Friday, 6 January 2012
Firstly I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year, and I hope you had a good Christmas. Things have been quiet on here, mostly because the run up to the festive period was ridiculously busy for me, and then I returned to my parents for the holiday season so didn't really have much opportunity to update the blog, now that things are back to normal, it will be a lot more regular again.
I think the best place to start is by previewing the coming month. The importance of January can not be underestimated, we are essentially playing every 3 days for the foreseeable future. In comparison our title rivals have a much easier month, their schedule has been freed up massively after they were knocked out of the Carling Cup by Crystal Palace, they play 4 games between now and February, compared to our 5, it may only be one game, but it could make the world of difference. The title is often won and lost in this month and I think this year could be the same. As we all know United still have to play many of the bigger teams away from home, whereas we only have a trip to the Emirates left, if we can end this month on top or trailing by no more than 4 points, I think we can and probably will take the title.
In terms of league competition we will meet Wigan away, where you would expect us to take 3 points with a weakened team, and then old rivals Tottenham visit Eastlands, Spurs will be a really difficult challenge as always and should they provide an upset they will be even more embroiled in the title race than they already are!
Off the field January is also highly important as well, the transfer window opened on the early hours of New Years Day and will remain that way until the end of the month, this time however things are a bit different, with FFP looming larger than ever we have to be even more responsible than windows gone by. On that very subject there seems to be an element of tension between Roberto Mancini and the powers that be in Abu Dhabi. The suggestions in the newspapers in the last few days seem to indicate that the Italian wanted to bring in a midfielder and a winger over the Summer but was not authorised to do so. It wouldn't take a genius to work out that those 2 targets were probably Daniele De Rossi and Italian winger Alessio Cerci, one of those is seemingly a target for this January.
The impending departure of Yaya Toure is going to make what is already a challenging month even more difficult, and De Rossi could really make it a lot more straight forward. The belief was originally that the club had to sell some players to buy, and it is thought that whilst not all of the incoming money would be made available for new players, some of it would be. As far as I can see if we do manage to finally move on a certain moody Argentine striker, we will have an extra £250,000 a week in the wage budget and around £20million in the transfer pot. Not enough to bring in rafts of new players but potentially enough for De Rossi.
It is not just big names that will be on the way, it would appear that Nedum Onuoha will finally move on for around £2.5million, Wayne Bridge could be removed from the wage bill as well, these departures would also free up some important finances.
It would be a dream to end January in both domestic cup competitions, still 3 or more points clear on top of the table, and it would be even more special if we had secured De Rossi and offloaded Tevez. If that dream is going to become reality we will need to work incredibly hard and obviously some players will have to step up to the plate, Edin Dzeko needs to re find his form and confidence, and Samir Nasri, who personally I think has performed pretty well overall, needs to continue to develop his game and find his exact role in the team.
Things are undeniably going swimmingly, but this month could really make or break the rest of our season, so lets all get behind the team and try to make sure that the dream becomes reality!