Goals from Januzaj, Barmby, van Velzen and Rudge were enough to cement what was a much improved performance by the Academy and also gave us a chance to observe Donald Love at rightback, and also seeing Luke Hendrie in his more familiar role of central midfield. Both players had excellent games with the latter finding space all game and peppering shots from distance, he was possibly a touch unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet. After suffering a tricky time at rightback for the opening 7 games of the season, it was nice to see Luke get a chance elsewhere and he took it well, so well, that I’d expect him to be given another chance tomorrow.
The former is without question ‘one-to-watch’. Having made his 20 minute debut away at Liverpool, Donald played the entire game versus Crewe and looked an exceptional talent for his tender years and has a fantastic engine and work ethic.
The highlights were the fantastic left footed, 20 yard strike from Barmby, the subtle headed finish from Januzaj to open the scoring and the way the team displayed improvements in the areas highlighted for improvement, most significantly in keeping possession.
Their six-day visit to Slovakia saw them win both matches they played with van Velzen grabbing the only game of the first game then a hat-trick from in-form Jack Barmby and another goal for Adnan Januzaj saw them end the tour with a 4-3 victory.
Tomorrow sees them return to Premier Academy League action with a trip to Bolton who lie one from bottom spot after suffering a terrible start to their season, United’s previous opponets, Crewe, are below them. Bolton were beaten 2-1 at Blackburn last weekend and you have to go back to the 3rd of October to find their last win which came against Wolves at home.
Bolton do possess players to be wary of including Bulgarian youth international Georg Iliev, and their coach insists the team and the players are improving despite the negative results (sound familiar?). Hopefully, from a United point of view, we’ll build on the Crewe result and benefit from the trip abroad.
Predicted Lineup: Jacob / Love, McCullough, Dalley, Blackett / Rothwell, Hendrie, Weir / Barmby, GvV, Januzaj
Subs: Coll, Rudge, Gorre, Ekangamene, Daehli
Coverage begins on MUTV at 10:45 with Kickoff at 11am. You can follow my usual match views and updates via @Rimmerstweets