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Discussion thread: Premier League 2012/13 - Team Preview - Manchester Utd
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- Position Last Year – 2nd
- League odds – 3.25 (BlueSq)
- FA Cup odds – 8 (BetVictor)
- League Cup odds – 10 (Bet365)
- Champions League odds – 13 (StanJames)
Who’s in who’s out?
- In – Nick Powell, Shinji Kagawa, Robin Van Persie
- Out – Ben Amos (loan), Ji-Sung Park, Michael Owen, Fabio da Silva (loan), Tomasz Kuszczak
Does that mean they’ve improved?
If a little bit older translates to a little bit wiser than there’s no midfield in the country that’s more thoughtful. Unfortunately that comes with the average age of the Saga holiday demographic and those legs won’t be able to play on forever. That said, the average age of the first 11 will probably go down now that Van Persie - a spritely 29 - has signed on in the last 24 hours says it all.
Make no mistake, signing Van Persie is a clear indication that Ferguson wants to win the league this year - possibly with the aim of going out on a high. It’s not in his nature (or the owners business model) to sign anyone much past 20 for a fee, so this signing has the feel of quick fillup - although looking at their squad it’s not exactly an area that seemed that thin.
Even if Berbatov, as expected, follows Owen (that’s right, he was still there) through the exit door this summer, they still had strength in that area. What we might see (as we did for parts of last season) is Rooney moving back into a high midfield role to become the long term replacement for Paul Scholes. Kagawa is also an impressive acquisition (see below) and although Powell is young he has bucket loads of potential but will find himself well down the pecking order this year.
Where will they finish this year – 2nd
Ferguson clearly wants to go out on a high, but Man City - even though slow in the market this year - are still the team to beat. It’ll go down to the wire again, maybe not last-kick-of-the-last-game-wire-close, but close nonetheless. Those noisy neighbours just wont be going away...
Player worth watching?
The new guy Kagawa. Is he a shirt salesman (seemingly a one in one out policy for Asian footballers at Utd at the moment), or a genius? German viewers might go for the latter, but it’s a whole different league and not everyone makes the transition well. Being able to feed quality strikers should make his job easier, in fact Rooney and Van Persie could probably make most people look effective over the course of a season.
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Who would they want back?
A midfield general to replace the ageing field marshals they currently have shuffling their slippers around Old Trafford: Roy Keane would fit the bill, and who wouldn’t want to see a few more reducers this year?
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