With the first official game of pre-season now played, it does seem somewhat premature to state that the win will mean masses of success for the season to come, and the players who started will have dramatically affected the manager’s view of them.
This is obviously not the case, yet some conclusions can begin to be drawn and assumptions made. A win is always a positive start, and with New England Revolution already being well into their season in the MLS, the fact we looked off pace during the opening stages was something to be expected. Even then we should have been a goal to the good before half time, with Berbatov missing several sitters – something that has become all too familiar since the FA cup semi final against moneybags City. Even with the expected rotation of players and the lack of match fitness, United still managed to come away with a convincing victory and make a winning start to both the US tour and to pre season.
Jones and De Gea are linking up with the squad in time for the next game so the focus was on our other summer signing, Ashley Young.
It is fair to say that a positive contribution was made Young for the 67 minutes he was on the field. Whilst it may not be considered a headline grabbing debut, it was a solid performance and he showed in parts why Sir Alex was keen to sign him.
The Da Silva twins both started in either full back position, and played the 90 minutes to boot, turning in good performances and showing Fergie that they certainly mean business when it comes to capturing starting places in the line up this coming season. Both Jones and Smalling may be tried at right back having previously demonstrated ability in the position, yet Rafael will be looking to mark the territory and make the position his own.
One of the more controversial players in the squad is Michael Carrick, with the midfielder inducing either extreme dislike from supporters, who have unfairly and dramatically dubbed him ‘one worst player ever to play for united’ in the past– or inspiring fanatical support for his passing ability, reading of the game and vision. Depending on your viewpoint it is clear that he plays a large part in the team’s future plans and last night he did contribute to two goals in a game where he didn’t need to play at his best in.
Up front Kiko Marcheda made a triumphant return from a nightmare loan spell in Italy, scoring two goals during his time on the pitch. He will be looking to secure his place on the subs bench at the very least, perhaps a worrying fact for Berbatov to consider judging by his lack of quality during the game. Even Owen managed to score last night, and will see this as the positive start to the season that he needs.
We all know that the point of pre season is to bed in new players and build up the match fitness of the squad, along with giving the management an idea of who is looking like making a claim for first team football.
This result should not be taken too seriously with matches against Barcelona and City coming up before the season begins, but with a solid start to the US tour and good performances from the majority of the squad it does look like we could be in for another successful season for the better half of Manchester.