- This was not a scintillating performance from United by any stretch of the imagination. Although we had much of the possession, in the first half United struggled to create chances and Newcastle managed to press United high and made it difficult for the Reds to string passes together and find their rhythm. United were coming from an away match in Europe on Thursday, where the Manager played most of the first eleven. The shift put in on Thursday will have affected the players coming into this match and this is a factor that Ole will have to manage properly for the rest of the season. I do expect him to give a rest to some of the first team for the return match of the Europa League at Old Trafford, in order to have them fresh for the trip to Stamford Bridge today week. The likes of Rashford, Fernandes and Greenwood have to be spared the mid-week efforts and I expect Mata and Diallo to join James and Martial in our attacking line-up. Hopefully, we’ll have Scott and Cavani back in contention for the match against Chelsea, which is direct encounter for the top four positions. Winning the match on Sunday will give us a cushion of nine points on Chelsea with 12 matches till the end of the season.
- I have appreciated the two performances of Daniel James against Real Sociedad and today against Newcastle. It’s not easy to come in the first eleven after a few weeks on the bench and perform the way Dan has. He has been lively on the right flank, which is still a problem position in our team, defending attentively when he had to and using his pace to great effect when going forward. As a bonus, Dan has also scored a goal in each of the two matches and while the goal scored against Sociedad came when the match was already won comfortably, the strike against Newcastle came with the score 1-1 and gave United the confidence to close the match soon after. Dan is a decent player, still young and with a lot of room for improvement. It is only his second season in the Premiership and if he can continue to work hard on his game, he can have a long successful career at United. At the moment, I cannot see him commanding a place in the first eleven if United want to challenge the best teams for the Premiership next season but it’s up to him to prove me and others wrong. I certainly wish him the best of luck.
- On the other hand, one player who is playing good football but needs to find the net quickly is young Mason Greenwood. It seems that the goals have dried up for Mason this year and we all know that strikers feed on goals. At times he has been unlucky, while in other situations during matches, his eagerness to end his goal drought has seen him making the wrong decision when in the penalty area of the opposing teams. Mason is a natural finisher who has scored goals regularly all his life, so this scenario must be awkward for him. I am still confident that the boy will get over this negative streak very soon and when he does, hopefully he can go on a run of finding the net with regularity. If he can do that, Mason would be like a new signing in the run in to the season.
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Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.