So, what did I learn today on the opening day of the Premier Academy League? I learnt what some of the first year scholars look like, I put faces to their names and had an opportunity to pick up a hint on who and how this Academy is going to play this season. Despite the defeat there were many positives and the result really shouldn’t be viewed as a marker for things to come. I can see this team suffering a few defeats over the course of the season and I can see them dishing a few out. Here’s what happened today…..
It’s that time of year again. The hype and hysteria of ongoing transfer saga’s continue, the opening weekend has come and gone and pundits the length and breadth of Great Britain the World are having their say on the season’s final outcomes already.
Well, for others like me, the season is yet to begin. This Saturday (20th August 2011) sees the return of the Academy Premier League and the showcasing of tomorrows pro’s.
After a wonderful season for the Academy last time around, it’s the turn of new scholars to get their first taste of what football – and life – might be like, if they have the desire, talent and above all else, the right attitude to progress through the ranks at Manchester United.
When writing about the best players in any one position, your perspective is obviously biased towards recent memories and those players you have actually seen play. However, it is relatively easy to get a historical perspective on most players these days regardless of how long ago someone featured in the Manchester United first eleven.
The more difficult task is to compare and contrast player’s abilities and styles when tactics have changed so considerably over the last century. It was only during the 1960’s that over-lapping fullbacks became ‘de rigueur’ and in the modern game it is a necessity. However, there was once a time when fullbacks simply gave the ball to the halfbacks and rarely ventured into the opponents half.
In what felt like a repeat of the Community Shield game, we were stunned yet again by the ease in which De Gea was beaten only to be resuced by a late-ish goal from one of our outstanding wingers.
As rightly pointed out by numerous news outlets, the big plus is that we pulled in all 3 points on a weekend when our main rivals could not. Granted, the way in which we achieved it was not pretty. At least not in the second 45. But as we’ve learnt from last season, the manner in which we earn the win comes second to the actual victory itself.