- Twelve years following his last match for United in the Champions League final loss against Barcelona in Rome, Cristiano Ronaldo returned to wear the famous red jersey in front of an ecstatic full Old Trafford house, when United took on Newcastle, aiming to take the top spot in the Premiership. The arrival of Ronaldo lifted the whole of Manchester United, players and fans. He had left us as one of the best players in the world and returns as one of the best players to have ever stepped on the field of play. During the week, Ronaldo made it clear that he returned to Old Trafford to score goals and win trophies. And he was not to be denied. Despite not setting the world on fire in terms of all round performance – it was clear that he still needs to get accustomed to his team mates and the way United play – Ronaldo hardly put a foot wrong and he scored twice in critical moments of the game. Indeed, after a first half in which Newcastle defended deep in their own half with everything at their disposal, in the two minutes of injury time, Ronaldo followed up on a venomous shot by Mason from outside the area and the keeper could only push it in the path of the onrushing Ronaldo who duly buried it. And when Newcastle levelled in one of the few attacks they had, enter Ronaldo again to regain the lead within a few minutes. Ronaldo will score goals for us this season, and plenty of them. He may be thirty six but he has lost nothing of his hunger and eye for goal. The fact he’s playing inside the box these days will help him in finding the net regularly and as long as the players around him provide the ammunition, Ronaldo will bury them all season. He will take United to another level and certainly gives the team something which we did not have. And it might be that extra bit which Ole needs to emulate his master, might just be.
- In the last twenty minutes, it was becoming evident that the Newcastle players were tiring out. The attacking intensity by United for most of the match took its toll and eventually we ran out easy winners, with further goals from Bruno and Jesse, both excellent strikes. However, the goal from Newcastle and how unbalanced the team was in that instance will give Ole and his coaching staff something to think about going forward. I am on the same page as Ole in that in most matches at Old Trafford and even away from home, Pogba has to play in the quarterback position and orchestrate our attacks from deep. Alongside him though, one of Scott or Fred will be required because of the quickness and mobility needed to cover for the five players in front of them. I am not criticising Matic. He gave absolutely everything and had a good game in general. But he lacks mobility and age does not help. In order for United to take the game to the opponents and keep the pressure on, they need a young pair of legs to cover the back four efficiently. If we’re patient and continue playing this game, we will get better in the shape and we will dominate matches like the Sir Alex era. I am confident of that.
- Special mention today goes to Paul Pogba. Apart from the two assists in this match, Paul is growing in the role of dictating play from deep. He’s always playing with his head up, looking for the right pass and I think he can really make a difference for us this season, particularly with the exciting players he has in front of him. It would be great if the momentum of the team pushes him to sign a new contract very soon.
Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page. GGMU
Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.