United Earn a Hard-Fought Point at Goodison to Retain 5th Spot

1. Ole is doing a fantastic job at Old Trafford, no doubt about that. This United team has come on leaps and bounds over the last year or so, in each and every department. Goodison Park is a tough place to go and Carlo Ancelotti has got them playing well with some consistency. Despite falling behind early on via a fluke Everton goal, United dominated the rest of the first half and played some excellent football, with Bruno Fernandes orchestrating much of the offensive play. Bruno’s goal was also well taken and during these first matches, he has certainly shown the United faithful what a player he is. During that first half, our midfield was in total control and suffocated the Everton midfielders while creating a number of half chances. The defence stood its ground and one could see how as a unit, they are playing well, be it with a back four or a back five. We’re not the finished article and more work has to be done and also a couple of important additions are needed but certainly, Ole has laid the foundations for the next great United team.

2. Much has been said about Harry Maguire when he joined United for a record fee at the beginning of the season. In truth, Harry’s value of £80 million on the market is excessive but he has been instrumental for us. Harry’s positional play is second to none, able to read the game in front of him to perfection at all times. His interceptions during a match must be the most of any defender in the Premier. Harry is also a commanding figure and despite not turning up with more goals for us from attacking set pieces, he defends balls in the air like a Vidic or a Bruce. Add to that the seamless way in which he took over captaincy responsibilities from Young and you have the complete modern central defender. He might not be worth £80 million but he has certainly delivered for United. Fantastic signing.

3. I mentioned him in the first point above and I’ll mention him again here. Ole seems to be growing in his managerial role with this team. I am impressed with the variations in the formation and system he used over the whole season. Back four or five, five in midfield and sometimes three, three upfront and sometimes two, today he used a diamond midfield formation to great effect, particularly in the first half. And it’s not just about putting the team out in a particular shape, it’s how you train the team to play in that system which counts. This United team continues to develop, and I credit Ole and his coaching team with that, first and foremost.

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