Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, Sept 30, 2017
- As routine a United performance as you would ever see against a club which now holds the record for the most number of minutes in the start of a season without scoring a goal. Things are not going to get any better for them as they travel to Stamford Bridge next.
- What impresses me the most about this United is the speed at which they hit off the blocks from the word go! Palace with yet another horrible performance was never going to stop this United juggernaut, without Pogba.
- I thought I would never say this but Fellaini was the standout performer for United today. The more I see him play for United the more he makes me eat my own words, however, I still do maintain that he is a squad player (a very valuable one though) and should not be starting games for United unless absolutely necessary. Nothing quite extraordinary and yet not a foot wrong.
- Its an ode to our depth when we can bring in the Player of the season Herrera and the enigmatic Martial to close of games. Its such a refreshing sight!
United @ Stoke, Sept 9th
- The Bailly/Jones pairing which was immaculate for United for the first three matches was culpable for both the goals that Stoke scored today. These kind of defensive frailties would be exploited by bigger teams
- Herrera makes his first start of the season after the player of the season performance last year and I daresay Mata was benched for the role he played in Perreira going off to Valencia on loan against Mou’s wishes.
- The second half, for most parts, was played by United with an eye on the match on Tuesday and it was there to be seen. Stoke had the clearer of chances and but for some accustomed De Gea magic, United would have been staring at a defeat long back.
- There was a serious lack of quality in the crosses when anybody other than Valencia attempted it and sadly there were too may of Valencia’s crosses that were wasted at the back-post, due to the stubbornness of Rashford and Pogba as they failed to make the runs.
- Rashford today was a one trick pony and was always trying to peel off the last defender, trying to make those runs. The mazy runs at the defenders from either wings were sorely missed.
City should now be considered firm favorites to win the league this season with the way they have been stepping it up game after game.
- Pogba is slowly and steadily becoming the midfield gladiator that United thought they were buying when the World Record transfer fee was broken last year.
- It was a dominant first half but United simply lacked that finishing touch. There was one instance in the first half when Blind had to hold on to the ball for more than a couple of seconds waiting for somebody in Red to attack the penalty box. United needs to be more dominant while attacking the box.
- I am still waiting for the time when both Martial and Rashford are allowed to ply their trades through the two wings. Mou might be inclined to give it a try if the two kids were a bit more consistent with their performances.
- Schmeichel makes it 3 saves out of the last 5 penalties and if that is not special, i wonder what would ever be! One interesting stat is that he apparently has made more penalty saves at OT when compared to his Dad :O
- The goal however, came through an unexpectedly poor moment of marking by Leicester. Rashford himself might have been a bit surprised when he was left unchallenged and the ball just skipped past the melee of players.
- My MOTM for the day was one Mr Phil Jones. He was always kept on his toes by Vardy and during the later stage Slimani. He was assured throughout the 90 minutes and never shied away from a single challenge. He dominated the air and turf so well that his partner Bailly had one of the easiest outings yet. To his credit De Gea kept us assured that he had not dozed off out of boredom when he made the first real save at the 93rd minute and thats why kids he is the best in the world for me.
10-0 to start the season. #United
United @ Swansea, August 19th, 2 Cents.
- Everything was just like old times, United were up against an inspired team, who to their credit pulled up their socks and got on with their business just hours after selling off their main man to a record transfer. The high pressing with which they started the match was more than an inconvenience to United and if it were any of the last three seasons would have been good enough to leave United in a frustrated heap. For United, when your manager names the same staring 11 for a second match, you did tick a lot of those story points in the first match and United just shifted the gears into the second half.
- This United team is built around two individuals – Pogba and Rashford and it’s high time both of them realize that and get done with the antics that poor temperament brings to their game. They simply cannot go around moaning and rush into rash tackles just because a couple of decisions didn’t go their way. They need to realize that the team relies on them and just shrug it off and get on with the game.
- It has just been 2 games into the season and yet the impact that the Matic signing made is already pretty evident. He is the primary reason why most of the match was played in the Swansea half.
- The set-piece defending from United’s perspective left a lot to be desired. Matic, Bailly and Blind were left rooted to the ground while trying to clear the ball and this was probably one of those areas which would need some work as we work our way towards stronger teams.
- Martial has more than laid forward his credentials and absolutely deserves a nod in the starting 11 from Mou. His arrival just changed the complexion of the game when meaningful ball possession was converted to more meaningful numbers on the scorecard.
The way this United team slowly ground down a resilient Swans and then switched on to overdrive after the 80th minute was like beautiful classical quickly getting replaced by heavy metal. Matic (8), Lukaku (8), Mikki (9), Pogba (7), Martial (9), Bailly & Jones (8 each) had a brilliant game whereas Mata, De Gea (not at all his fault) and Valencia had one of the quiter games.
Manchester United 4 vs 0 West Ham, Aug 13th, 2 Cents:
- The urgency, the flair and the dominance has sneaked a peek for the first time in so many years. United dominated with the performance of the weekend.
- Mikki, Matic, Pogba and Rashford were there closing down every time WestHam got a touch on the ball. The urgency was there to be seen and for the first time in a long time we did not take the foot off the pedal after scoring.
- Rashford is my main man. He was there available, making the runs. getting back to defend and going at it direct at the West Ham defenders. He made the space available for Lukaku to cap of a wonderful OT debut.
- Mikki seems to have gotten his swagger back. The way he waltz past defenders is such a joy to watch and one player of whom i expect a lot this season.
- How on earth did we get hold of Matic? One upgrade in the middle of the park and the rest in front got upgraded automatically ! He was there foiling every single counter attack by West Ham and was instrumental in the flair-rich show put up by Pogba in the midfield.
Yes, this is just day 1 of the season but the show is on and what a display it was. It was a marker laid down in the boldest of fashion. I am so damn excited about the new season. GGMU.
[United fan writing from a United Perspective]
- Outplayed and outsmarted the champions-elect through every blade of grass at OT.
- Liverpool away, Tottenham home, Arsenal home and now Chelsea home. One player proved that he is more of a big match player than anybody else. Ander Herrera is quietly becoming Mr ‘Indispensable’ for United.
- 0 shots on target speaks volumes about the 3 man defense. Bailly at 23 rightly justified Vidic’s claim that he is the heir to his throne.
- Rashford might have been one of the best players on the pitch but there is definitely a lot of work that needs to be done on his finishing.
- Spurs can thank United for bringing back life into the title race 🙂
<A united fan writing from a United POV, so feel free to call it biased.>
Talking points from my POV.
- The Mou effect: This is one ‘Mou effect’ that every United fan would have preferred to skip. Some of the refereeing decisions over the past few weeks against United have been appalling !
- Randolf seemed to have pulled out the rabbit out of the hat with a string of out-of-the-world saves. The visiting GK’s efforts at OT this season reminded me of what DDG had been doing for us over the past few years.
- United is definitely moving in the right direction in terms of the quality of football. The number of chances created and quality of possession have improved a lot and yet United continue to be vulnerable on the break.
- Pogba has slowly but steady upped his game for United. He is worth somewhere in the region of 40 mil right now 😉
- The United boy Fletcher had a decent outing and had almost fulfilled the stuff of his dreams by scoring in front of the OT crowd. Could he be another ‘Pogback’ in the making ?
- These are the sort of matches we should win. All the possession, quality, gameplay, all lead to nothing if we cannot score when it matters !