For Manchester United players this was a World Cup they will probably want to put behind themselves. Wayne Rooney failed to score for a second straight World Cup as England were disappointingly eliminated in the round of 16 at the hands of Germany. Nemanja Vidic conceded a penalty to Germany which was saved as Serbia knocked off the Germans, but beyond that one win Serbia’s World Cup was short as they joined the long list of European under achievers. Patrice Evra had the worst World Cup of all as he captained the French team to a winless World Cup marred by scandal, controversy and training ground bust-ups. The only two United players who can look back on good memories at the World Cup are Park and our new Mexican signing Chicharito.
Ji-Sung Park led South Korea to a spot in the knockout stages, and scored a goal against the Greeks to boot. Although they lost to Uruguay in the Round of 16, the South Koreans should be happy with their performance at the World Cup and a lot of that came down to the play of their captain, Park. The biggest United story at the World Cup was undoubtedly Chicharito. United’s first ever Mexican scored twice with his goals coming against France and Argentina, the second of which was an absolute beauty. He looks to be real quality, a player who could have a major impact playing with Rooney next season.
It’s funny how a World Cup can change things. About a month ago I set out a wish list of players I wanted to see United go after in the offseason. The number one target I suggested was David Silva who unfortunately has gone to Manchester City this morning, the other was another forward. I think we may be able to get through the season on the forwards we have at the moment though. With Rooney, Berbatov, Owen, Macheda, Chicharito and maybe even Welbeck fighting for spots up front I think the depth is adequate at least for now. I think we should give the guys we have a shot, if it’s not working by January, sure I don’t mind dipping into the transfer market then, but at the moment I’m content. Even with Luis Fabiano knocking on the United door at the moment, we don’t want to splash money on a player who may turn out to be a bench player later in the season.
So as the World Cup continues my pre-tournament prediction of an Argentina-Brazil final still looks good, as do my predictions of Luis Fabiano for the Golden Boot and Lucio for the Golden Ball. Lucio has been just a joy to watch this World Cup, the way he wins the ball at the back and then will carry it forty-fifty yards forward taking on men in the centre of the park, the confidence there is just outstanding. I also would like to tout my vuvuzela for predicting a Germany over England result in the last sixteen (although I had England winning their group and Germany finishing second in theirs).
Although some of the World Cup has been a little dry, as a spectacle so far I’ve loved it. There have been upsets, watching the South American dominance has been fun and then of course there is this young German team which has been enthralling. People who look towards the World Cup as the best football in the world who feel let down are looking in the wrong place if it’s pure football you want to watch the later stages of the Champions League. However what makes the World Cup the greatest sporting competition on the face of the planet is the drama, countries playing each other for national pride in an even that only comes around ever four years. It’s an incredible stage.
That’s all for my ramblings today, sorry for the inconsistent posting I’ve been too busy watching the World Cup to keep up posting, but the blog should be up in full force come the start of the United season, with a bit of a change in direction that should please you Canada supporters out there