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Eagles And Martin – Two More For The United Scrapheap?

United beat Orlando Pirates this evening, with a Lee Martin goal giving us the needed 1-0 victory. This pre-season can be regarded as somewhat of a ‘last chance saloon’ for some of our players, who are creeping in to their 20′s, have spent some time away on loan, and are looking to break in to the first team.

Wingers Chris Eagles and Lee Martin are two of these players, who would fancy filling the boots Ryan Giggs will be vacating soon enough.

However, do they really have what it takes to become first team players? Ferguson contemplated over their future after the final whistle tonight.

“I felt the first half hour was very good but our performance levelled out and I think credit to Orlando Pirates,” he said. “It was a tough match that we needed as it brings us up on our fitness and the speed of our game. I don’t want players to be completely fit now. I need them to find their fitness in the opening match of the league campaign in August. I thought, in the first half, Martin and Eagles played very well but, with most of the team, they became a little bit tired and their concentration went a little. They’ve got talent and are young players. Martin is 20 and Eagles is 22. They’ve not got a lot of experience as their careers have been a bit fragmented over the last two or three years. They’ve been on loan and Martin has got injuries and missed a lot of last season. He needs a lot of football now at his age. All young players want to do is play.”

Like most reds, I am eager to see any youngsters make the progression from the Reserves to the first team, but there’s a nagging feeling these two won’t make it. I’ve been disappointed to see Danny Simpson have such limited game time, as I think he really is a player who can make it. Today, he came on for an injured Johnny Evans for the final few minutes, so wasn’t given much opportunity shine.

In contrast, Eagles and Martin got a full 90 minutes under their belt, but didn’t impress in the way we might have hoped. Whilst Martin will be rightly happy with his goal tonight, a good finish under pressure, it was his saving moment in a game where he offered plenty of effort, but little end product.

Equally, Eagles tried the fancy flicks and footwork, but just didn’t look entirely convincing. Sometimes he pulled it off, sometimes he failed miserably, and his whole performance was just a little too ‘try hard’.

The pair of them lost the ball too easily and essentially, just didn’t look United quality. Now, not to judge them too harshly, because all of our players look sluggish, however, not all of our players are desperately trying to make the jump from the Reserves to the first team squad, so I expect more from the youngsters.

For Eagles in particular, this is make or break for him, with reports before the tournament suggesting he was on his way to Burnley. He is the same age as Wayne Rooney, who has played in close to 200 Premiership games, whilst Eagles just has 6 Premiership appearances to his name. He needs to impress big time, and he needs to do it now.

Two games in to our South African tour, two goals in our favour, with Martin and Eagles the scorers. But do they have a future with the club?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. jimmy Bob says:

    I agree mate they are not good enough for untd 1st team and never will be
    I wish them well and I think theyll have good careers in the championship and possibly lower level of the prem but they won’t cut it at untd

  2. Daniel says:

    I think it might be hard comparing Eagles to Rooney I get your point but Rooney is a Freak of Nature ( in more ways than one), I think the one person that everyone would have liked to see on this tour is Rodrigo Possebon, I know he plays in the center midfield but I would rather have him than Gibson on this tour.

  3. Robinson Macgregor says:

    They have had their chance (Martin and Eagles).Alas fancy hairstyles do not make you a better footballer.Especially when you have n’t made it yet.As for Gibson…….it was not good

  4. jimmy Bob says:

    Im watching the celtic game now and Mcgeady would be a great replacement for Giggs in 12 months time

    Anyone seen anything of this possesbon? supposed to have had a great game for the reserves on the weekend

  5. Stephen Colbert says:

    No, they’re not good enough for United. But they can have careers at other clubs like so many United youth players have had lately. Just because you’re not good enough for United doesn’t mean you can’t do well at….say… Hull and such.

  6. Kevin says:

    Why do you expect more from younger players? That doesn’t make much sense, yes it would be great to see young players just come into the squad but we must remember it took some time for Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, and all the other greats time to break into the team. Eagles I agree should be on his way, he hasn’t impressed but I would like to hold onto Martins. I have heard some different accounts of the game and he seems to be fairing a lot better than he is on this one. Martins has some good qualities and needs more time to develop.

    Possebon looks good, I watched some of the videos posted on another site. He seems good on the ball and I am disappointed he didn’t make the trip to South Africa. I just hope he can play some for the first during the pre-season.

  7. jim says:

    eagles and marin have sunderland writin all over them

    on a side note with the family news if wes brown over the weekend he entered a man of a match game.

  8. Graham says:

    I can’t see either of these guys pushing for places in the future – useful reserves, perhaps, but probably not even Utd “bench” material. Of the youngsters, you can really only see Evans and Campbell PERHAPS making it through, but even then I think its a big ask.


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