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Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for…

How are you all doing this fine Tuesday? Yeh. I was busy yesterday preppin’ new stuff for the site and our new YouTube studio show and I completely forgot about doing the column.

There’s been a whole lot happen in the last seven days, but also nothing happen, that we REALLY want to happen, in terms of signings. Which, I admit, I am little bit surprised at. Vermaelen has left Arsenal for Barcelona. Wenger is a seriously lucky man. Vermaelen wanted the United move, we wanted the player, Wenger didn’t wanna sell us another club captain. So he’s gone to Barcelona. Not a bad runner-up prize is it?

Does leave us looking a little desperate in defence, though. Which is worrying. Games are won by goalscorers, but championships are won by defences. We’ve lost Rio, Vidic, Evra, Buttner this summer, replaced by only Luke Shaw and the emergence of some young lads. Michael Keane and Tyler Blackett. Back in January when United played City in the U21 game, Tyler walked out of the AJ Bell Stadium, in a United tracksuit and no one even gave him a second look. Except my son, who asked him for a photo and then spent a good few minutes talking to him. He seems like a genuine, grounded lad. Local too, so you always want them to come good.

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I’ve personally rated Tyler for a long time. Probably 2 years or so since I noticed him playing for the U21s, where he was mostly used as a left back. I didn’t think he’d continue his career there and I’ve spoken about how I think a move to central defence would suit his physical attributes. This year’s US Tour has seen him come to the fore. Much the same way as Januzaj did last year. With three centre-half slots open and the most injury prone defence ever assembled, regardless of who comes in I’m certain he’s going to be given the chance to show what he can do in the first team. If Januzaj’s rise is anything to go by, he’ll not be walking out of the AJ Bell to indifference in six month’s time.

Tonight’s game with Valencia, I’m not bothering to go, I’ll be watching though, interested to see that we’re able to keep the momentum going. I would expect Wilson has forced his way into a start, after not being on tour and giving a serious look at me performance (in a good way) vs City last Thursday, Shaw and Herrera will likely be given their Old Trafford debuts, but hopefully not too long as I hope they’ll both feature vs Swanea on Saturday lunchtime. Tonight should also be an opportunity for Januzaj to get some playing time ahead of the new season, it would make sense that he’s given close to a full 90, arguably Fellaini too, but I am not certain he’s being kept around. So I’d rather see Ben Pearson given a go. Pearson and Rothwell impressed me hugely last year in the U21’s. I was gutted they didn’t get to go on tour.

What this all means of course is that we’re a matter of days away from the season starting. Pre-season has gone like a dream, which has to give you confidence. We’ve collected some silverware at almost every turn, Chevrolet Cup, International Champions Cup, Manchester Senior Cup, meaningless? Yeh kinda, but no game is worthless and I’d rather be winning, playing the kind of free-flowing, confident football we are, than losing and telling everyone it doesn’t matter. I’m looking at you, Scousers.

So sit tight, buckle up and get ready, by the time we talk next week, we’ll have (probably) been top of the league for a few hours at least.

Until next week. Enjoy your weekend and if you’re at the game, come and say hello, I’ll be with Adam, from FullTimeDEVILS over the road from Hotel Football.

Laters

Stephen

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