David De Gea has been named the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for November, further proof that the Spaniard is finally beginning to receive the credit he deserves.
The United keeper kept two clean sheets in three games in January, remaining unbeaten at home against Crystal Palace and Hull and conceding just one against Arsenal, as United clinched their first away win of the season. At the Emirates, De Gea was outstanding as United withstood an early onslaught from Arsenal, with the Spaniard pulling off a couple of superb saves to keep the Gunners at bay.
Louis Van Gaal has urged his team to be more ruthless in front of goal and to dispose of their opponents more swiftly than they’ve done in the first three months of the campaign.
United go into Saturday’s game against on the back of their first away of the season and, with two home fixtures in four days, United could well be looking at traveling to Southampton in 10 days time with four consecutive wins under their belt, as they beat Crystal Palace before the international break.
Jonny Evans was happy to return to action but admitted he’s not yet ready to make a first team return, after spending 10 weeks on the sidelines with a fitness problem.
The Northern Ireland defender played just over 60 minutes on Tuesday as United reserves, featuring Ander Herrera and Adnan Januzaj among the others, thrashed Blackburn 5-0 in the Lancashire Senior Cup but poured cold water on the prospect of an immediate return to the first team squad.
Manchester United have been dealt a fresh injury blow as Luke Shaw could be out for three weeks following the ankle injury he picked up on Saturday against Arsenal.
Having played on Tuesday for England despite a slight fitness issues, Shaw was selected in the starting XI at the Emirates, only to last barely 15 minutes before hobbling off the pitch after twisting his ankle. The former Southampton left-back left the ground on crutches and with a protective boot around his left foot.
Ryan Giggs has admitted his last season as Manchester United player was an extremely complicated time, as the team he’s spent his whole career at badly struggled under David Moyes.
Giggsy said that seeing United in such difficult and unfamiliar territory was made even more complicated by his new role as player-coach and by not having Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford for the first time in his career.
Ashley Young has praised Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair for their performance against on Saturday, singling out the two young defenders for producing a “resilient” performance as United clinched their first win of the season away from home.
Having weathered a torrid first 25 minutes, United gradually grew into the game before scoring twice in the second half, as Arsenal’s tactical naivety was exposed by United’s counterattacking football.
Chris Smalling has conceded that Manchester United should be higher on the table but insisted that, after clinching their first away win of the season, things were looking up for Louis Van Gaal’s side.
United secured their first win on the road of the campaign after a 2-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates and Smalling, who had been the pantomime villain in the derby earlier this month, was among the best players on the pitch, as United withstood Arsenal’s pressure and pounced on the counter.
Louis Van Gaal has admitted he’d been branded as “crazy” had United failed to win against Arsenal on Saturday, where the Dutch manager chose to deploy a three-man defence.
United had started their season with a 3-5-2 formation, which was subsequently shelved as players looked far from comfortable with it until the trip to the Emirates, where United’s back three comprised Chris Smalling, Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett.