot in our backline. That said, our chances of him staying have improved with Micah signing a new deal at the Council.

    At leas we won’t hunt him now and with Gary still being out, Wes’s chances on a regular spot on the pitch only increase. I’m sure SAF and Queroz will raise his level even more. Look at what they did with Evra.

    I’m positive he will stay some more. :)

  6. denton davey says:

    Wesley is a solid squad player – a good (not great) central defender and an adequate replacement for a proper right back such as RedNev. That said, it’s a fantastic “insurance policy” to have a guy like Wesley (or JohnnyO) ready to step in and provide cover when one of the first-choice defenders goes down with an injury.

    Another thing to consider is the price of a “replacement” . This will be considerable when you factor in the transfer fee AND the wages such a player commands since it is highly unlikely that a “replacmeent” can be secured for less than ten million quid and a weekly wage of about fifty thousand a week.

    Homegrown players, like Wesley, are always a “bargain” and while I don’t believe in paying professional athletes for “loyalty” there is an argument to be made that they provide a kind of double-value to the club.

    Bearing all that in mind – and also taking into account the club’s spiralling income and the need to secure results to maintain that cash flow – I am worried that the “line in the sand” supposedly drawn by management is a classic case of “penny wise, pound foolish”.

    I would be more than happy for both sides to negotiate to find a compromise that makes everyone satisfied – and for Wesley to continue crunching opponents who venture into the Reds’ defensive zone.

  7. spiritof1983 says:

    In pre-season Brown was one of four I thought would leave, in his case for more games. The other three left for various reasons which I didn’t necessarily guess right but Brown stayed. That has been the same through the years including when he renegotiated contract last. I think SAF will let him decide and when the time comes, a compromise would be struck. Ultimately it will be up to games in the future rather than money which will determine Brown staying or leaving. I do get the feeling throughout that he wants to stay, though there was a patch in December when it looked like the speculation was affecting his game.

    PS: Thought I read the parties have agreed a contract and would sign in the next weeks? That was the story out when the window closed or are the media recoiling only to come back again for the next round of speculation?


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