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Scrappy Win Over Fulham Suggests A Transition Has Arrived

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The sight of Fulham coming to Old Trafford hardly fills the Red Devils with dread, our annual 3 points expected via a game that is put to bed after 70 minutes so the bit part players can have a run out and the stars can wave to their adoring fans as they head for an early shower. I’ve seen it numerous times before.

However today we decided to give them a start, and leave them in the game until the final kick.

Echoes of Everton at OT last season and at Goodison Park on Monday echoed eerily around a mainly silent home crowd as the lack of effort, class and atmosphere threatened to ruin the party.

Starting Wayne Rooney on the bench was a sure sign that  Sir Alex saw enough in his most paid possession to give him a lesson in what matters. One can only hope his dietician spent time near the Rooney fridge this week so that the sausages are replaced with fruit, and also that the month with his leg up that follows an accidental gash will not be spent with a beer in one hand and a fag in the other watching TV, as his waistline suggests was the case following his holiday in the Ukraine.

Robin van Persie scored his first goal, Shinji Kagawa looks like a skillful Park Ji-Sung on speed, and Antonio Valencia proved he owns the right wing. There is lots of hope in those three for the season.

By contrast David De Gea, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Anderson, Ashley Young and Nemanja Vidic proved form and positional play is a problem for this squad, in which Sir Alex Ferugosn doesn’t yet know his best XI.

The absence of Nani and the return of Rafael were both benefits to the team. However the guile and power of Moussa Dembele exposed Tom Cleverley and Anderson repeatedly and surely proves my longstanding point that this is indeed a star who has matured into a top player. If he goes to Real Madrid for £15m we will regret spending our small pot of transfer fee on players who are far less effective than him.

A win is a win but hanging on against Fulham, with De Gea punching easily catchable crosses back into the penalty area, and with United conceding possession at home to a team that will not even get a Europa League place is not what we want to see.

The transition at OT is now in full swing, but transition to what?

Watching Manchester City dominate their home game, seeing Chelsea win 3 times already and then seeing United struggle again, it seems to me that this top 3 will likely finish in that order. We are not as solid a side as the other 2 but surely the return of a centre-back or 2, plus the challenge to Rafael and Evra from Alexander Buttner, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling will solidify the back 4.

If Anders Lindegard returned soon I wouldn’t be surprised as De Gea was either stupidly cocky with his foot skills or shockingly fearing crosses like his Dracula nickname suggests.

Danny Welbeck looks devoid of confidence, Rooney devoid of form and United devoid of midfield creativity.

This season has started with a nervy 3 points from 2 games and the International break cannot come soon enough for Sir Alex to take stock, have a good long think and hopefully open the wallet and get Dembele who could be exactly what we need in the attacking midfield role alongside Kagawa, behind van Persie.

A 4-5-1 is currently our best formation and with Carrick in defensive midfield, and Young gaining some sort of form, we might just start to control the games we play.

Meanwhile the salaries paid to Dimitar Berbatov, Anderson and Nani might need to be shed to pave the way. I see no future at OT for any of these bit part players this season.

Balancing the books while improving the team is a skill David Moyes, Arsene Wenger and a new Liverpool manager every season has to deal with, and that’s where we are now.

Can Sir Alex adapt to the new normal, because Fulham will tell you that it has now arrived.

By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve

6 thoughts on “Scrappy Win Over Fulham Suggests A Transition Has Arrived”

  1. Yes De Gea made some fine saves and was our best player v Everton but he made a POOR mistake (what mistake isn't poor) for Fulham's second which went in of off Vidic. That mistake completly changed the game and from a position where it looked like we had the game won, Fulham were now only 1 behind and we begun to panic.

    Yes De Gea made 2 good saves from Dembele and from Bryan Luiz a minute from time, but he made a silly mistake, one that he won't dream about repeating this season.

  2. It's just so frustrating that people want him to be dropped. He's 21 years old not even at his peak and has come to the most brutal league in the world, look at Valdes' mistake yet no Barca supporter will ever ask him to be dropped. De Gea is the best shot stopper and one on one keeper in the league as stats prove, United fans need to get their head out of their own arses because he is the best young keeper in the world.

  3. the author of this article lacks d knowledge of football or possibly he is just bias.for d sake of GOD how can u hope 2 drop nani 4 young!!!young is d worst player manchester united has ever signed.he does not posses d quality or guile 2 play 4 man-u.very preddictable!!!I find it absurd that u will hope carrick 2 b d defensive midfielder.cleverly is a good player but does nt possess d strength nd creativity 2 command a regular shirt.xpt of course we want 2 go back 2 europa cup nd get beaten by bilbao again(same apply 2 anderson).other than paul scholes and giggs,none of these present man-u midfielders can actually contend 4 midfield position in any of mancity,chelsea,madrid,barcelona,bayern munich,juve etc.hw then can we compete 4 trophies?I REALLY dont know y we spent so much money signing young wc we dont need last season.sell young,berbatov,anderson,carrick,wellbeck nd sign witsel nd james rodriguez nd we will be okay.

  4. Another arrogant man Utd berk. How often do you travel from Bristol or Surrey to see your big name big wage stars? Pity you are so much in debt isn't it? No wonder why so many of us hate Utd, their arrogant glory hunting “fans” .

  5. chelsea won three games ,but could lose the game with reading easily if the keeper doesnt made the mistake,and they equall after thet an offside goal,newcastle was awfull they lacked energy and they do not play like last year,,,so chelsea didnt have a tough oponent yet,,and for city the got two presents from liverpool ,liverpool should have won that,,,so dont rush with your conclusions… agree about anderson he has no calmness in his game and i think he is not man u calliber…about nani better to have nani all year around then ca.20 mill.in the bank,,i know he sucks very often ,but only sell with a buy…young is ok if he can get good form he can be very usefull…welbeck needs maturity ,he plays like he has all the time in front of him(he actually has but thats why he is wastefull),the arival of rvp will teach welbeck and chicarito ,that they have to develop a killing instinct…so its gonna be a very interesting season to watch…i hope united gonna learn from the past ,and from last year there is plenty to learn

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