Friday 11 December 2015

Young Reds attack in need of genuine match winner

From Denis Law to Robin van Persie via George Best, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo: throughout United's long and glorious history, there has always been a common denominator woven into the club's fabric...

That special X Factor player who can decide the outcome of a game with a magic, match-winning moment conjured from nowhere.

Compare those individuals mentioned above to our current attacking options and it's not hard to see why we're struggling for goals.

Memphis, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard are promising young talents and may well one day be afforded a mention in the same breath as Ronaldo and co. but they are not- for now at least- what I'd call genuine match winners.

They are young and it's their first season in the team but they cannot be relied upon to carry the weight of this side's attacking burden- to do that we need a player whom can not only get us 30 goals a season but also inject life and excitement into the club.

Barcelona have Messi (not to mention Suarez and Neymar), Real have CR7 (and Bale), Bayern have Lewandowski and Muller and PSG have Ibrahimovic and Cavani and- whilst there's no 'i' in team (there are five in 'individual brilliance')- it's clear that these sides would not be elevated to the status they are at present without their talismanic superstars. 

I was this week reading an article about the 2008 side- yes we had Fergie, but with an attack of CR7, Ronaldo, Scholes, Tevez and Giggs, is it any wonder that this side not only won the double but were also considered to be one of our greatest ever teams.

That side had match-winners wherever you looked and was an exceptional blend of youth and experience then... but now an abundance of the former hides an absence of the latter and it's hurting us.

Yes, we still have Rooney but he is 30 now and, having peaked in those double winning days, anyone who has watched the team this season must surely acknowledge that his career has plateaued significantly since then- he is not the player he was back then.

A player such as Thomas Muller would be perfect- not only does he score goals but he creates them, he is versatile, works hard and has an uncanny ability to find the perfect pocket of space at the right moments.

He is unpredictable for sure but then isn't that the type of player that we've always had- a player who gets us up off our seats wondering what is going to happen next? (Eric Cantona as the most obvious example). 

Having tightened the defence and midfield, the attack is surely now the final piece of the jigsaw for Louis van Gaal and the United hierarchy.

Memphis, Martial and Lingard are promising young stars of the future but United's current problem is the present. 

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