So it is the beginning of the new season and after a very thrilling pre-season, United fans everywhere were salivating at the prospect of a new-look United team blowing the Baggies off the park and lay down a marker for their Premier League rivals to aspire to.

Whilst United did justify their tags as favourites and secured the win, it was not easy by any means and alot of talking points were raised as to the flaws this young side possess and where we could be exploited further down the line by stronger outfits than West Bromwich Albion.

1. Another De Gea Howler…

A lot of United fans were hoping the claims of De Gea being poor with shots from long-distance were unfounded and that surely a keeper from the land of Casillas & Reina could hardly be found wanting with well-struck shots and that his clearly brilliant agility would not let him down in that part of his game.

Dzeko’s shot in the community shield, shattered those delusions and the next excuse offered was that he’s a young lad struggling with nerves and the pressure of having to deal with the burden of following Van Der Sar. Whilst that was a more than acceptable explanation, what transpired today at the Hawthorns can’t be explained by nerves solely. There is a technical weakness in De Gea’s game with grounded shots, he struggles to get down quick enough whereas aerial shots from long-distance, I don’t think he will have much problems with. Being such a young lad and with an able deputy in Lindergaard, one hopes this kink can be ironed out without necessary having to start him week in week out..

Aerially he struggled today as well and considering this was against WBA, a notoriously weak side from set-pieces, that is also a cause for concern although in my opinion its more of a strength issue rather than one of lacking judgement/bravery. I’m less concerned about this, I can see him improving in this area of his game quite quickly.. its the long-range shots along the floor, I’m more concerned with at the moment.

2. Young to the rescue

A fabulous display by Young, following his very impressive display against City. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a big fan of signing Young, I was more concerned with how we were going to strengthen the centre of midfield but he’s been an astute buy as that left-wing spot looks very solid now, he’s more suited to play on that flank than Nani.

His dribbling is one area in which he has progressively improved throughout preseason, which was to be expected as the more he got settled, the more confidence he would have in taking on players. Whether or not near the business end of the season he can produce killer runs against the big teams, is yet to be seen but his ability to keep the ball and deliver top quality crosses, is an attribute that can’t be denied.

3. Lack of Aerial Threat in the final third…

With our new look side’s desire to play fast attacking football on the floor, you’d think this isn’t much of an issue but with the likes of Young and Nani on the flank, dangerous crosses were being put in and there was no one in there that looked likely to score.

Thankfully we have Hernandez and keeping him fit could really rack up the assists for Young especially. His clever runs off the ball and his appreciation of space in the box, not to mention his sheer bravery when going in to head is a quality that is in short supply in United’s otherwise strong all-round stable of forwards.

Click here for part two of Rae’s analysis of the game

7 responses to “‘Heartstopper at the Hawthorns’ United v WBA – 5 Things I Noticed”

  1. NewJerseyRedDevil says:

    Vidal out, Rio out, Raffy out, Chica out and a nervous Keeper has made me a nervous NJRedDevil!

  2. MUdslinger606 says:

    Cut the kid some slack and get behind the fella! Though obviously not in a blinkered way, clearly he was at fault for both the WBA and Dzeko’s goals. Firstly, I wish that people bin the ridiculous line ‘well, it’s not the Spanish league’ as if somehow facing up to C.Ronaldo, Messi and Rossi et al most weeks is obviously less challenging than playing West Brom. It’s not like Ronaldo didn’t regularly make every goalie in the league feel a little foolish while he was with us. Besides of the goalies that cut their teeth in that league Casillas, Valdes and dare I say, Reina they ain’t too bad eh?

    As fans we need a small dose of realism here. Don’t expect anything approaching the level of VDS . Remember, he was 35 when he joined us, already with an entire careers worth of experience behind him and the only surprise was that he ended up with us for so long. People usually make the clumsy comparison with Cech when he joined up with Chelsea but he was already 22-23 and I suspect those additional few years of first team football makes a lot of difference.

    At the end of the day, those who are in the game inc. SAF think incredibly highly of him and I’m inclined to go along with them. I suspect that the explanation for his mistakes is far more simple then people make it out to be. He’s only been with us for a month or so? Doesn’t know the language and is still relatively inexperienced, let him settle in. Personally, I’m suspending judgement on whether he’s right for us for another couple of seasons yet.

  3. Np says:

    one thing we have to clear about is Yound DID NOT have a great game! Are you kidding me! Was the writer watching the same game ?? Young was ok at best .. There was some very impressive crosses no doubt and the deflected goal BUT alot of his crosses were beig blocked one after another Which was absolutely frustarating .

    The media hypes up a player too much . The writer should be more critical . Having said that I hope he turns out to be great for the team .

    • rae m says:

      Well you have to take into account Nani’s performance in comparison and place Youngs in context, due to the fact, it was practically his real competitive debut if we don’t include the Community Shield and it was against tough opposition away from home against a set of fans who have a strong disliking for him. He showed good strength of character and did look menacing every time he was in posession and this from a guy who wasn’t his biggest fan to begin with.

  4. SG says:

    I did notice Anderson and Cleverley were too far forward leaving gaps everywhere in that midfield. We’ve always worked with a holding midfielder and an attacking midfielder. Phil Jones can play defensive mid, but Fletcher’s the one who should be on the pitch doing that job.

    • rae m says:

      Both would arguably not be up to it, or at the level we desire. Fletcher can close people down and destroy attacks, but is he a sitting midfielder who is fluid and mobile on the ball.. as for Jones, it’s a big ask but if his technical level is up to it then he could fill in, but imo players like Tiote/Mulumbu type players are who we should seek.

  5. Tonka Norris says:

    I’m torn about De Gea. He’s clearly a quality keeper but will find it tough to build confidence with the media praying for more errors to populate their columns.

    The treatment the Albion players dished up afterwards was akin to schoolyard bullying.

    Maybe take him offline for a few weeks, use Liddegard instead. Build De Gea up 20lbs and let him loose when Vidic gets back to help boss the back line.