With limited options in defence, could Phil Jones finally fulfil his potential? As the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal suggested, all is not rosy at the heart of Manchester United’s defence. After an extremely impressive start to the season, United’s back four were left badly exposed.
Phil Jones is fully fit for the first time this season, which could result in Daley Blind being moved to left back in Luke Shaw’s absence, a position he flourished in during the second half of last season. With Chris Smalling looking more and more assured in the heart of the defence, what has United’s other young English centre back got to offer?
For only the second time since Louis Van Gaal took charge of Manchester United, his side have scored 3 or more goals in two consecutive league games.
Cries of “Attack Attack Attack” are heard around Old Trafford more frequently than ever and fans of other teams often take great pleasure in pointing out that the number of goals scored during Van Gaal’s first season as manager was less than when David Moyes was in charge.
Manchester United host Liverpool today, as English football’s biggest rivalry resumes yet again, with the visitors arriving at Old Trafford after suffering defeats home and away last season.
United enter the contest with a strong home record against their arch-rivals, having won four of their last five games against Liverpool on home turf. Here’s a reminder of what Old Trafford has witnessed over the last five seasons of this fixture.
Ed Woodward is a divisive figure among Manchester United fans. Formerly a man who seemed completely out of his depth when it came to getting transfer deals done, he went through a resurrection of sorts over the last 2 summers. But it is his handling of the non-sale of David de Gea that may prove to be his greatest contribution to the club.
The Woodward era has not been smooth sailing by any means, resembling a rollercoaster more often than not. There were the ups of signing world class superstars Angel di Maria and Bastian Schweinsteiger, the clearing of deadwood and then, there were the considerable downs of unnecessarily paying an extra £4 million for Marouane Fellaini or missing out on Pedro.
Manchester United marked their return to European football with a 3-1 win over Club Brugge last night, as goals from Memphis Depay and Marouane Fellaini put the Reds a step closer to returning to the group stages of the Champions League after last season’s absence.
Despite the result, however, things did not run as smoothly as some would have anticipated, as Brugge took an unexpected early lead and looked threatening in the first half. However, in the second 45 minutes, United stepped up a gear and produced the sort of football they had not delivered in the first two games of the season.
Here’s six key points from United’s return to Europe.
Manchester United are joint top of the league after two games, have looked unexpectedly solid at the back and are yet to concede a goal. However, that’s where the positives end for Louis Van Gaal, as his side still looks to be struggling to regain the fluidity they displayed over six games in spring last season, when United seemed to have well and truly returned to their usual, pre-Moyes selves.
With European football returning to Old Trafford tomorrow, here are five talking points from United’s first two games of the campaign.
Get the business out of the way early on should be Manchester United’s mantra this summer.
At this time of the year 12 months ago, United were desperate to make signings, a task made more necessary and yet more difficult by the mess Louis Van Gaal inherited by David Moyes.
With the transfer window set to open in just over two weeks, United fans are filled with a strange mixture of feelings, from sheer optimism to an hard-to-dislodge sense of urgency.
After an appalling 2013-14 campaign, the Reds endured an up and down season which saw them finish in fourth place and qualify for a Champions league playoff spot.