Manchester United 09/10 Season Preview

Posted by Saim Saturday, August 01, 2009
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Will Manchester United be Premier League Champions for 19th record time?
Will it be another season of European conquests?
Will the side feel the pinch of players moving away?
A look at what could be in the new season.

And thus it begins...the 09/10 Premiership season is here. After an off season of excessive heartbreak in the transfer window and a trip to the east, Manchester United are set to kickoff the new season with dreams of acquiring the title for a fourth unprecedented successive time, a feat which if completed would further add to the mythical nature of the club.

The te
am that will now come out to achieve this daunting task will be visibly different from the one which left Rome on that fateful night in dismay and despair. For starters, the world's best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, has decided to finally fulfill his childhood dream and gone off to Madrid, Spain. Also, the once fan favorite Carlos Tevez decided to jump on the cash laden Manchester City bandwagon and then went on a tirade of sorts against the Gaffer. In the meanwhile, Fergie has added Antonio Valencia to the squad to make up for Ronaldo, the winger. However, the more daunting task of replacing Ronaldo, the goalscorer has fallen to an old Kop warhorse, Michael Owen. Saddled also with the mythical shirt No. 7 is the same man. So what does the season hold for us?

Will it be a 4th successive Premiership title for us? Will this be the season when we finally knock "Liverpool off their f***ing perch"? Or will the loss of Ronaldo whiff the flame? Will we see our crown get snatched away by The Italian diamond studded Chelsea?
These are all questions which no one knows the answers to. These will only be answered in due course of the season. What we look to do is to give a seasonal preview of how it could all pan out for us.

Starting from the back, this is going to be Van Der Sar's last season. And his injury at the beginning gives a chance to Ben Foster to try and cement himself for the next season as our No.1. Whether that happens though is a very pertinent question considering the performance he put forth in the Community Shield.

The defense looks pretty much sorted with Rio and Vidic being the best defensive pairing in the world today. Backing them will be the fast emerging Johny Evans and once again fit Wes Brown who will also be pushing for a first team right back position. The left back position is filled with Evra and there is no cause for concern there. O'Shea will start as the No.1 right back but the performances of Rafael will be kept in notice by the Gaffer and he will start quite a few games as well.

The midfield however, is the area which has all of us worried. The loss of Ronaldo, coupled with the injury layoff of Owen Hargreaves have led to a seemingly thin midfield. Add the fact that Scholes and Giggs are no longer 90 min players and Anderson and Nani have flattered too often to deceive and you would get the worrying picture.

The silver lining amongst all this however is the emergence of Darren Fletcher as a world class defensive midfielder. If United hope to add trophies to the cabinet this season then Fletcher would need to not only repeat but excel his last season's performances. Michael Carrick will again be looked upon to be the creative genius in midfield. The wings will be taken care of by newly acquired Valencia, tireless Ji sung Park and a hopefully better Nani. Fergie would also be hoping that Scholes and Giggs have some fuel in the tank.

In the striking department the first choice pairing will be Wayne and Berbatov with everyone hoping that Berba shines as he did at Spurs. Owen will be used for the injection of pace and clinical finishing. However, everyone is looking to Wayne to accept the mantle of "the" man for us and hold true to the promise he once showed. Macheda and Welbeck will be able understudies and will be used as substitutes.

So, while the squad has undeniably lost two very good players, it is still capable of challenging on all fronts. It is a weakened side obviously, after all you don't not get weakened after selling the best player in the world, but the challenge lies in adapting to a new system which is more based on team work rather than on the individual brilliance of individuals.

It remains to be seen how the season unfolds, whether we do go on to capture the record 19th title or a record third straight European Cup final place will depend on how the existing players perform and adapt to the new responsibilities.

What should be the 1st choice midfield combo for United?