Curious few days when the football headlines are dominated by Chelsea’s doctor-dodging dictator as the Guardian labels Jose Mourinho. What’s Up Doc! Great stuff unless you’re a Chelsea supporter or a doctor only trying to do her job. It was irresistible to everyone, including me,
Meanwhile I watched on an Iphone as United went to the top of the league with their solid but unspectacular display at Aston Villa. Two games, 6 points, no goals against, you cannot argue VanGaal is doing a great job. United have a shape.
The back four despite all the worries about the Smalling and Blind pairing played exceptionally well. As a unit they defended with calm efficiency. Villa never looked like scoring. There will be sterner tests to come but if Blind in particular continues to read, intercept and distribute as well as he’s doing, and Smalling deals with the more muscular and pacy threats, Van Gaal may have shown that yes, he does know more about the game and his players than we do. Schneiderlin is doing a brilliant job protecting the centre and Darmian and Shaw have been excellent.
It’s the last third where the pieces have yet to come together. For me the Guardian over analayzed Januzaz’s inclusion over Young. Van Gaal was proved right again as Januzaz scored the winner. Much of the pre-season debate has been about will United give young players a chance to learn and grow. Villa away is the perfect opportunity.
However everybody recognizes there is something missing at the front. I felt sorry for Rooney. His touch was awful but let’s face it he was on his own without a lot of support and balls were being pinged at him from all over the place. The final third is where Van Gaal must be concentrating now. I think Mata should be the 10. He probes, he scores, he’s a wonderful footballer. Rooney historically takes time to get going but he’s still a great player. The pace is going to have to come from elsewhere.
There are more than two weeks left in the transfer window but the potential Pedro signing is now officially a melodrama.
There has to be something up if this move fails now. It can’t be the money. Maybe there’s another player out there who is more interesting to United?
In the meantime whatever happens at the Etihad on Sunday it promises to be a great weekend for United. If City win Chelsea will have 1 pt from two games. If Chelsea win that’s good. If it’s a draw that’s fine too.
Bring on Brugge.