Manchester United players who were not involved in the World Cup ended their eight week holiday. Monday was the unofficial start of the season for the club with most of the players returning to begin their shape-up work for the new league season.
The real business starts in a little under five weeks so it's more or less still holiday time but given the failures last season and the expectation at the club, you can only hope that the players really give us something to look forward to next year in pre-season.
Before all the pre-season talk, one or two stories in the press this week need mention. The first would be that the club are finally getting 'officially' linked to the best players on the market. It's something that we've not had come our way since the Glazer situation. We'd all like to take that as a positive.
Secondly Owen Hargreaves; Now the one reason as to why I was not so up in arms about our blunt transfer activity was this lad. Hargo has no played a game for us in over 20 calender months. That's two seasons of football. So I viewed his return to the side as a major new signing for us. He's great going forward and defensively and there are not many players around who bring what he can bring to the party.
So when Sir Alex ruled him out of the start of the season, my heart sunk. We paid close o 20million for him but it seems his contribution in helping us win the Double in 2008 is all we shall ever remember him for.
I now think that the manager must invest in another attacking midfielder to solve the crisis---yes crisis in our midfield. If Carrick doesn't step up from last season, then I'm afraid the blame will not be on our forwards next season but on the lack of creativity in the middle.
I recently blogged here that it is unlikely that we will suffer a similar injury crisis like we did last season. Well, I'm now thinking that we just might. I mean we could start the season without as many as six first team players. It's really sad that we are losing players for the opening games.
A rather strong enough squad has been announce by the manager for pre-season so hopefully we'll get to see some good performances over in America, Canada and Mexico.