Monday, May 10

Don't Panic

Let's not panic, eh? Yep, we only lifted the Carling Cup all season. However, what some are predicting as wholesale changes is unnecessary and simply won't happen. We came within a point of the Premiership in its most bizarre season yet - after shifting the Greatest Footballer Of All Time, I might add - were ridiculously jinxed in the UCL quarter-final to Bayern Munich, and the FA Cup, well, we won't go there...

If Wayne Rooney never got wounded in Germany, we would most likely be lifting the Premiership for a fourth year in a row. However, these things present themselves every so often and without him, Chelsea looked a cut above us at Old Trafford those few days later, Drogba offside or on.

So, to the squad. Should Dimitar Berbatov depart? Probably. Will he? I doubt it. Unless he's fallen out with the bossman, there's most likely enough deftness there to serve as backup for who we actually do bring in. The only players I expect to exit are Ben Foster, which Sir Alex has virtually admitted to, and Anderson, who reportedly did indeed cross swords with the honcho.

So, coming in... Actually, now to who's already there. Starting from the back, Rafael has simply got to learn from his raw mistakes that arguably cost us the UCL. Jonny Evans, now the go-to support for no Rio Ferdinand/Nemanja Vidic, is still only 22 and improving all the time. In the midfield, Nani and Antonio Valencia will better their respective highly decent seasons. Michael Carrick, who also apparently had words with Fergie, can still do a job confidence-permitting. Darren Fletcher now turns it on for both small and big opposition, while Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have secured another hot-and-cold season each. Up top, Rooney is sure to build on his best year yet. Berbatov's been covered, and Michael Owen could get a new deal if his second term's as good as his first pre-injury. Not forgetting the up-and-down Gary Neville, dependable John O'Shea/Wes Brown, getting-better Darren Gibson and 'returning' Owen Hargreaves. Oh, did I forget Ji-Sung Park and Federico Macheda? They can go, not that they will.

Which leaves us to the entrance door. David Silva, who United went for two seasons ago, would be ideal behind Rooney. At least on paper, anyway. Valencia media have dismissed talk of a move, but how long can he and David Villa stay at the Mestalla, harming their big-team potential? Supposedly promising Fulham defender Chris Smalling, we've already got incoming. So maybe one other. But where? A striker, possibly. But who is another blog post.

See, if this is a 'transitional' season, this year's stars can be next year's icons. That plus "one or two things" as Fergie tells, and we'll be fine. Honest.

Coldplay 'Don't Panic'