Love him or loathe him, there is no doubt that Chris Morgan is United’s leader both on and off the field and he will be sorely missed for the rest of the season. United confirmed what every United fan feared last week by conceding that his injury, picked up against Coventry, was going to see him sidelined until July.
His absence from our struggling side will not help our predicament and it is now time for all the players to stand up and become leaders in their own right otherwise this could be a long and hard season. Chris Morgan is United’s talisman just like Gerrard is for Liverpool and Terry for Chelsea.
He has a very strong presence in the changing room and is one of those players you would rather have in your side rather than competing against you. Sometimes he will get on the wrong side of the referee but as fans we know he is doing it for the club that he loves.
Whether we are going to find ourselves in a relegation or promotion battle come the end of the season one thing is certain – Morgan is the man to lead us and we will miss him. I am sure he will still be behind the scenes assisting the management but this is not the same as being on the pitch leading from the front. He will be as frustrated as anyone by this.
January may see Gary Speed dip in to the transfer market to try and replace him. All will depend on how the players in the squad react and perform. A player of his experience and standing will be very difficult to replace but undoubtedly we will need someone to marshal our defence for the remainder of the season.
Morgan has played over 250 times for United compared to the limited experience that his defensive colleagues have had at Bramall Lane. He has also captained the club for six years. Not only is he experienced at United but he symbolises what United are all about – hard-working, committed and honest.
Having the club engrained in a player takes time to materialise but his potential replacements don’t have this luxury. Yes, you can say that Morgan is only one player in the team but he is more than that and the fans appreciate that he is a major loss.
With problems scoring goals, particularly at home, it is important the defence is solid and can at least give us a chance of victory. Morgan’s leadership gave us every chance of keeping a clean sheet and I hope some of his attributes rub off on his team mates.
Despite concerns from the fans we are right behind whatever combination Speed decides to select in defence. I am sure they will do their best for the club and we will give our 100% backing from the terraces to whoever pulls on the red and white shirt this season.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.