With a different result from last year’s loss in their first game, Manchester United still have a lot of work to do at the back, and also make their attack more impressive. Kyle Walker’s own goal was really a life saver. Meanwhile, Tottenham did not bring their “A” game at Old Trafford.
These are the four things we learnt.
United’s defence is still jittery
The team list for the game raised eyebrows. No Rojo. Blind at the back.
We agree that Blind is a versatile player, but playing as a centre-back, increased the butterflies in our stomachs. While many say that Smalling performed very well, there’s a reason for concern about the number of back passes.
It is becoming too much.
The thing is, passing to the Romero does not in any way help the game. It puts undue pressure on the goalie, whose delivery upfield is not as good as De Gea’s. It also put pressure on the new signing – Schneiderlin. Definitely it is not a comfortable style of play, since possession is constantly lost.
Above all the defence kept a clean sheet, but they are too scared to pass out to other outfield players.
Van Gaal is still experimenting
After much talk about his intention to play a 4-3-3 this season, it is clear that Van Gaal is still experimenting. He played the team in a semi-flat 4-4-2 with Depay in the hole, Carrick and Schneiderlin in a double pivot.
Depay and Schneiderlin had good debuts, but the former looked like he would play better from the wings.
The Old Trafford landlords are toothless upfront
Fans have been skeptical about this part of the team. As a result, rumours of signing a mystery striker was at a high during the off-season. This match proved that the team needs a striker, either as an addition or as a starter (looked like Rooney got a knock).
Rooney strayed often into midfield positions, leaving Depay in goal scoring positions; the latter’s lack of a striker’s instincts getting the best of him.
There was no shot on target in the first half despite being one goal up. At full time, it was just one shot on target. Very poor.
Coupled with numerous events of Young’s indecision on the ball, the front men were without the killer bite.
Maybe a Depay on the right will change things, but Manchester United really needs a man mounting constant pressure on opposition defences.
You can play poorly and still win
This is exactly what Mourinho does, – “boring football”, scrap a result despite playing poorly. In this case, defending a 1 goal lead that came through an own goal. Manchester United were able to checkmate Tottenham’s style of play in the first half, but it came with a price – inability to make impact in the final third.
In the end, an own goal equaled three points.Follow @FootyLogue