With cash and youth. As I sat and watched Barcelona “o-lay” their way around the United midfield for 80+ minutes, I could only clench my fists as I yelled at the television, “Why are we walking?” It was clear that we were out of sorts, or maybe out of place. The once sturdy, dependable, efficient midfield play of Giggs and Scholes suddenly looked inept as United continued to chase it’s tail in the second half.
There are a few players in the squad now that were brought in to train as replacements for these legends. They were brought in to learn from the legends how to play, not just the position, but play for Manchester United. They were brought in for games just like this, to do what Giggs and Scholes have done for so many years. None have impressed. That is why we were left to depend on our legends to carry us once again.
For this game Ferguson chose Anderson to start over Scholes, because of his play in the victories over Arsenal, twice, and Porto, but he was kid among men against Barcelona. Substituted at half time, Anderson, dubbed the next Paul Scholes, has not been close to reaching that expectation. Each young player that has been tipped to replace Giggs or Scholes has left the United faithful scratching their collective head. There have been moments, or maybe minutes, where we have seen flashes of this promise from a few, but nothing close to what these legends have given United the past decade and a half. So how do you replace legends? I’m not sure how, but I’m sure Ferguson is looking.