Fergie – Not signing Van Der Vaart was a huge mistake

by Charlie Coffey

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

When Sir Alex Ferguson signed an unknown striker called Bebe from the second tier of Portuguese football in August, few predicted he would be responsible for Rooney’s departure from the club. No, it was not the finesse, vision or finishing ability of Bebe (who had been offered around on a free transfer to anyone who would take him just three months before United paid an outrageously inflated price of £7.4 million) that may in effect oust Rooney from the club, but the fact that the ‘deal’ represented a gross misuse of the small fraction of United’s revenue Malcolm Glazer made available after using the rest to pay off his mortgage bill.

Why, Rooney may have thought, after already signing the proven young talent of Javier Hernandez, did Ferguson spunk away the remainder of the transfer budget on a striker he had never watched, when the area of the team that needed strengthening was so obviously the centre of midfield? Rooney is blaming Glazer for his decision to seek a new club, but if Ferguson had used the money at his disposal to buy a proven playmaker, Rooney may have been content to stay, and United would very likely have turned many of the single points earned by their six draws this season into three.

United’s over-reliance on Rooney last season was eventually exposed. The team needed investment, and with over £25 million having been spent it still does. Alex Ferguson: “We will invest in signature players when the time is ready. This summer wasn’t right for me. There was no value.” Ferguson gives himself a patient, frugal air here, but what actually happened was that he bought Bebe anyway, when if he had actually been patient, as Harry Redknapp was, he could have got Rafael van der Vaart for roughly the same price.

Fergie’s probably right though, there was no value. In return for £8 million and £40,000-a-week Spurs only got a player who (a) has proven international and Champions League quality, (b) is creative, (c) scores goals from midfield, (d) is an expert set piece taker and (e) adds width to Spurs’ midfield by virtue of his left foot; five qualities United are crying out for. Add to this the fact that van der Vaart was more or less bending over for Ferguson in public whilst declaring his desire to join United, and also that he has at least five more years of top-class football left in him, and you can see why £7.4 million for an unknown striker represents poor business in comparison.

Ferguson on Bebe: “it was one of those instinctive things, you have a smell about something and you take it”. If his sense of smell is what he used to decide on the signing of Bebe whilst in a different country, it must be powerful yet woefully inaccurate, which nicely sums up Bebe if the reports are to be believed.

Read Charlie Coffey’s brilliant blog at my11.com.

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  • Spoon

    Yet more Bebe bashing… Ridiculous. There is only one thing worse than the published press and that is the bedroom blogger idiots posting crap like this under the guise of a considered article. Nothing but an opinion and should be kept to yourself.

  • Absolute …

    Terrible article….It’s so bad, you are getting 81 characters in my response…

  • http://bob.com bob

    Usual shit blog that you post trying to wind people up. Really isnt worth the minutes of life lost to read it.

  • nik

    spoon thats ur opinion should of kept it to yourself, have u seen any thing from bebe that makes u think he is worth as much as vdv?

  • datopage2

    Misleading title “Fergie – Not signing Van Der Vaart was a huge mistake” highly self opiniated piece … cant grace this effort as an article, sorry

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