Are the constant comings and goings more trouble than they are worth?
As we get set to begin the third season of the post-Fergie era, supporters have seen a tremendous turnover in the playing staff.
A club that used to see only two or three arrivals and departures over the summer now sees handfuls.
I think we’d all agree that some upgrades and changes were necessary, and that in retrospect Sir Alex got more out of his teams than we had previously factored in.
But is all this chopping and changing having a negative effect?
First, let’s take a look at the starting eleven from the Moyes era, Louis Van Gaal’s first season and the projected starters for this weekend:
- Of today’s squad – only David de Gea, Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney are likely to participate in all three contests. Assuming Dave is still here, and let’s pray that he is.
- Michael Carrick, Antonio Valenica and Chris Smalling didn’t make the cut due to various injuries. And still around is Anders Lindegaard, who was an unused substitute in 2013.
- Losing Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra in one go was too much. We placed a heavy burden on Smalling, Jones and Jonny Evans – who is conspicuous by his absence in any of these squads.
- The centre of defence still needs attention. Even during the beginning of their respective declines, Rio and Vida were a great combo.
- On the other hand, that pesky central midfield looks to be sorted.
- Wayne Rooney could have his third different opening day strike partner in Memphis Depay.
- There are 10 players who have departed in two years time – and that only includes those that are on the chart. The number is 16 if you count unused subs from 2013 and 2014! Fabio, Wilf Zaha, Shinji Kagawa, Ben Amos, Michael Keane and Reece James are all gone.
- We are also using at least our third formation during this period – from the Moyes-era 4-4-2, to the attempt at 3-5-2, and today’s 4-3-3 [or whatever variant we will deploy]. This doesn’t include the 4-1-4-1 that we settled on during the back half of last season.
- If you count players who were in and around the first team, the total turnover has been almost 15 inbound and 20 outbound squad members. That’s a lot of new nameplates in the changing room in two calendar years. Pity the kit man!
So there you have it. A lot of talking points as we approach the new campaign and there could still be transfer business done.
Are you hoping that we settle on a group of players and give them time to gel as a team, or are you happy to see us still tinkering until we get it right?