Three things that Manchester United should or shouldn’t do over the coming week.
Manchester United managed to scrape through with a less than impressive win over newly promoted Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls were no mugs and more than pushed United all the way, in fact creating some decent chances for themselves and were very unfortunate to head back south via a deflected goal and a 0-1 scoreline. Ashley Young’s strike, midway through the second half, taking a wicked touch from a Brighton defender, sending the keeper the wrong way, helpless as he watched it ark into the corner.
This week sees another big week for Jose Mourinho’s men. Manchester City managed to keep their eight-point lead intact after securing victory away at Huddersfield Town, via a deflected goal of their own!
The following fixtures are on this weeks’ calendar.
28th November: Away – Watford
2nd December: Away – Arsenal
1 – Keep The Momentum Going
With the Christmas calendar approaching and the games beginning to come thick and fast, it’s important that there is a fine balance between keeping a settled side and resting players at the right time. The last thing United need right now is injuries to keep players out again, especially as the big hitters are returning. Jose must be mindful that an away game at Watford is not to be taken lightly. United were well beaten last season at Vicarage Road. A 3-1 victory for the hosts, Watford. Too many changes to the squad could potentially knock the Red Devils out of their stride. Lost points before the derby next week could be a disaster.
Arsenal at the weekend will also be a massive test. With Mourinho’s recent record over the top sides not looking so impressive, the boss will be hoping to change his fortunes when the team rocks up at the Emirates on Saturday tea time.
2 – Feed Lukaku
Romeu Lukaku’s start to his Manchester United career really couldn’t have gone any better. Eleven goals in his first twelve matches showed that the boss’ decision to bring in the Belgium hitman was a clever one. But then it happened, the goal drought that some of the doubters had predicted. When United needed him most, Lukaku went missing. Games against Liverpool and Chelsea came and went and despite a clear-cut chance towards the end of the first half against Liverpool. Lukaku has pretty much been a lonely figure. Service was starved for the Belgian as Mourinho decided to shut up shop.
3 – Don’t Play Chris Smalling, Ever
Now I wouldn’t normally dig out a single player, ok well maybe I do, but just recently it has come to my attention that Gareth Southgate has finally become the first manager to see Smalling for what he really is. Being omitted from the latest England squad, Smalling hit back claiming that he didn’t have to prove that he should be in the England squad. Well Chris my friend, you need to prove that you need to be a Manchester United defender first.
Sir Alex Ferguson decided that he would splash the cash and bring Smalling into United from little old Fulham. The defender had merely played in the Premier League when the former boss decided to bring him to Old Trafford. Smalling, who had before Fulham, graced the hallowed turf at Maidstone United. For me, Maidstone United are probably about his level. He cant run, tackle or head it. He’s always hopelessly out of position and prefers to try and wrestle an attacker when marking them at a corner!
When Rio and Vidic were in tandem, the defence looked after itself. Ferguson brought in Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and had Jonny Evans at his disposal. Here’s the thing. Play one of them with Rio and Vidic, no problem, but is it any coincidence that since the days of the former reds, United have yet to lift the title. Smalling doesn’t get a look in when Jones and Bailly are fit, and there’s a reason for that… he’s rubbish.
I actually thought that when Louis Van Gaal was put in charge that the end of this Manchester United nightmare I have was over! A recurring dream that every Saturday, Chris Smalling is stood there in a Manchester United shirt, waiting for the game to begin. Stood on the same Old Trafford pitch where legends had tread before him. The Busby Babes, Best, Charlton, Crerand, Macari, McQueen, Robson, Whiteside, Hughes, Cantona, McGrath, Beckham, Giggs, Keane, Ferdinand, Stam, Bruce, Pallister, I could go on and on. Except this isn’t a dream, it’s a reality that the club I follow, has this National League player representing them.
A well-respected coach who had won major honours all over Europe and had recently guided the Netherlands to a World Cup semi-final. Now was the time. Smalling’s time was up. That was until LVG made “Mike” his captain. The bloke couldn’t even get his name correct so I assume he probably thought Smalling was Michael Keane!
So it’s quite simple, play Chris Smalling and be happy to poodle along like Arsenal. It’s time to get rid, Jose.
Those are my three points for the coming fixtures. See you next week. GGMU