A hugely important summer in the transfer market for Sir Alex?

As the noisy neighbours begin to establish themselves in the blue half of Manchester, Sir Alex Ferguson will surely need to look over a number of incredibly disappointing results so far this season and re-establish his side as the dominant club in Manchester when the summer transfer window kicks in.

When Manchester City became the richest club in football, marking their intention with the signing of Robinho and then vowing to purchase every major superstar in Europe, Alex Ferguson simply seemed to dismiss them as an annoying younger brother trying to make himself heard—and rightfully so. The Manchester United boss has managed to overcome every challenge he’s had to face: from Keegan’s Newcastle, Arsenal’s Invincibles to, most recently, Abramovich’s millions, Ferguson continues to swat away those who attempt to dethrone him from the summit of the Premier League. But as the second half of the season begins to gather momentum, the reigning champions still find themselves in second place to their city rivals and off the back of a number of disappointing results over the festive period. With all the resources at Manchester City, and despite where the title ends up this season, could this summer be one of the most important during Ferguson’s time at United?

There is absolutely no reason to suggest that Manchester City will out-do United for the next five consecutive years; history dictates that there has never and might never be a situation like that where Sir Alex is involved. However, the shortcomings in this United side are plain for all to see; there could even be a suggestion that the purchases made by the club in recent transfer windows are not of the quality to combat the current threats in the league and in Europe. As Wayne Rooney has expressed in the past, he does not feel the club are showing enough ambition with the type of player they are bringing in.

Now, far be it from me to suggest where Alex Ferguson is going wrong in his transfer policy, but there are supporters who can see that a creative outlet in the centre of the pitch is perhaps the area of the squad that needs addressing first. There is a great core of young players, especially in the possible future centre-back pairing in Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, but the squad do need taking to the next level. But if the unthinkable happens—from a United fan’s perspective at least—and City win the league title and continue to attract star players who will further their club’s reputation, should there be cause for concern for at least the short-term future of Manchester United, considering as well that Ferguson could be calling it a day within the next few years.

Surely the last thing the Manchester United manager wants to do is retire with the club as second best in the city. It would be a tremendous shame considering what he has done to overhaul Liverpool’s 18 league titles and continue to place the club in the top three or four in Europe. But much like the case at other clubs in the Premier League and around Europe, there is a necessary cause for action amongst managers who need to keep up with ever-changing landscape of football.

At the same time, I also believe Alex Ferguson has enough respect for every new challenge that comes up against the dynasty he has created. A manager who lives for the challenges that people such as Jose Mourinho present; there is very little reason to believe he won’t take action when it’s needed. But that time must come in the summer. As City look to impress the world and strike fear into the Premier League with a huge spending spree, Sir Alex needs to bite back with an equally impressive move. It allows the club to keep face in what will be another intense battle next season.

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