Remember the era of 93’s to around 2000’s, when United had mid-fielders like Paul Ince, Bryan Robson, Roy Keane? These were those players who could change from being a CDM to a CAM in a single match and confuse tacticians of the opposing team.
Those were some glory days for the red devils, with the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs adding to the creativity of the midfield. As the years passed by , the Gaffer bought in Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher into the central role with Ji-Sung Park used efficiently as and when required.
And who can forget the “Red Ronaldo“? No one surely can.
These guys combined such a midfield which had creativity, speed and yes the defence capabilities too.
Fast forwarding to the year 2011, Scholes’s retiring, Fletcher hits the hospital for a long stint and Carrick past his prime and creativity. This year Robin Van Persie and Bundesliga’s best player was brought in to solve the midfield problems of United, the name was Shinji Kagawa . Van Persie made it to the line ups for many matches but Kagawa couldn't do that. The media showered SAF with comments like he is wasting talent, but maybe there is another angle to it.
Kagawa was a magician in the German league but when the switch was made to the English Premier League , maybe he never considered the playing conditions , weather and most importantly a majority of the players in this league are well-built and this played a huge role in his inconsistency. Yes, he has a tactical mind , speed , creativity , control but he doesn't have the body that fit’s the English League style .
Looking back at the United year’s , most of the central-midfielders were hard tacklers , even Paul Scholes’s and especially Roy Keane . Both pace and defensive capabilities added to the midfield in those days.
Plus, United never played the short tiki-taka style , it always relied on long balls , thrashing runs , crosses .
The problem arises that both Mata and Kagawa are the short passing type players , more like the shorter version of tiki-taka and combining them with the rest 9 men on the pitch has become difficult.
Juan Mata never fitted the United philosophy , yes he is a terrific player but it will not be long till he will be gone.
Report’s suggest Arutro Vidal as a possibility , and he certainly is what United must be looking for . A hard tackler , has vision for long balls , holds the ground and yes he can be the next Roy Keane . Louis Van Gaal is looking for his own “ de jong ” at United and it won’t be long until he unloads off some good name’s .
The future for Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa looks weak unless they prove their capabilities in their role or are offering to play any role for the tactician.