The odds that there is anyone in the world that imagined we would be entering the last few weeks of the European campaigns with the current United and Milan situation (even standing by themselves) would probably need to start gambling. Although we at The Center Circle had doubts about United being able to mount a true title campaign, there was little doubt about their ability to remain in the top four and retain Champions League football. With Milan, despite great personnel losses, a returning Kaka and an ever-improving Balotelli seemed likely to allow Milan the ability to stay near Italy’s elite. However, we now sit in a position where both massive clubs are in a downward spiral…so who can look towards the future and at least feel that their future is not as dim as the present?
For AC Milan, the money is not coming…at least not without sacrifice. There is hope in a return of El Shaarawy, but the big European vultures are circling the young talent and Milan would be hard pressed to deny a big money bid. Balotelli has changed from a savior to a thorn in the side of Milan, and it seems that the Italian striker can only function properly if every single aspect of his footballing life is in a positive state (playing time/goal-scoring/team success/other random aspects) and his transfer value is not going the direction Milan may want it to be. If Robinho is not sent back to Brazil for a decent amount of money, then somebody in Milan’s front office needs to be sacked. New manager Clarence Seedorf cannot be expected to drag a despondent team back from the bottom half of the table, so there is no true way of telling whether he is the man for the job. Unlike a manager that has been given sufficient time, seeing what Seedorf can have Milan do after a summer of work may be the only way to gauge Seedorf’s ability.
For Milan, the future is bleak…especially considering Roma, Napoli, and Inter seem unlikely to go anywhere any time soon. Sad times for one of the most decorated Champions League clubs of all time…sad times…
For Manchester United, there will be some massive spending this summer and there needs be one KEY sacrifice. Moyes needs to be shipped out on the first possible train/flight/bus. If the club is smart, they will use him as a scapegoat for this campaign and let him go a bit closer to the end of the season. That way, the club can enter summer dealings with a fresh face and a positive sense floating around Old Trafford. If Moyes is still at the helm, it will be difficult to convince any new players that the club is actually heading in the right direction. Rodgers kept his job with Liverpool because they were not great when he took over, but Moyes is not trying to return United back to the top – he was trying to keep them there. He failed – sack him. There are a million rumors about which players are going to come in and fix the issues plaguing United across the pitch, but the club definitely need one new face at every section of the field. A new striker, at least one new midfielder, and one new defender should be coming in as United should shift out some of the misfiring attackers to the highest bidder. They are stuck with Rooney’s massive contract, so the club should build around the Englishman as he only has a few more years being the face of the Red Devils. The money is there, but brains will be required in order to make it pay.
For United, the future is anything but certain…but there is no way that the club will allow itself to finish as low as it is this season. Whether by financial moves or some other transactions, United’s return is only a matter of time.
This European season has provided stories and drama that could have never been imagined. Even the FIFA video game spits out more believable stories, but that is what makes this game so great. If the next road to May creates anything remotely like this, then we will be in for a real treat…especially with the World Cup build-up leading up to the upcoming season. I – love – this – game!