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Reactions to our victory over Swansea

Match reactions1. Well, thank God that’s over, and more importantly, thank God it finished with three points for United. All summer we’ve had the first day of the season hanging over us. We drew 1-1 with Swansea at their place last year, so there were certainly easier fixtures we could have had for the opening day, and with Chelsea, Liverpool and City in the next few weeks, it was so important we got points on the board. To win and go top of the table is about as good as you could possibly hope for. Great start to the season.

2. The most reassuring thing from the game was seeing Robin van Persie picking up where he left off last season. With a midfielder still yet to sign, it looks as though we are going to be reliant on the Dutchman’s goals again this season, so for him to start the season so well is important. His first goal showed his fantastic ability, after a perfect ball was floated over the top from Ryan Giggs, and Van Persie volleyed in the air. But if his first goal was good, his second was even better. After a nice ball from Wayne Rooney, Van Persie charged forward, fooled his opponents with his quick feet, then smashed it in to the back of the net from outside the box. The guy is just quality and I’m still not sure when I’ll really get my head around him belonging to us.

3. Whilst it was a relief to see Van Persie scoring, it was even better to see Danny Welbeck get his name on the scoresheet. We can make excuses for his poor return in front of goal last season, like the fact he was played out of position and not given a proper run in the team, but you still have to acknowledge that he didn’t do well enough. Having scored 12 times the season before, he let himself down in 2012-2013, despite improving his movement, ability to pinch the ball of the opposition, and skilful feet. So to see him equal last season’s goal tally in the first game was a pretty fantastic start and hopefully a sign of what is to come. His first goal was a great example of being in the right place at the right time, after Antonio Valencia delivered an inch perfect cross for Danny to tap in. His second goal was a great example of how much technical ability he has, with him racing on to a ball from Rooney to chip the keeper. Not only did that wrap up the points but our place at the top of the table too. The only downside of his game was his silly mistake which lead to the Swansea goal. Not pratting around on the edge of your own box is a very basic rule for footballers and Welbeck really should have known better. When the goal went in Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand tore a strip off him. Better for him learn that lesson in a game like that than a game where it’s close though.

4. The biggest talking point before the game was Rooney and it was no surprise to see him start the game on the bench, after having little to no pre-season. He got some time for England earlier this week and looked a bit rusty, but he had a good half hour for us yesterday. It was his first touch pass that set up Van Persie and his through ball for Welbeck’s goal at the end. He was offside a couple of times when he really had no excuse to be but that’s just being picky. He’s got to get on with it now, we won’t be selling him, so it’s great to see that even if he does want out, he can still be an effective player for us. The reaction to him from the away fans from surprising though, with several chanting his name. I can understand not booing him, but surely he deserves nothing other than complete indifference? I suppose he can’t use the fans as an excuse to try and push a transfer through though if they’re supporting him.

5. David Moyes will have been keen to secure a clean sheet and will be disappointed by the manner of the goal we conceded. It was totally avoidable. But that wasn’t the only time they opened up our defence. Early on David de Gea showed why he was voted last season’s best keeper. Routledge wrong-footed Rio, who fell over, then got his shot away. De Gea didn’t only save it, but then somehow managed to prevent Dyer from tapping in the rebound, before the flag went up for offside. He also saved near post after Michu got a powerful shot away following some sloppy defending. Overall the defence did a good enough job though.

6. In the Fergie years, Ryan Giggs was fairly untouchable once he was on the pitch. He could easily be the worst performing player but the manager refused to sub him off. It would usually be when he was having one of those games that frustrates the hell out of the fans, where he refuses to do the simple thing, makes the wrong decision, and blames others when he makes mistakes, that he would get the full 90 minutes. Yesterday was a perfect example of one of those games. When he got in to great positions he’d choose the wrong person to pass it to, when in a good position to put us 1-0 up he missed the target then blamed Welbeck, and he was too often sloppy with his passing. That’s not to say it was a wasted day for Giggs though, as there aren’t many players who could have pulled off that ball forward for Van Persie for the first goal, with him sandwiched between two players. But it was pleasing to see Moyes take Giggs off with half an hour to go, with the chance of much improvement fairly slim, and Rooney’s contribution afterwards justified the decision.

7. The away fans, as always, were fantastic. Chants of “come on David Moyes, play like Fergie’s boys, we’ll go wild, wild, wild” were sung on repeat. In the second half, they started chanting “David Moyes’ red and white army”. The fans are doing exactly what Ferguson asked, supporting the manager, even if some still don’t agree he is qualified for the position.

8. All in all, the opening weekend couldn’t have gone much better for United. I would have happily settled for a 1-0 win, but to score four, with two strikers having early confidence to build on, is brilliant. Just like winning the Community Shield was a relief, so was yesterday’s game, and we’re as well prepared as we can be ahead of Chelsea now. It’s probably going to feel like a long season but we’ve started well and can hopefully add to our points in our next game at Old Trafford.

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. samuel - united WE stand says:

    IDWT – what other wide men were of really use since then? How many actually make huge impacts? I think the productivity of the player begs to differ, he is still by some distance, the most talented and most productive of the lot.

  2. samuel - united WE stand says:

    United doesn’t need Ozil. In adnan januzaj, you have a fantastic prospect, blessed every technique possible. A crafty left footed attacking playmaker, able to dribble, find crucial passes that even more experienced players,dream of. Drive in abundance, has a burst of acceleration but also very composed and intelligent on and off the ball. United must give him the platform to blossom, hand him a new deal and get him into the first team. Big potential this boy has, he also has the work rate to match his quality. He’ll be a full starter soon enough hopefully.

    Heard about larnell cole’s agent talking about moving him on loan, the next step for his development. Spanish and german teams have apparently made enquiries, that’s how good he can be, I think he needs to join a PL team or one in the championship with a good footballing philosophy, either wigan or bolton to be honest but larnell is another with quality, has come on well but needs to aim for the united’s first team now.

    Lingard too, he’s got bags of ability for the top and needs to push more for the first team, his best will be to target the left side of the first team.

  3. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Also tired of united younger players going on loan and not given enough opportunity. Of course they have to fight for a place in the starting line up but wherever the likes of larnell goes, they have to be given a fair opportunity, it has to be the right club with the right manager and style of football. Larnell is a little technician of footballer, very creative and needs the ball constantly, no point joining a club that will punt long balls and every match turns into a,scrap. Larnell’s aim is to be a first team manchester united player.

  4. po_red says:

    Once upon a time, a certain Fletcher was said to not be able to cut it at Man Utd.

    A few seasons ago, Welbeck was deemed not good enough for Man Utd.
    I have the believe that Cleverley, Welbeck and other kids will come good for Man Utd.

    Anderson though, remains an enigma.

  5. Wee Toms Ligaments says:

    @Proverb – sarcasm my friend. I expect United to win the league. And I expect Cleverley to play a major role in said championship.

  6. dazbomber says:

    Apparently Chevrolet are bringing out a car called cr7

  7. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Morning Reds.

    Dazbomber. Nice try mate, but the Corvette CR7 has been around for some few years.
    There is a new Stingray that is the bomb! They are called C7′s I believe!/home

  8. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Insulting bids from United? Right, Toffees would know all about that.

    Phil Neville, Howard, Saha, Gibson:
    Combined Cost? about 15m:
    Combined Appearances for EFC? Over 600!

    Toddle off EFC!

  9. The One says:

    @samuel – united WE stand, I’m 100% with you re: opportunities for our young players, particularly Januzaj, Cole, and not forgetting Powell, Keane brothers and Petrucci. In fact, I’d go as far as to be prepared to win nought this season if it means blooding in some of these youngsters and giving them games and a platform to develop. Januzaj and cole and scarily good, but cole in particular needs to bulk up and going out on loan to a good footballing team for regular game time would help. Will Keane and Petrucci have been badly hampered by injuries but I’m still hope they can make it at United. My only concern though is that the hordes of glory hunters on here (who masquerade as United fans) aren’t prepared to let this happen and will moan their heads off should we win nothing and will start bashing these youngsters and make them scapegoats. You can already sense their impatience with their reaction to our preseason performances. :(

  10. The One says:

    @FletchTHEMAN re: insulting bids, well said!!

  11. The One says:

    @FletchTHEMAN, I knew we had been very gracious to EFC but couldn’t put a finger to it. I was cracking my head as to how to respond to EFC’s reaction and you came up with that reply, just in time….:)

  12. The One says:

    @FletchTHEMAN, I knew we had been very gracious to EFC but couldn’t put a finger to it. I was cracking my head as to how to respond to EFC’s reaction and you came up with that reply, just in time. :)

  13. ji says:

    Dazbomber is trolling here quiet some time…

    His last message was that mega store is making way for some new shirt as they expect super demand for that jersey.

  14. scholes says:

    someone mentioned about januzaj being a better alternative than spending 40 million on ozil, i second that. januzaj is an amazing potential and would be a top player couple of years now.

    now the MF perennial perplexity; from what i see we have roo, kagawa, januzaj who can play no 10 role pretty well. i will be more than happy to see one of them with carrick and fellaini in MF especially in europe. clevs and ando can provide options too.

    on a different note did anyone notice how cleverly passes the ball. his entire body weight seems to be falling over. i am no coach to harp on the technicalities but something is not right.

  15. DreadedRed says:

    Wee Toms Ligaments + Andromeda

    It’s crazy, but sometimes I wonder if the doom-mongers would actually prefer us to fail, so that they can beat their chests and cry out “Told you so!”

    Proverb – Wee Tom’s comment was said tongue-in-cheek, quite effectively it would seem!

  16. DreadedRed says:

    ji – Dazbomber is no troll, mate.

  17. ji says:

    Sorry for harsh description, maybe to much.

    Still from time to time I see those comments which have no folloiw up anywhere.

    Daz appologies for naming you troll.

    I think the transfer window crap that goes on on forums is getting to me, and I might be to nervous.

  18. DreadedRed says:

    The transfer window crap gets to most of us, ji!

    If you weren’t a bit nervous, it wouldn’t be as exciting.

  19. Chris says:

    The LB question is quite an interesting one because I don’t think Buttner has the necessary skills to make it at United and I don’t see enough in Fabio for him to make the LB position his own but I do think he could do a job pushed forward into the LW position.

    Luke Shaw is a fantastic young player but he won’t get a place in the England squad yet with Cole and Baines ahead of him.

  20. In David We Trust says:

    samuel – nani better and more talented than valencia and young, is not saying much is it, despite the fact valencia is still more reliable than nani week in week out, no matter how one one dimensional valencia is, he still plays week in week out. Like I say, nani has done nothing since the start of the 2011/12 season, and the most recent thing nani has done, is get sent off against Madrid, and that sums nani up in a nutshell. Nani is an ok player, vastly overrated, talent alone does not get you in this team, you got to do far more than be talented

  21. T. says:

    Giggs had all right to blame Welbeck for not passing him. He had a far better position and Welbz shot as so often was a weak one when he as most of the time was out of balance. A pass there would´ve put Giggs in a sublime position to score. Other then that and the dribbling stunt that was the sole reason we conceaded, Welbz was really good. So I will put some thinking into it once again and give him 4-5 games before I will say he is n Manchester United material again. Great performance by the whole team, always good to see we are up there and that the pre season has been right.


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