Top seven conclusions on Manchester United’s new number 7

Posted by - July 14, 2009 - Conclusions, Lists, Manchester United

Michael Owen bags iconic shirt

1. Manchester United fans are not very happy. Zae at Vital Football sums up the shell-shocked response of most United fans. He wrote: “Some might say that we’re making too much fuss over a shirt number but for us it does have a special resonance and it is simply not right that someone like Michael Owen should wear it, especially as he wasn’t fit to pull it on even in his prime.”

2. Sir Alex Ferguson is not stupid. In fact, he is very clever. From a psychological point-of-view, having haggled Owen down over his wage demands this is now a way of building him up and signalling that he can play an important part for United next season.

3. The mind-games don’t stop there. As the probable starting right winger, Antonio Valencia was a more likely candidate. But Fergie knows that giving the Ecuadorian the number 7 shirt would only have increased pressure on him to step into Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoes.

4. People moaning about an ex-Liverpool player being given the number 7 haven’t got a clue. A certain Eric Cantona picked up the same number shortly after joining from Leeds.

5. Injury prone Scousers with dodgy knees can actually stake a strong claim to the shirt: Steve Coppell used to wear it.

6. Yes, great players such as George Best, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona have worn the number 7 shirt but the hype currently surrounding it is a modern invention. David Beckham was still largely unproven when he first took the shirt, as was the most recent incumbent, Cristiano Ronaldo.

7. United have been the best team in the country for the last two decades and one of the best for a long time before that, so you could effectively look at the legendary number 1 shirt or the iconic number 10 shirt and still find that great players have worn it.

  • Joe

    I’d be far more concerned about how to fill the gaping hole left by Ronaldo’s and Tevez’s departures rather than which shirt number Michael Owen wears.

  • Alex D

    Tevez is already replaced, he had great hustle but only contributed 5 goals to the season. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but good ole Berbatov had 9 goals, not to mention being 2nd in the league for assists with 10. I’m okay with Tevez gone, Ronaldo obviously will hurt, but the only thing keeping them from the title is if Rooney steps up or not. Maybe that child will kick his nuts into gear.

  • Joe

    I agreed, Tevez certainly won’t hurt as much as Ronaldo. I’m interested to see how United react to his departure…he opened up so much space for others around him that he’ll be missed for more than just his individual skills. There will be a lot of transition at United with Giggs and Scholes playing smaller and smaller roles, but SAF has turned over his team many times and has only been caught once or twice with a side that didn’t really challenge.