Football is back – rejoice!
Manchester United had the fortune of playing the early game on the first day of the season, against Tottenham Hotspur.
Debuts were handed out left, right and centre, and only one goal separated the sides, with United lucky to win – a fact that their manager and fans noted.
With that in mind, here are the five things we learnt from the Red Devils in their opening day clash.
Matteo Darmian might be the signing of the summer for United
Arguably the lesser known of the signings in this window, the boy certainly made his mark in his first game. How refreshing is it to have a capable right back?
His praises were rightfully being sung, and his absence noted when he was subbed off for Antonio Valencia.
Darmian is not the only one to have debuted – Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay earned themselves some minutes at Old Trafford, too – Memphis may not have set the world alight, but he is settling into a new league. Let’s not forget, he bagged 22 goals for the Eredivisie outfit, PSV Eindhoven, last season.
Missing Person Alert
Once again, Tottenham Hotspur’s main man was nowhere to be seen.
Rumours of a £40 million bid for the striker were quashed almost immediately, but despite that, be it Harry Kane, or anyone else, Louis van Gaal desperately needs the ‘surprise’ striker he has been mentioning.
Kane was unable to create any chances, let alone score them, and it just highlighted the strength in Chris Smalling, who has picked up where he left off from last season. He was partnered with Daley Blind, with Phil Jones currently injured and Jonny Evans unable to play football, even on his very best day.
No De Gea, no problem?
His mind was elsewhere, making him unavailable for selection – according to the manager.
As the Real Madrid saga rages on, David De Gea was dropped from first team duty, and spotted in his team suit with Victor Valdes and Anders Lindegaard.
New boy Sergio Romero was handed the start – and his debut – and things did not look good in the opening minutes. Questionable clearing did not settle the United faithful, but a fair few saves later in the game changed opinions. He’s not big Dave, but it’s early days.
Too many men
Louis van Gaal’s summer spending seems to have focused on the middle of the park. It’s both good and bad news for Manchester United. They have plenty of top quality players, but who gets dropped?
Ander Herrera found himself on the bench for the opening fixture, with Memphis Depay looking upset at being subbed off for the Spaniard.
Bastian did not start, but came on for Michael Carrick. With Europe still calling, more games will be needed to get the most out of all of these players.
Kyle Walker’s own goal made the difference at Old Trafford.
Unfortunate for Spurs, but Wayne Rooney was taking his time to score – chances were few and far between, with Wayne Rooney looking like he was struggling to keep his morale up, and it was certainly hard for new boy Depay.
Manchester United need to pull themselves together ahead of the Aston Villa game – another three points are vital so early in the season, especially with Chelsea and Arsenal already falling behind, and the Champions playing City next weekend.