Menu

What We Learned: Manchester United 0-0 Everton – Wayne Rooney’s Testimonial

We all must remember that was a friendly and in no way suggests how football will be played at Old Trafford in the coming months. A fitting tribute to Louis van Gaal, not so much Wayne Rooney in terms of footballing action but it was an evening earned by Manchester United’s very own ‘Marmite’ player. Here is what we learned tonight in his testimonial.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks sumptuous

And I’m not just talking about his sun tan. He didn’t score or assist, but when he got the ball he was just doing those little exciting things that get bums moving in seats. His footwork is mesmerising and ever so intricate and off the ball, he is just something else. Of course, it isn’t entirely unexpected, but the doubts many had over his age and whether he’d still be able to mingle amongst the best are now really starting to look unfounded and far too preemptive. In the last two seasons United have signed players that were meant to get fans excited with every touch of the ball and thus far nobody has managed to achieve this (bar Angel Di Maria fleetingly), I’d put good money on Ibrahimovic finally doing this.

Possible resurgence for some?

Under Louis van Gaal there were two or three players that didn’t excel quite how many expected or had done before. Ander Herrera is one such player, stifled maybe by a system unsuited to his strengths, his first half performance was very good and perhaps hinted to a recapture of the form that endeared fans to him in his first season. Antonio Valencia is another. Through no fault of his own, his game lost that edge it had before his leg break, it’s bound to happen. Then a move backwards to Right Back hindered him more so in an attacking sense, but so far in preseason he has assisted three goals (against Galatasaray) and tonight he was much more cavalier in his approach. The freedom to surge up and down is marred only by his insistence on not beating his man anymore. If he recaptures that ability then he is a real asset.

Where do Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan fit?

It feels to me that the starting XI tonight is going to be there or thereabouts come the next two Sunday afternoons, and this scares me a little. Not in any major way at all, but with Wayne Rooney definitely playing in an advanced role (and also being captain) and Ibrahimovic needing to start because he’s Ibrahimovic leaves no room for Marcus Rashford or Henrikh Mkhitaryan. It just isn’t doable to fit in all of the best players in the starting lineup and it’s a quandary I quite enjoy in a sadistic way. I’m sure both will get their chances to impress, it’s just a case of when and how.

Conclusion 

It’s difficult to read too much into that tonight. Mainly because it was so boring I’ve puncture wounds from the toothpicks that were holding my eyes open, but also because it was a friendly. If I’ve to endure the complete balls up commentators are going to make of Eric Bailly’s name forever more I’d rather we sold him to be quite honest (a French lad having his name pronounced in Spanish because he played there is just utterly ludicrous) and Daley Blind may find opportunities hard to come by under his new manager, but otherwise there isn’t much more to say. Love or hate Wayne Rooney, you cannot deny all he has achieved throughout his career and you cannot fail to acknowledge the service he has given Manchester United either (even if there has been a transfer request or two). Many say he is over the hill and past it, but tonight that didn’t matter. Now for the real football to start, buckle in because it’s going to be a wild ride.

Advertisements

Other news you may also like

July 11, 2014

With the impending departure of the legend that is Patrice Evra, the Manchester Evening News today have compiled a list of potential suitors to the throne Evra is leavin… Read more

April 24, 2016

Despite all the improvements in the squad from last summer, Manchester United still looks likely to miss out on Top Four after a stretch of terrible form and injury plag… Read more

August 25, 2016

Manchester United signed Paul Pogba for a world record £89 million transfer from Juventus earlier this summer, and despite being banned from making his second club debu… Read more

April 7, 2014

Manchester United U21’s defeated Aston Villa 3-0 at Old Trafford on Monday evening, in a match that saw first team defender Jonny Evans play for 65 minutes in his… Read more

copyright: mufclatest

%d bloggers like this: