The Treble column: June 21. Manchester United opinion on three topics, every weekday.
James Garner really might be like a new signing
Going back to the days under Sir Alex Ferguson, the line ‘He’s like a new signing’ was often trotted out with regard to a player returning from injury, to cover up a lack of investment. Fans can see straight through it.
We are likely to hear it with Donny van de Beek upon his return from loan, and possibly even Anthony Martial if he fancies re-igniting his passion for football. In both cases, it’s not a phrase we want to hear.
With James Garner, it’s a little different. Garner has never been a regular contributor to Manchester United’s first team, with his last appearance back in 2019. If he can seize an opportunity as a regular this season in Erik ten Hag’s midfield, he genuinely would bring something new to the team.
Put it this way; if Manchester United identified Garner as a key player in Nottingham Forest’s promotion campaign, who scored and created goals, and then went out and spent -20 15-20 million to sign him, there would be a lot more excitement about his role this season.
Garner is ready for a crack at United’s first team, he’s strong on and off the ball, and has learned a lot during his past two seasons out on loan.
This summer he will get a fresh chance to stake a claim for a role at Manchester United, under a new manager who has proven he will give youth a chance. The 21-year-old could become one of the surprises of the season, and he might really be just like a new signing in the Red Devils’ midfield.
Manchester United need depth too
Manchester United seem to be the only club in the Premier League not allowed to have depth, according to radio pundits.
Danny Murphy, the same ex-Liverpool player who thinks Gareth Southgate should be Manchester United manager, tells Talksport‘I do not get it’, when asked about Christian Eriksen’s possible move to Old Trafford.
He went onto describe it as ‘strange’, asking how Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes could possibly play together.
Guess what, depth is important. Manchester United have 16 Premier League games plus six Europa League games before the World Cup break, crammed into a three month stretch, playing twice a week.
We have already seen that overplaying Fernandes is not sustainable, he needs help, and on a free, Eriksen would be a shrewd, sensible move.
It’s funny, we do not hear these complaints from radio pundits when Liverpool or Manchester City add to their squad. Imagine if United had spent £ 100 million on Jack Grealish and used him as a substitute all year, we would never hear the end of it.
Glazer dividends are distasteful and insulting
Gary Neville is right to call out the Glazers taking dividends and demand it to stop. Where have you been the last 17 years Gary?
Better late than never, and Neville’s voice is valuable in building up pressure on the club’s owners, who will no doubt continue their greedy ways.
This year alone the Glazers are set to siphon off £ 22 million in dividends from the club, into their own bank accounts.
United are the only club where owners do this, and the Glazers do not put any of their own money in.
They do not care about the team coming off its worst ever Premier League season, or that the club are struggling to land new manager Erik ten Hag’s first choice transfer targets. So long as they get their money.
The day Manchester United are finally free of Glazer ownership will be a worthy day of lining the streets with a parade of celebration.