Anyone who saw our pre-season and the charity shield game against Manchester city would have agreed that during the summer we had bought well, replacing the players who left or retired with young boys who with a bit of guidance and confidence could have a great deal to give to the club.
The existing players and management, along with the fans were as hungry as ever for success, but could anyone have really predicted the start we would get off to?
To say we have had a flying start is an understatement, even with injuries to three out of four of our first choice defenders not to mention Fletcher and Valencia out and the player of last season, Javier Hernandez missing the start of the season. In fact the biggest problem that our injuries have caused is for Fergie who, now the players are beginning to return, has the dilemma of who to start in the first eleven, although it is highly unlikely he is complaining about this!
The goals are flying in, with Rooney looking as close to unplayable as he has ever done, having seriously benefited from a summer free of international tournaments or marital strife, and being one of the more experienced players in the team now. It was clear to see when Welbeck partnered Rooney up top that he was willing to offer help and guidance to the younger lad, linking up well with him and praising Welbeck for his vision and passes, even if they did not always come off. It is encouragement like this that allows the younger players to have the confidence to try things and have attempts on goal, and as we saw with Welbeck, the club reaps the rewards.
Rooney now has his Chicharito back to partner him, and even those who need guide dogs can see how much he enjoys this. The level of understanding and partnership that was developed so soon after Hernandez joined the club has grown and grown, and now they are most certainly amongst the best pairing in Europe with any defence struggling to stop them. It was evident against Bolton just how well the two combine, with Rooney getting a hat trick and Hernandez getting the other two goals upon his return to the starting line-up.
It must also be noted that not only did we put in a brilliant attacking performance yet again, but we also looked solid defensively, and Phil Jones who had been filling in at centre half for the injured Vidic switched to right back, and looked like he was born to play there. Not only was he a rock defensively, the boy also made some great runs down the flank and got involved in a couple of the goals – one with a dazzling run ending in a pass to Rooney which once the ball left his foot ended in the back of the net as is becoming the norm these days!
The faith that Fergie has shown in the keeper paid off at Bolton, and looks like being a wise decision, with a solid save made by De Gea after a good attempt on goal from Klasnic, 74 seconds after which United then scored their second goal. It is saves like these and the one made from the penalty that Van Persie took against Arsenal that make the difference in games, and De Gea is looking better with every game, and may well become a United great yet. There is a reason why Fergie is such a great manager and keeping faith in players is one of them.
All throughout the team we look solid and competition for places is immense – yet a great spirit within the camp remains – something one would doubt will stay at City once certain players realise the most action they will be getting this season is from the heated seats on the subs bench. Whilst they may be off to a false start, we are off to a flyer, and have the experience to win titles and carry this through to the end of the season, and in the winter months when fixtures are coming hard and fast, especially in the Manchester weather. How well Aguero and City perform during these periods will be the litmus test for them, not playing Swansea and Wigan at home.
With things on a domestic front going as well as we could have hoped for, and some more, our attention now turns to a tough game midweek in the opening game of our Champions league campaign.
Smart money is on Rooney to carry on in the same form and score more than a couple in Lisbon!