The day after Valentines’ Day there’s nothing worse than waking up and remembering you got that leathered on your romantic meal that when you got home, the evening was a bit of a flop. Not that I’d know anything about that of course, it just erm, happened to a mate of mine, honest. Whilst the aforementioned scenario may be something of an embarrassment, it’s nothing compared to some of the flops we’ve seen at Old Trafford over the years, particularly the post- Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Tuesday night was a timely reminder of some of the transfer carnage that has ensued on Ed Woodward’s watch as one United number 7 whose wages could fund a Presidential election campaign, was outshone by another who’s transfer fee could fund a military one. Chances are neither Alexis Sanchez nor Angel Di Maria will end up being revered by Reds, the latter actually did well to leave the ground unharmed such was the level of hatred towards him. The two South Americans are far from being the only pair of expensive follies to darken the United manager’s door over the past few years.
It’s almost as if since Fergie retired, United managers have been doing their best to outdo each other in the transfer stakes, forgoing tactical policy and squad requirements in favour of media impact and marquee impressiveness. We need a midfielder? Forget that, Chelsea’s player of the season is available let’s break the transfer record to get him. We’re crying out for another full back? Forget it, there’s a £75 million striker with our name on it. Let’s make that happen. As the Bard once wrote of United’s transfer policy:
4. Juan Sebastian Veron.
The odd thing about Veron’s United career is that he was arguably one of the most gifted midfielders we’ve ever seen at the club and at times it showed. The issue was it showed around once a month, if we were lucky and usually then it was only in the Champions League. In the Argentinean maestro’s defence he was signed to a side that had the best midfield pairing on the planet in Paul Scholes and Roy Keane as Ferguson seemed unsure of how best to use all three of them. Shifting Scholes further forward didn’t work, despite Veron getting off to a flyer.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.