Date: 24th November 2005 at 7:58pm
Written by:

Ever since Roy Keane walked out the door at Manchester United, every man and his dog have their opinion about who will replace the holding midfielder.

Realistically they only have three options. Spend big and hope like they essentially did in bringing Keane to replace Bryan Robson some 12 years ago. This is the high-risk option that the Glazers might not be interested in taking. The main pretenders would include Danielle De Rossi, Patrick Vieira (however unlikely) and Steven Gerrard (equally unlikely). Whatever the case, this would put enormous pressure on the newcomer to succeed with the ?New Roy Keane? tag.

The second option is the route Sir Alex Ferguson seems to be taking at this current time, introducing Alan Smith to the midfield role. Nearly every ex-professional has given his opinion on Alan Smith being an anchorman.

Truth be told, this would be the least favoured resort for most United fans after failing to see the midfield combination of Smith and Scholes impose themselves against sides such as Villareal and Lille. Maybe, just maybe, Sir Alex has inadvertedly found a replacement for Paul Schools when the dangerous supplier decides to call it a day.

The final solution would be to re-jig the team. New formation, some new blood and a new perspective. It is important for the hierarchy at the club to notice that a major club such as Real Madrid have failed to replace one of their lesser ex-Galacticos, Claude Makelele. Madrid have tried and failed in both of the above options, buying poor replacements and trying to convert Guti or even David Beckham into a holding midfielder.

On the other hand, Arsenal seem to have gotten over their Patrick Vieira departure blip and have slightly changed their style of play. This mainly involves more men trying to get behind the ball when they are not in possession.

Maybe Evolution of the team is the key and not trying to find identical players for identical positions.

By Kevin Moran