Should they have signed these players in the summer?
Can United attract the extra players the manager desperately needs?
Has Mike Ashley any intention of supporting the manager with new players?
Questions, questions, questions; will we as fans still be scratching our heads at the end of January or banging them off a brick wall?
Alan Pardew has reflected on the difficulties of dealing in this transfer window;
“We are having to look at our squad because we are stretched, especially defensively. We have made some calls to try to find out who is available, but it’s a difficult window. You want to try to get a good player in a window when teams don’t want to lose their good players, so it’s not just difficult for us, it’s difficult for every team. You locate a player, but then they have got to get a replacement and is another first-team going to let a replacement go? There’s a knock-on effect”.
We all know from past experience that January isn’t the best time to look for bargains and as the manager outlines above, why would teams let key players leave if they can’t get a replacement?
Obviously Newcastle have done exactly that with the likes of Given and Carroll allowed to leave without replacements.
Whatever the merits of the transfer fee received for the pony-tailed one, at that time we desperately needed another striker to play alongside Carroll and a year on we still desperately need another one to play with our main attacking force, in this case the outstanding Demba Ba.
It was false economy in the summer when Ashley didn’t sanction at least one more striker and defender. How much are the points worth that have gone missing when we’ve had to play the likes of Perch, Lovenkrands and Shola, plus I’d even add Leon Best to that lkist because for all his workrate he is not a front line striker.
West Brom’s Shane Long isn’t a world beater but he is clearly head and shoulders above our lot, with the exception of Ba obviously and Ben Arfa who I don’t count as an out and out striker.
With somebody like Long and a similar standard defender we could easily have had 6 or 7 more points and be sitting in fourth!
There were great foundations to build on and the chance was missed in the summer, bearing in mind the African Nations coming up rebuilding work is needed this January as an essential.
Failure to do so could well see things really fall apart, not just a few matches lost.