Another really interesting game which Manchester United bossed against stubborn opposition that included Nemanja Vidic at the heart of defence. But what did we learn?
Ashley Young still can’t cross the ball
LvG has spoken about his liking Ashley Young’s adaptability. Sadly, for the fans who have seen Young fail for years, this could mean that he gets a stay of execution.
Physically he is the sort of athlete that could play wing back. But against Inter he must have hit a dozen wayward corners or crosses. His distribution is simply not good enough. It seems that it will take a while before LvG realises this and gets rid for good.
The 5-3-2 is here to stay and Manchester United look comfortable with it already. The defence was excellent and, although Inter were hard to break down and don’t allow any space in behind, United looked back to their old, brilliant, passing selves, especially when they played their A team in the first half. Herrera will be a star at United.
One new star, one surprise package
Manchester United always take a few youths with them on these tours. While some give promising performances, many to most don’t make it to the senior squad. Without wishing to put the kiss of death on a player, Tyler Blackett looks the business. A confident and classy man mountain who has been playing on the left side of the three in defence. His natural left foot may well get him an extended run in the side. He’s an excellent prospect.
The surprise package is Darren Fletcher. We were concerned that he would lack the dynamism to make a positive impression in the midfield. But the new formation, with nimble midfielders constantly moving around him, works so well for the lad and illustrates his excellent technique. Perhaps Louis will use him initially and wait for Carrick and Strootman to return from injury, rather than pursuing Vidal.
Shaw will come good
It’s all felt a bit Richard Gere in ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ for Luke Shaw at Manchester United so far. He cuts an isolated figure as he trains separately to improve his fitness. But, if anything, the tour has made soccersweep even more confident that this lad is the nuts. There have been a few glimpses of his superb pace and crossing ability. But his general physique and composure for someone so young is just unbelievable. Don’t worry about Luke. He’s going to be a massive star for United.
It’s a crime that Manchester United aren’t in Europe
David Moyes’s talk of needing a squad overhaul was, of course, wide of the mark. LvG has got the team playing like a well-oiled machine again. Watching United against Champions League side Inter made you realise how crazy it is that the club won’t be competing in Europe this autumn. Top 4 finish? Without a doubt.