How Man Utd is losing the plot with Van Persie

Wenger knows what Fergie should: Midfield matters most

Arsene Wenger knows something Sir Alex Ferguson should know.

Last year’s Premier League title was not won by the team with the highest scoring strikers.

It was won by the team that dominated the mid-field.

Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney were the top two scorers in the league last year yet both their teams at the time, Arsenal and Manchester United respectively, did not win the title. Did not win anything in fact.

Which is why Wenger has no problem selling Van Persie.

Instead, Wenger is busy stock-piling midfielders – both of the holding and attacking variety.

There is no use having RVP if you cannot get the ball to him, went Fergie’s logic after the Everton disaster.

In fact, Fergie has to rethink his whole team shape and may suddenly realise that having an array of attackers means nothing if the likes of Maruanne Fellaini and Leon Osman can over-run you in midfield.

Wenger on the other hand is showing some astute moves.

Wenger has confirmed he is hoping to make two more signings this summer - with one of them almost certain to be Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin.

That leaves him with a choice of Sahin, Cazorla, Arteta, Diaby and Tomas Rosicky, with Jack Wilshere still to come.

Then there is the scope for Yann M'Vila to come to the Emirates, a Wenger target from the beginning.

M'Vila, 22, is also wanted by Tottenham Hotspur, but Wenger might well be keen to have a dominant midfield.

The Gunners' sale of Alex Song to Barcelona, might once again be seen as good business when you look at the replacements.

Now let’s look at United.

Apart from the fact that Everton played a game of their lives, United had a back four that makes you wonder why after a whole season of those problems, an entire off season, they started the new season with the same problem.

New signing Alex Buttner may ease the pain of having a list that includes Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jones and Johny Evans, but starting with Michael Carrick.

That four had no protection from a midfield where Paul Scholes now looks his age and Tom Cleverley seems over keen to get the ball to Scholes and Rooney irrespective of what other choices he has.

Carrick was needed in midfield to hunt down and take out Fellaini.

If United do not get their midfield act together, they can kiss the title goodbye.

Which makes the likes of Luka Modric and perhaps the new rumours of Kaka all the more pertinent.

Unless, Rooney drops back and Van Persie is the point man up front.

Thanks to Kagawa’s brilliant debut there is hope, but there does not seem to be a plan.

Unlike at the Emirates, where Wenger is preparing to win the battle where it matters – in the middle of the field.


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