Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United Kids Are Alright

Posted: July 16, 2016 in Football, Manchester United, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , ,



Well that was refreshing! Having watched every agonising minute of Manchester United under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, I am already far more optimistic with Mourinho in charge than I ever was with either of the other two.

There were good moments from the Moyes side and the same goes for the van Gaal side. The problem was that they were so few and far between that their dismissals were met with the same kind of celebrations that are usually reserved for winning a trophy.

Mourinho’s first game in charge, the friendly against Wigan, saw most of the kids given some game time. Fosu-Mensah started, as did James Wilson. Luke Shaw made a welcome return after injury and looked to link up again with Depay on the left. Depay still looks short on confidence and this is the reason that the link-up didn’t work as well as it might have done.

Sam Johnstone started in goal, later to be replaced by Joel Pereira and substitutes who later came on included Tyler Blackett, Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira, Will Keane and Axel Tuanzebe. They all looked confident and all played reasonably well.

The stand-out performer amongst the youngsters would have to be Andreas Pereira. Firstly for his rocket of a goal which put United two up and secondly for a cross field pass that Wayne Rooney could only dream of making.

Also included amongst the substitutes to come on were players who, surely, Mourinho must be hoping to sell. These were Antonio Valencia who, even in friendly matches, cannot get the ball past the first defender, Ashley Young who insists on running down blind alleys and, usually, out of play and Phil Jones who needs to find some form and fitness if he is to have any future at United. Fortunately for him, it seems that Marcos Rojo is ahead of him in the queue for a “For Sale” sign.

Others who are supposedly under threat had a good game. Daley Blind did nothing wrong and defended solidly until he was replaced and Juan Mata set up the first goal for Will Keane and displayed some of his usual vision when trying to set up attacks.

Debuts were handed to Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly and both showed why Mourinho has spent the money to bring them in. Mkhitaryan is just a class player and Bailly looked assured and confident each time he touched the ball.

Missing from the game were the England contingent who failed so miserably in France and so, consequently, were not missed in the slightest by United. In fact, if Smalling and Rooney could both find another club without coming back to Manchester then they would be doing everybody a favour.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still in Los Angeles, resting from his exertions in France and Anthony Martial, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Scheinsteiger, Marouane Fellaini and Morgan Schneiderlin, (who didn’t play a game for France), are also having a rest meaning that their places in the United team are up for grabs while they are absent.

According to the commentator for the game, United are missing thirteen players from their squad at present due to the Euros and Copa America. Having watched the game today and seen, first-hand, how the kids coped in their absence, I would suggest that most of them need not bother coming back. Just make sure that Rashford and Martial know that they are both welcome back and forget the rest.

Oh, and I suppose Zlatan had better come back otherwise Ed Woodward will be worried sick about the potential lost revenue.

  1. AJ says:

    Rooney and Smalling are better of not coming back? SERIOUSLY??


    • Certainly. Rooney has not performed consistently for nearly four years and, last season, was a liability. Smalling has never been good enough for Manchester United. Too often caught out of position, giving the ball away easily and fouling persistently in his own penalty area. However, if these are the type of player you want at Old Trafford you are entitled to your opinion.


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