Remember the time that Manchester United had a back line of Shaw, Carrick, McNair and Valencia? Hopefully it won’t be too long before Manchester United fans can talk fondly about the injury debacle which forced square pegs into round holes.
That point hasn’t come yet but, say it quietly, United’s injury problems seem to be decreasing. Of course Angel di Maria strained a muscle at the weekend and you would never want to be without him. But, in midfield and defence, United are starting to look much more solid again.
Smalling is back in the fold and looks really impressive of late. Marcos Rojo too is settling in nicely as a centre back now. The latest bonus is that long term absentee and most experienced United defender Jonny Evans has taken another step towards a full recovery after an ankle problem.
Evans played in a reserve game last week and followed that up with an appearance against Southampton in the U21s on Monday night.
He might not make the game against Stoke on Tuesday but he should be availaable for the visit to Southampton. That said, Evans has a fight on his hands to get back in the team. The aforementioned duo look good right now in the centre back pairing. Furthermore Evans was awful in pre season and his first few games of the new season under LvG.
The Northern Irishman is a skilful and accomplished defender. But he is certainly not guaranteed a start under Van Gaal and needs to prove himself all over again.
In other excellent news, The Telegraph has reported that Rafael da Silva is also back in full truing after a 6 week lay off due to groin trouble.
Manchester United fans: is Evans good enough for the first team?