Man United were lucky to escape with all three points in their season opener, but what did we learn from the encounter?
We have to be honest with ourselves. Manchester United were extremely lucky to walk away with all three points at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday Night Football.
Erik ten Hag’s were supremely disappointing, disjointed and so careless, though it’s already a better start than last season’s opener, in which we lost 4-0 to Brentford. We have to view that as a positive.
You’d expect the gaffer will have his players at training bright and early today, to work on everything that went wrong. Although he publicly backed his squad, you just know he’ll be putting them through their paces today.
I know we all want to leave that display in the rearview, but let’s give it one last look over – discussing all the positives and negatives about the game.
Andre Onana is already making an impact
He’s just great, isn’t he? Command of area? Tick. Good with the ball at feet? Tick. A big personality? Tick. A good shot-stopper? Tick. Onana was the biggest plus from yesterday. He was superb in every single aspect.
We can talk bout the possible penalty shout but the ball had already gone and it was a bang-bang play that happened so quickly. I genuinely don’t believe it was a spot-kick.
The midfield is a huge concern
Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes’ styles are a little too similar. They were often taking up the same space, which left massive gaps for Wolves to exploit. The pair need to start singing from the same hymn sheet sooner rather than later, which I fully expect will happen at some point in the not-too-distant future.
They’re both super players, as is Casemiro. They’ll sort it out among themselves as they continue to learn each other’s style of play.
Marcus Rashford is not a striker
We’ve said it time and time again. I love Marcus Rashford, though he’s not a lead man. He doesn’t have that ability to hold the ball up, nor is his positionally disciplined enough. Far too many times he left that central area vacant going searching for the ball, leaving his teammates no option when in good crossing positions.
We all know he’s miles better off the left-hand side, which hopefully, we’ll see soon when Rasmus Hojlund is fully fit and available.
We have to remain patient with Alejandro Garnacho
It’s easy to forget he’s still so young, though it feels like he’s been in and around the first team for ages already. Garnacho will have games like last night where things just do not work out for him.
For now, you’d suspect he’ll remain an impact player off the bench when everyone is fit, though I do like the decision to start him in that game, purely for his own personal confidence and belief.
Ten Hag still needs further backing
The Glazer family will not like it, but United need to spend more money. The club need another top class centre-back and at least one midfielder. Maybe two, though Kobbie Mainoo will return to the fold at some point (hopefully) soon.
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