As we head into the business end of what has been a very inconsistent season at Old Trafford, the footballing world is at loggerheads over Manchester United.
Has the side improved under new boss Louis Van Gaal? What would make this a successful season for the club?
Historically, nothing less than first place and winning silverware has been the aim for the Old Trafford outfit – however in more recent, troubled times, priorities have significantly changed with expectations lowered.
It has been no secret that the one clear goal for this season was to finish in the Top 4 and qualify for Champions League football; however, with Chelsea and Manchester City both on the sharp end of giant killing’s in the FA Cup – United have been earmarked as the favourites to lift the trophy and have a very realistic chance of doing so.
Despite how nice it would be for the players to win a trophy – the bigger picture suggests a Top 4 finish remains the priority as this would ensure larger financial rewards and the chance to mix it with the biggest clubs in the most elite footballing competition in the world next season.
Should United struggle over the finish line into fourth place – or do the unlikely and go on a run and finish in a comfortable third position; it has to be realised by the manager, as it has been by the fans, that certain players should not be at the club come next season.
Presenter of YouTube channel The Faithful TV, Nathon Woodhead gives us the lowdown on which five players could be shipped out by the boss.
Once upon a time the Irish defender was kept at Old Trafford ahead of Gerard Pique as he possessed greater potential according to Sir Alex Ferguson. The tall centre-half was also mentioned in the same breath as Nemanja Vidic and touted as the next captain of the club.
We are all guilty of over-hyping young footballers who come through the ranks of our own club, and Jonny Evans got this type of treatment to a ridiculous level. Was he ever that good?
At 27 years old, he is no longer a youngster and with mistakes leading to goals over and over again, it is surely time Evans was moved on.
This may seem harsh as Jones is only 23 years old and has time on his side – but having been at Old Trafford for a number of years, he has not progressed one bit from the kid who was brought in with huge potential.
Still reckless, still a headless chicken, still uncomfortable on the ball.
Another player who we expected great things from, the England international is injury prone and fails to string more than five matches together without being out for three months.
Robin Van Persie
In the 2012/13 season, the Dutch striker was simply unplayable. His work-rate, movement and goals won Manchester United the league title and he was on fire. Then Sir Alex Ferguson retired and Van Perise went on a downward spiral under David Moyes.
A revival of the player was assumed to be on the cards when his former international coach Van Gaal arrived at United – but a severe lack of confidence, combined with regular injuries and a loss of pace has ensured the striker is no longer the threat he once was.
The Colombian striker was brought to Old Trafford with a huge reputation – but it simply hasn’t worked out for him. His work-rate and efforts are second to none – but he lacks that creative spark and cutting edge every striker needs to succeed in England.
Should the asking price for Falcao be lowered from £43m to around £20m, perhaps the striker who is currently on loan may find a permanent deal on the table; but that is a big ‘if’ right now.
Mr. Reliable Valencia would be unlucky to be sold in the summer – but the fundamental fact is he is currently only in the side as Van Gaal does not have a right-back he can trust.
The Ecuadorian player is by trade a winger; yet his weakness is taking on his opponent and delivering a cross. Pretty shoddy for a winger.
You cannot argue that he doesn’t work hard and is certainly a model professional; however if the Dutch boss finds a quality right-back to fit the bill, it would probably be the end for Valencia at Old Trafford.
Do you agree with this run-down or has Nathon lost the plot? Get in touch with us today and let us know your views.
Alternatively you can speak to Nathon directly on Twitter: @NathonW