Sir Alex Ferguson inherited Bryan Robson and had Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Philip Neville come through the ranks. He of course bought Roy Keane from Nottingham Forest but as the old guard have moved on or retired he has has tried replacing them with Juan Sebastian Veron, Eric Djemba-Djema, Kleberson, Liam Miller (all failures) and now finds himself with Anderson, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Darron Gibson and young Tom Cleverley. He uses Ryan Giggs, Phil Jones, Ji-sung Park and even Wayne Rooney on occasions, but playing people out of position rarely solves a problem.
Ferguson claims he doesn't need to strengthen, but I'm sure even the most loyal Manchester United fan would agree that now Scholes has gone, none of the current crop can be regarded as top quality central midfielders (although Fletcher has been close in previous seasons and Cleverley could be in the future). Never was this more obvious than on Wednesday night, as Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote won the midfield battle with ease and - along with Demba Ba - inspired a frighteningly comfortable win for Newcastle.
That United have continued to win trophies in recent years is testament to the great man and the quality he has assembled in other areas of his squad(s), but surely the time has come for Fergie to bite the bullet. Despite just passing his 70th birthday he believes he has 3 more seasons in him, so if he wants to ensure he can combat the force that is Manchester City and realise his dream of winning a third Champions League title, he must spend on one, possibly two quality midfield players to improve the team (with a Scholes replacement the key) - if not in January then this summer. It doesn't have to be mega-money, but there will be deals available (remember Scott Parker cost Tottenham just £6millon and Tiote came to Newcastle for less than £4million).
What say you United fans? Do you agree that things need improving? And if so, who would you want the club to go for?
(Please don't say Luka Modric.)