‘Return Of The Baby-Faced Assassin’ 5 Things I Noticed – Wigan v United

4. We’ll Miss You Edwin He kept us in the game today with two quality one v one stops and a reassuring leap to prevent a long range effort from Figueroa. Whilst this has not been a vintage season thus far for Van Der Sar, its always near the business end of the season that his class comes to the fore.

We generally take his steadiness for granted, spoilt by his fantastic consistency. He makes it look so effortless that some of us forget what a talented shot-stopper he is to go with his fantastic ability on the ball and aerial composure on crosses.  I don’t know how much his replacement is going to cost but I’m not worried about that, I’m more worried about whether the new keeper we bring in is worth of lacing the Dutchman’s boots.

5. Opposition One2Watch: James McCarthy

McCarthy Match Statistics:  (34/39 Successful Passes, 4 Interceptions, 3 Tackles, 1 Clearance)

After an impressive start to the 2010-11 season, he picked up a serious ankle injury against Bolton Wanderers on 23 October 2010, keeping him out of action for three months. He scored on his return to the line up against Aston Villa on 25 January 2011 and today he demonstrated once again why he is one of the upcoming young midfielders to keep an eye on in the Premier League this season.

I’ve kept a keen eye on him and one game in particular which caught my eye was Wigan v Chelsea, a game in which they were unfortunate to get thrashed in and an encounter in which McCarthy was more than holding his own and at times looking a class above players from both midfields. He is technically very sound, no real weaknesses and in comparison to Jordan Henderson a very similar player, he has a touch more flair and is more likely to take players on rather than play the simple pass, an attribute we would very much like to see in our own midfield.

His best position for me would be as the attacking midfielder in a midfield trio and I see him developing his goalscoring further, a 10 goal a season player who can rack up a great number of assists as well as being relied on to ‘run’ games. At what level he could do this remains to be seen but I do think he is too good to be at a club like Wigan, likewise Rodallega and N’Zogbia.

Conclusion:

Barclays Premier League – Match Facts Score: 0-4 Venue: DW Stadium Date: Saturday 26th February Kick-off: 1500 GMT

Man Utd (4-3-3): Van Der Sar, O’Shea, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Carrick, Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Berbatov (76th min), Gibson (77th min) Fabio (85th min).

Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Moses, McCarthy, Watson, N’Zogbia, Diame, Rodallega Subs: Di Santo (64th min), McArthur (89th min), Gomez  (89th min)

Referee: Clattenburg

Written By Raees Mahmood ( Follow me @ www.twitter.com/redrae7 )