Some believe United would be a better team with Louis not only a regular if not automatic starter. I personally do not hold with this opinion, he is nearly 30 and questions are still being asked how good he really is and some people still talk about his potential. At 17, 18,19,20, even in his early 20s I think to a certain degree we can make excuses for a player but at nearly 30? Surely Not.
For about 15 games he was a regular starter at United last season before that he was an excellent squad player and used only when we had little choice for the critical games. When Larsson came he was again moved back to a squad player and Giggs was given to partnering Rooney towards the end of the season.
Saha has a goalscoring average of something like 1 in 3 with United including coming on as a sub and scoring from the penalty spot, considering he isn’t played in most of the more difficult games and the fact United attack more than probably any other team in the Premiership, that isn’t good enough.
At a club such as United we need top class strikers and Ruud’s record obviously puts Saha’s to shame. Now I’m not saying a striker’s role should only be goalscoring, there is obviously so much more to great strikers than this but Saha is limited in what he can do, he has electric pace and a fine header of the ball with an eye for goal but his consistency has never been there to make him in to a top international striker with either his club or country moreover he is limited in his vision and creativity. His work rate his good without being outstanding.
So with these attributes you may think I would like to see Saha stay at United, unfortunately not so, the time has come to just release him from his contract. While he can still perform on his day when his head and body are right I don’t think that is good enough.
Recently on the radio I heard a an ex player say most professionals would be fully fit for no more than 12 games per season they all have niggles and pulls etc but carry on. Now if this is seen by others and accepted it could have an effect.
For example if you are a player in a team and see others going through a brick wall and carrying on playing with painful injuries you feel you have to do the same but if others are not pulling their weight it can spread. Some players may think why should I put my neck on the line if he isn’t!
I think it is well known Fergie’s personality has rubbed off on players under his control and that is a major feature why we have been so successful.
Players look for managers to show weakness and jump on them, you could see it spread through Chelsea with a few players not pulling their weight. Winning mentality ethos is probably the single most important attribute a player can have without that and with all the ability in the world will not do much with his career, I fear Saha is of a similar mindset where he has failed to make the most of his ability.
It is doubtful another club would buy him with his wages and wont pay a salary, I think it is time we waved goodbye and wished him luck. The odd good game may not balance the negative attributes he spreads through the squad!