What We Learned: Sergio Romero deserve to start

The match has ended at St Mary’s stadium, and Manchester United are one step closer to ending a season that they probably wish was over already. Another 0-0 draw adds to what has been a frustrating season for Red Devils fans. Condemned to, by the club’s lofty standards, sixth place mediocrity, there’s only one game left that matters and can save this season. This game was a dress rehearsal for the dress rehearsal preceding that fateful day in Stockholm. Prefaced with a warning that this match have no true meaning from either side other than table finish for Southampton, these are three things we learned.

Sergio Romero deserves to start*

He saved Manchester United further embarrassment along with Manolo Gabbiadini penalty kick. He may be older and not quite as prolific as his Spanish goalkeeping teammate, but worst case scenario if De Gea does move on, Sergio Romero merits the first choice role. Even if David De Gea stays, I am confident Sergio Romero can get the job done against Ajax and can at least be the main choice for cup competitions next season, even Champions League should Manchester United qualify. *=The Europa League final; also in general, should David De Gea leave this season

When it matters, Rashford should start as striker

Marcus Rashford’s goal tally is not very impressive this season, but that’s partially due to him constantly being put on the bench. Whenever Rashford is used, you can at least count on him to provide energy and spark moving forward. As much as those qualities are great from a super sub, it’s clear from this season that Manchester United could use that spark from the first whistle. Anthony Martial should be played on the wings, Zlatan Ibrahimovic off the bench or as a strike partner, and Wayne Rooney as depth. With the attacking talent at United’s disposal, they should be scoring more goals. That will only happen if the talent is utilised properly.

United players are injury magnets

Not one, not two, but three United players picked up injuries this game. Juan Mata’s wasn’t as serious, but Marouane Fellaini and Eric Bailly are already in doubt for the final Premier League at Old Trafford vs Crystal Palace. Even though Eric Bailly is suspended from the Europa League final (unless an appeal is successful, which is doubtful), injuries are the last thing Manchester United needs especially when a number of youth players are already present in the matchday squads. If only there was a simple solution for this. Alas, injuries are part of the game.

Concluding thoughts

Yawn. Aside from Romero’s penalty save, that game was probably not even worth watching. I guess that shows the gap between us and Chelsea right now. Chelsea beat a decent Watford side 4-3 with nothing left in the league to play for, while United players cannot get closer to scoring than Southampton. Granted, Southampton are a better team than Watford, but not by much. I still love supporting Manchester United and I’ll watch the league finale against Palace, but I wish we could just fast forward to the Europa League final. At least that’s how the players and staff seem to feel about it.

Written by Ivan Ornelas


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