Man U

Manchester United: 5 things we learned against Valencia

Mata - The Enigma

Tough night

Ander Herrera is a work in progress – He started like an express train against LA Galaxy, setting up goals for fun, but has arguably got worse with each game in pre-season. Last night he gave the ball away far too many times and would surely admit that it was a bad performance by his standards. There is perhaps a burning desire to prove himself to the Manchester United faithful – this was his home debut – and that was reflected in his regular over-elaboration and general hastiness which made him wasteful. Herrera needs to be twice this good if he wants to be a United hero.

Mata needs to dominate more – He’s got the number 10 position that he craves and now he needs to prove that he’s worth the money. Despite some good performances in America Mata was largely anonymous against Valencia. If he’s going to play number ten for United he needs to be part of everything good about the team. Like Herrera, Mata needs to step up.

Polemic performances – Darren Fletcher scored and got much praise again. But he looks tired and leggy before the season has even begun. If Manchester United want to get anywhere near the title they need a fresh and dominant holding midfielder. On the flip side Tyler Blackett once more impressed. Apart from one mis-placed pass which got his team in trouble he was composed and powerful – an excellent find.

RvP penalties – With Wazza hitting the post with his spot kick RvP may well get the nod as chief penalty taker this season. Wayne may have won the captaincy war but could lose this particular battle.

Januzaj needs game time – there is talk of him getting he number 11 jersey and, like Giggsy did so often, Januzaj changed the pattern of the game as soon as he came on as sub with 15 minutes to go. He was facing tired legs but he quickened the pulses with some great runs and lovely passing. Januzaj needs game time this season. We think that LVG will oblige.

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