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New Manchester United signing Falcao provides the Glitz but where is the Grit?

By: Chris Buchanan 02 Sep 2014 10:06:01

New Manchester United signing Falcao provides the Glitz but where is the Grit?

There is no doubt Falcao's mega bucks move to Manchester United Radamel Falcao sent shockwaves around the world. Yet the majority of United fans will be asking is this more of a luxury signing more than a necessity.

Louis van Gaal's record so far needs massive room for improvement. The Dutchman has been saying that his side will take several months to mould to play the way he wants.

Despite United spent over £150 million on players this summer. There is no doubt the squad needed massive reinvestment, but has the money been spent wisely?

Falcao and £60 million new signing Di Maria are certainly the most eye catching amongst the new recruits. But with Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw also costing £30 million each there is no doubt United have overpaid.

All this stems from Ed Woodward’s statement saying that United can pay any fee for a player. Chairmen across Europe must've been slept with their phones waiting for call from Old Trafford.

A lot of criticism has come the way of Woodward who has failed to sign any big names for the past two years. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were mentioned last year, whilst Fabregas and Vidal have been rumoured this season.

Reports suggest that the Red Devils will be paying over £300,000 a week of Falcao's wages, costing £24 million for just one year, with a view to a purchase next season.

When Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge he often mocked big-spending clubs such as local rivals Manchester City. ‘We invest in young players,’ he told the gathering at the Player of the Year dinner. ‘That is what we are good at — we’re not like other clubs who can spend fortunes on proven goods. We know that Manchester City are going to pay stupid money, pay silly salaries and all that. We can’t do anything about it.

‘We concentrate on what we can do to try to bring players in for the right reasons. We invest in those who will be with the club for a long time, who will create the character of the club, who will create excitement for our fans. We are very proud of that and we are going to continue that way.’

How times have changed.

The signing of Di Maria and Falcao are more like 'Galactico' signings, more than necessities. There is no dispute that the players are world-class, yet every football fan looking at United this season knew what Manchester United needed.

Van Gaal insisted at the weekend that he still believed in 3-5-2. Are Rooney and Mata now operating as central midfield players? Van Gaal may be a tactical genius but he would have to be a wizard to make this work.

The old philosophy that United will simply outscore you is a little naive. This idea was based on the spine that Ferguson had built on players such as Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. The Red Devils current defenders shadow in comparison.

United’s lack of investment over the years has left them in a state of crises. van Gaal will be hoping that the goals of Falcao, Rooney and van Persie will fire them to glory. Only time will tell if the lack of spending on a new centre-back and a dominant defensive midfielder will back fire.

Right now, however, it is harder to locate United's grand vision amid the flurry of expensive activity. Even their defensive improvements seem concentrated on one side of the pitch. Luke Shaw is a left back, or a left wing-back under van Gaal; Daley Blind is a left back or left-sided defensive midfielder; Marcos Rojo is a left centre back, who played five games for Argentina in the World Cup, three times as a left back, twice as a left wing-back.

Stupid money, silly salaries, and players piling up in the same position. It is fair to say if United have had a plan in this transfer window, it is fundamentally floored.


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