With Part 1 of our round table discussion headed by EGYPT and DasBoot_8 in the books, we move on to hear what Stall express has to say regarding Manchester United's capture of arguably one of the best strikers in the world at this moment. Have United secured a white knight to lead them back to the top of the Premier League? Or would the outlay of money spent for the loan of a 28yr old striker have been better used to strengthen weak spots in the defense and midfield? Let's discuss!
Simon - Stall express:
New manager Louis Van Gaal likes to keep repeating the need to follow his philosophy. However, the summer window of 2014 will go down as a changing of Manchester United’s philosophy.
For years the fans have been able to take the stance the club largely mixed youth development players with youngsters bought from other clubs they took talent and created world class end products. It appears we have now moved to the system that had proven to provide on pitch success more than any other, buying your first team. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City have pretty much won close to all the trophies available in the last few years and it seems they regularily head into the transfer market picking up 2,3 or 4 mega buys to build their sides. Don’t get me wrong United have always spent money just not in the manor they have in the last few weeks. Bar maybe Sebastian Veron, United rarely spend huge on proven world class players not already playing in the Premier League.
It is a big statement of intent by the club and a gamble. For the last few years many fans have been critical of the club for not spending big as their rivals. Louis Van Gaal now has to produce a first team that develops and progresses into a title challenging team. True there will be little expectation of that taking place this season but if you spend £150m in one window you will be expecting at least top four with no European football to distract. Unfortunately there are at least 5 powerhouse sides battling for those four spots and a couple of dark horses looking to overachieve. All of those rivals has settled squads if not managers and top four is a challenge.
Onto the positive. I would imagine if you spoke to any Man Utd fan when the last season ended and told them the club would pick up the transfers they have few would be unhappy. The club may have not identified the exact targets we wanted (Arturo Vidal, Sami Khedira, a dominant prime proven centre back) but they have provided players to play these positions. Some of them do fit the traditional Utd idea of developing talent and some are those rare "in their prime" players.
As for the loan deal for Falcao, pre injury in early 2014 he was among the world premier centre forwards. Comfortable on either foot or in the air he is a player that can take a game away from you. At first glance not a signing needed. However with RVP back to his injury prone self and into his 30’s Utd needed firepower in the champions league fight.
Perhaps a bigger point along with Di Maria, Falcao is a player who scares opponents. United had/have become a soft touch in the last 12 months and bar a fully fit RVP did you fear a single player in their squad? While Utd lack the defensive or midfield to win the league they now have the firepower for the top four.
Man Utd remain one of sports biggest brands, Edward Woodward may not have convinced us yet in his new role but on the commercial side some of the biggest sponsorship deals provide huge finances. Should the Glazers ever put the club up for sale there will be no problem attracting a buyer. Interestingly the Glazers have always said their commercial deals are linked with the success on the pitch. Previously you could argue where they not investing in the starting 11. They have not picked up the perfect buys but they must be stronger than last year.
So LVG over to you. A proven world class manager has a team that on paper should at least battle it out for 4th spot. It will take time to mould so many new players but you have to feel it they stay fit the firepower will mean they are there or thereabouts come May. Whatever will the money coming in at the club they will spend again next summer.
Zach Kelleher - Kellz_86:
Well what can I say that hasn't already been fanstatically stated by our team at NMA? United have undoubtably grown stronger from last season opening their wallet for a massive outlay in the summer transfer window. Angel Di Maria in particular was absolutely the right player and the right call by Van Gaal to help push United forward. His pace and ability to dazzle any defense will surely be crucial to United's push to regain top 4 status and move on to win the league once again.
However the problem I see is that United have spent a lot of money on players from many different leagues and playing styles. Subsequently, new players require a period of time not only to adapt to their team mates playing style, but also that of the manager and the Premier League as a whole. One could argue Liverpool have done pretty much the same thing, but the difference I believe is that Brendan Rodgers has already had time to adapt his squad to his playing style. Liverpool also wisely bought proven Premier League players that can adapt quickly to his system. While Van Gaal has already stated that it may take up to 3 months to instill his philosophy in the current United squad. United may, however, find themselves too far out of reach by this point if Van Gaal cannot get his squad operating at top gear soon.
The Falcao loan deal, as sensational as it was, smacks a bit of desperation to me. The outlay for such a player, simply for a loan, would have been better spent shoring up deficiencies in the defense and central midfield. Falcao will no doubt improve any team across the world, but I don't think it was exactly what United needed. You also face the impossible task of trying to field RvP, Rooney, Mata and Falcao in the same starting 11, something I just can't see working well. Surely Rooney, recently being named United's captain, will not and cannot be forced to play midfield once again to accommodate Falcao. We also have no idea how Falcao will adapt to United's system or even to the Premier League as a whole. Only time will tell if United have made the right call.
Now onto you, the amazing NMA community, for your thoughts on the Falcao transfer. Will he prove to be a success at United, or fail to make the grade given the immense pressure put on his shoulders?