The signing of Juan Mata by Manchester United brought about some sense of optimum and good vibes which have being missing from the team. The manner of the team’s elimination from the capital one cup by Sunderland exemplified how low the team had sunk and the sighing of the Spanish magician served as a timely boast.
With Mata set to make his debut for the team against Cardiff. The recent trepidation that most united fans had approaching a game these days was replaced by optimism. Even though Mata’s debut was by no means spectacular, he still had a decent and confident. He created 3 chances, had 1 assist, ad 2 shots and was the player with the most passes (52) for united with an 86% completion rate. He also indirectly has a hand in United’s opening goal; his brilliant cross field pass to Young initiating the move, not bad for a player who had not played since January 1.
However the team general performance was average. The midfield manned by a 40 year old Ryan Giggs and defender Phil Jones was completely overtaken by Solksjaer’s men. Craig Bellamy (49 passes), Peter Whittingham (79 passes) and Gary Medel (63 passes) were in complete control. The fact that United’s next best passer of the ball was Jonny Evans with 48 passes, a defender, speaks volume of United’s need to try and strengthen that area of the squad.
With only a few hours to go until the transfer window ends, I would like to urge Moyes and Mr. Woodward to try and make a final push to bring in someone who can take control of the midfield for us. Reports of Kroos joining united seemed to have gained grounds these last few days and I will urge the manager and Mr. Woodward to exhaust all means in getting him as he would not be a bad addition at all. United still a chance of making the top four but our chances would be greatly enhanced if a quality addition is made in that area. Miralem Pjanic won’t be a bad option either (it does not cost a thing to dream does it? Stranger things have happened in football).
On a rather positive note, it was good to see the much maligned Ashley Young show glimpses of his old form. It was s superb performance by the England international and he capped it off with a brilliant goal. But the question remains can he churn out these kind of performances week in week out?
our two centre backs on the day too were colossal with Smalling being particularly impressive , his key stats in the games winning 3 out of 3 tackles, making 2 interceptions with 10 clearances and making 38 passes with a 95% completion rate proving it.
Evans on the other hand has being quite impressive this season and has being arguably our best centre back this season; he has really grown and matured into a fine player.
With the euphoria and optimism now surrounding the team, most united fans like me hope the team can take significant strides in making the top four. I still strongly believe it can be achieved.