September Review: Mason Greenwood, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka shine in a poor month for Manchester United

Manchester United played five matches in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup during the month of September.nIt was not a great month for United with just three wins, one of them on penalties, two draws and one defeat. It means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a poor record at the club, winning 14 times, drawing seven and losing seven of the 28 matches he has managed at the club.

United started the month at home in the Premier League against Leicester City after the two-week international break. United won that match 1-0 with Marcus Rashford scoring from the penalty spot. David De Gea kept his second clean sheet of the season. United weathers the Leicester storm and got back to winning ways. A 1-0 victory over FC Astana in the Europa League then followed with Mason Greenwood scoring his first goal.

After back to back wins, United were seeking to break into the top four once again away to West Ham United. It was a poor match for United, who were missing a number of players through injury with the Hammers winning 2-0 – a poor performance all round. A 1-1 draw with Rochdale in the Carabao Cup then followed, which saw United win 5-3 on penalties with Greenwood scoring his second goal for the club.

Some (slight) positivity then followed in the run-up to the Arsenal match at Old Trafford. Both teams have been poor this season but Arsenal were much higher than United in the league table. Scott McTominay opened the scoring but it was not enough for United, who made a defensive error which saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalise. October will need to see massive improvement from United. Solskjaer will know this.

Mason Greenwood – three appearances, 196 minutes, two goals.

The teenager, who turned 18 today (1/10) made three appearances for United in September. He started against FC Astana, scoring the only goal of the game but then suffered from a bout of tonsillitis which meant he missed the away match against West Ham, a 2-0 defeat for United. Greenwood was back in the team to face Rochdale, scoring United’s only goal of the game in a 5-3 penalty victory.

Daniel James – four appearances, 300 minutes, pace and ability.

The Welshman has proven himself as a great signing, a £15 million bargain if you will. Daniel James played four times during September, missing the Europa League match against Astana through injury. He was not able to add to his three-goal tally during the month but showed himself as an injection of pace in the squad which has helped the attack. He started the attack against Arsenal with Scott McTominay scoring.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – three appearances, 270 minutes, composed defending, an extra man on the flanks.

The 21-year-old right-back was a great signing this summer. He has improved United’s defence that much that when he is not playing, he is missed. Aaron Wan-Bissaka played three times for United in September and was missing from the Arsenal draw due to a bout of tonsillitis, which was a shame as he was missed, again. His worth to this United squad is going to be massive in the months to come.

Notable Mentions: Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay, and Marcus Rashford.

September was clearly not a great month for United. However, it does not mean that individual players did not perform. Axel Tuanzebe played four times for United, spending 274 minutes on the pitch, captaining United against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup. He defended well but made a mistake against Arsenal which his teammates failed to deal with. It is a team game after all. Tuanzebe will kick on though and improve.

Scott McTominay made three appearances, missing the Europa League and Carabao Cup matches, although he was on the bench. 270 minutes played and one spectacular goal at Old Trafford against Arsenal will make the player more determined to shine. Marcus Rashford made four appearances, playing 331 minutes of football, scoring one goal, a penalty, assisting another. Not the best performance from the 21-year-old though.

Who is your Player of the Month for September 2019?

A look at what lies ahead in October…

In October, United will play six matches, two of these before the international break, four after. United start the month away to AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League (3/10) and they travel to face Newcastle United in the Premier League (6/10). After the international break, United face Liverpool at Old Trafford (20/10), Partizan Belgrade away (24/10), then away to Norwich City (27/10), ending the month away to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup (TBC 29/10).

Ratings: Mason Greenwood scores second competitive goal in 5-3 penalty victory over Rochdale; Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams also impress

Manchester United beat Rochdale 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really has some work to do with his team, who have been dire for much of the season. The inability to score goals is going to see the season become stagnated nearly enough as soon as it started.

Mason Greenwood scored his second competitive goal of the season in the 68th minute of the match, assisted by Jesse Lingard. The 17-year-old was the Man of the Match for me and could have scored a number of goals if it had not been for the ability of the on-loan Rochdale goalkeeper. He was the best outlet for attacking during the game.

Axel Tuanzebe was the captain for this match and he will be pleased with his efforts against the team of the town he grew up in. Solskjaer will be impressed with the 21-year-old also, who has clearly moved ahead of Phil Jones and could soon take on Victor Lindelof to partner Harry Maguire this season. Brandon William finally got a chance to impress too.

The draw for the fourth round of the Carabao Cup was completed after the match with United being drawn against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea with the match being played at Stamford Bridge during the week commencing Monday 28 October 2019. It will be a tough match for United. Chelsea beat Grimsby Town 7-1 to make the fourth round.

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian was unable to keep his second clean sheet of the season in his second appearance for the club this season. It was a poor goal to give away but a good one for 16-year-old Luke Matheson, assisted by former United academy player, Oliver Rathbone.


29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The 21-year-old had a very good game for United, especially in defence, although he got forward a lot with United running riot with possession and the chances in the first half. At one stage, Wan-Bissaka cleared a goalscoring chance off the line in a last-ditch attempt to save United’s blushes.


38 Axel Tuanzebe

The Captain had a great game for United, proving to be a commanding presence in the centre of defence. Solskjaer will have problems picking his defence now, which is not something that could be said in recent seasons. The lad who was raised in Rochdale will be happy with his performance, perhaps not the fact that Rochdale scored against United, taking them too penalties.


4 Phil Jones

I don’t tend to get too excited when Phil Jones is named in the starting XI. He did not doo too badly though, considering the lack of playing time this season. United dominated from the start of the game, so he was not challenged all that much. He was replaced by Williams at the start of the second half.


16 Marcos Rojo

The Argentinian played in the left-back role well during the first half, coming into the centre of midfield in the second. He got forward a lot of the time and could have perhaps scored a goal or two.


17 Fred

The Brazilian did not look as good against Rochdale as he did against Leicester City and Astana. He did not seem all that confident during the game which also made him seem unable to string too much together. He did score a penalty, which might add some confidence to his game.


6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman made his return from injury. It was not a great return and he missed a great opportunity to get United off the mark in the first half. Whilst United were playing poorly with Pogba on the sidelines, his faction of supporters were begging up his ability. If he really was that good, he should be able to do it against Rochdale. Don’t give me the ‘he was rusty’ excuses.


Andreas Pereira

The Belgian-born Brazilian had little impact on both the left and right flanks. His defensive ability was lacklustre for Matheson’s equaliser late in the game. I’m not sure he is good enough to play for United. He did score a penalty though, not that it was something to brag about.


14 Jesse Lingard

The academy graduate seemed to play well against Rochdale with United really trying to get goals scored. He put some effort in to being the experienced member of United’s attack before Mata replaced him with five minutes remaining. In all honesty though, he should be doing so much better than this.


Tahith Chong

The Dutch winger got forward a lot of the time against Rochdale. United dominated the match from the very first minute, having around 13 chances in the first half alone. Chong needs to show his tricky nature more often to become a mainstay at this level. When the team is as terrible as it has been, it is fair to say he has fit into it. This may not have been a glorious night for him but it will inspire him to get stuck in.


11 Mason Greenwood

The 17-year-old scored his second competitive goal for United, scoring his first against Astana last week. He was United’s best attacking threat in this game. He forced many saves from the Rochdale goalkeeper and covered a lot of ground, even getting involved in defensive duties. I cannot wait to see more of him this season.



33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Jones 46’. It was good to see him involved. He had a good game, other than being booked, which could be problematic. He was involved in United’s goal, showing his ability as both a defensive and attacking player. Luke Shaw might need to brush up or lose his place.


21 Daniel James

Replaced Chong 60’. The Welshman had a positive impact for the last 30 minutes of the match, putting his opposition on the back foot at times. Unable to score a goal but did use his pace to help his club. Scored the final penalty, sealing the victory for United.


8 Juan Mata

Replaced Lingard 85’. Had little time to get stuck into the game but was an experienced player with penalties on the way. The veteran Spanish midfielder took the first penalty, scoring it to set United on their way to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.


Goals: Mason Greenwood 68′; Luke Matheson 76′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 68′; Oliver Rathbone 76′

Manchester United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Jones (Williams 46′), Rojo; Fred, Pogba; Pereira, Lingard (Mata 85′), Chong (James 60′); Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Lindelof; Garner, McTominay

Bookings: Brandon Williams 72′

Confirmed Starting XI: Paul Pogba starts against Rochdale, Greenwood fit; Williams on the bench

Manchester United will face Rochdale in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford this evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad let the club down at the weekend with a poor 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham United, the second defeat in a row at the London Stadium. After a lacklustre start to the season, something needs to change.

Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy is seeking to overcome a poor period for his team after a relatively good start to the season. This match against United could come at the right time for him to take advantage of a club in dire straits right now. United, however, could look to build some confidence in this match, which is what they need to be doing.

Manchester United:


Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Jones, Rojo;

Fred, Pogba;

Pereira, Lingard, Chong;



Grant; Lindelof, Williams; Mata, James, Garner, McTominay



Matheson, Morley, McNulty, Norrington-Davies;

Dooley, Williams, Rathbone, Camps, Keohane;



Lynch, Andrew, Wilbraham, Ryan, Bradley, Tavares, Thomas

United and Rochdale have met once in the history of both clubs. United won that match 2-0 which was an FA Cup third-round fixture played at Old Trafford on the 9 January 1986, before Sir Alex Ferguson managed the club. Mark Hughes and Frank Stapleton scored the goals in that match. United will need to show improvement in this match.

Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, Daniel James, Angel Gomes and James Garner to start in 4-3-3 formation against Rochdale?

Manchester United are set to face Rochdale in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. United will need to find a way back from their 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham United on Sunday, which was an embarrassing performance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad who lacked a lot against the Hammers.

With the match against Arsenal on Monday evening at Old Trafford, Solskjaer may have to rest some of his squad for this match with others still on the sidelines, including Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, and Tim Fosu-Mensah. Youth will be trusted for this match, giving talented players a way of breaking into this first team.

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian played 90 minutes against Astana last week and kept a clean sheet and a cagey affair at Old Trafford. Every time he plays, he does well. Although in this competition last season, he was sent off against Derby County and the match went to penalties, with United losing. This season, he will want to do a lot better, if he plays.

De Gea should be rested for this match allowing him time to get ready for the Arsenal match on Monday, which will be an important match for United to get a good result in. A defeat will surely cause more drama amongst the #GlazerOut and #OleOut factions of the fan base. Nobody seems to be afforded time anymore, more to the point, no patience either.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Marcos Rojo

The defence is something that needs to sort itself out this season. The arrivals of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire seem to have gone a long way to averting the poor defensive record of last season, however, conceding twice on Sunday meant that United has now conceded six goals in seven competitive matches this season.

Wan-Bissaka should keep his place in the team as I am unsure why Diogo Dalot was not involved in the West Ham match. Maguire should keep his place too. Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe should start as both did well against Astana. Tuanzebe grew up in Rochdale, so this should be a good match for him to start for United and show his class.

Midfield: James Garner, Fred, Angel Gomes

With the Arsenal match in mind and the fact that Solskjaer stated Paul Pogba might get some minutes against Rochdale, I do not think it is likely to start. In which case, James Garner should be given an opportunity to show what he can do, which might surprise some people who seem to have written off the talented youth at the club already.

Fred and Angel Gomes should also play from the start of the match. Nemanja Matic did well against Astana but they defended for much of the match. Rochdale might be seeking to cause an upset as Colchester United did by beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-3 on penalties on Tuesday evening. Solskjaer will need to get this right if United are to succeed this season.

Attacking Midfield: Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood, Daniel James

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are both on the sidelines through injury, neither able to face Rochdale. Mason Greenwood missed the West Ham match through illness of which he has hopefully recovered from, if not, United will be using players up front who have no ability to create or score goals; Jesse Lingard for instance.

Tahith Chong and Daniel James should both start on the wings for United. Chong played well against Astana, despite the fact he was frustrated by the constant defending but against Rochdale, it could be a different story. James was one of the better players against the Hammers on Sunday and if you look at the summer signings, all of them have done well this so far.

Substitutes: Lee Grant; Phil Jones, Ashley Young; Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic

The substitutes could be important in this match. Paul Pogba will get some minutes according to Solskjaer, so his introduction could be important for United, especially with the Arsenal match coming up in a number of days. There will likely be no forwards on the bench, which could be a problem for the likes of James, Chong and Greenwood.

Phil Jones could be on the bench, although whatever happened in the stands at West Ham might change that if the rumours are true about what he allegedly said. Solskjaer could also rely on Juan Mata, who was lacklustre on Sunday, Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic and Lee Grant. Hopefully, United get a good result against Rochdale.

Preview: Solskjaer’s squad set to build confidence against Rochdale or continue where they left off against the Hammers?

Manchester United -v- Rochdale

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 25 September 2019, KO 20:00 BST

Referee: John Brooks  Assistants: Nick Greenhalgh; Philip Dermott Fourth Official: Anthony Backhouse

Manchester United will face Rochdale in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad let the club down at the weekend with a poor 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham United, the second defeat in a row at the London Stadium. After a lacklustre start to the season, something needs to change.

Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy is seeking to overcome a poor period for his team after a relatively good start to the season. This match against United could come at the right time for him to take advantage of a club in dire straits right now. United, however, could look to build some confidence in this match, which is what they need to be doing.

Form: United in poor form heading in Carabao Cup third round clash with Rochdale, who are winless in their last for matches themselves.

Manchester United: LWWDLD

West Ham United 2-0 L, Astana 1-0 W, Leicester City 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 2-1 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 D

Rochdale: LDLLWW

Fleetwood Town 2-1 L, Lincoln City 1-1 D, Peterborough United 6-0 L, Manchester City U21 2-0 L, Southend United 3-0 W, Carlisle United 2-1 W

Top Scorers: Both United and Rochdale need to find the art of scoring goals once again. Both clubs average around one goal scored per match played this season.

Manchester United: Daniel James and Marcus Rashford have scored three goals each this season in the seven matches the club has played.

Goals: 3 – Daniel James, Marcus Rashford, 2 – Anthony Martial, 1 – Mason Greenwood

This season is not the best for United. Since the opening weekend of the season, when they beat Chelsea 4-0, Solskjaer’s side has won two other matches (against Leicester City and Astana, both 1-0). In the Premier League, they have lost twice, won twice and drawn twice in the six matches played. This season needs massive improvement.

Rochdale: Callum Camps and Ian Henderson have both scored four times for Rochdale this season with the club playing 12 matches so far.

Goals: 4 – Callum Camps, Ian Henderson, 3 – Aaron Morley, 1 – Matt Done, Stephen Dooley

Rochdale had a good start to the 2019/20 season but recently, in September, they have not won a single match. Their last victory was in August, one of eight matches they played that month, beating Southend United 3-0 on the final day of the month. However, with United’s recent record, it might be a good time to visit the Theatre of Dreams.

Team News: Solskjaer to utilise youth in the Carabao Cup against Rochdale?

Solskjaer’s squad is still buoyed with injuries with Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah still recovering from knee surgery and Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial who are both out with thigh injuries. Mason Greenwood missed the defeat to West Ham United with tonsillitis. Paul Pogba might get some minutes against Rochdale, Marcus Rashford will be unavailable.

On Monday evening, United’s U23s were beaten 4-1 by Aston Villa. The notable absences from that match were James Garner, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and even Brandon Williams, who was suspended after being sent off in the last match. It is quite possible that youth could be used against Rochdale, which could be a blessing in disguise.

Rochdale will be boosted with the return of 39-year-old striker Aaron Wilbraham who had been out with a calf injury before the 2-1 defeat to Fleetwood Town at the weekend. Eoghan O’Connell could miss the game and former United youth player, Oliver Rathbone could feature in the Carabao Cup clash at Old Trafford.

Predicted Starting XI: Wholesale changes from the defeat to West Ham United; youth in the ranks once again?

Solskjaer will need to address some of the problems in this team. There is a massive void in terms of ability – and that is coming from some of the players that have been involved in the first team for a while now. There seems to be a lack of fight, desire, determination and more. This game will be a confidence booster, if United can get something out of it.

Match Prediction: One match played between United and Rochdale, at a competitive level, with United winning that game in 1986. What will this match bring for the two clubs?

United and Rochdale have met once in the history of both clubs. United won that match 2-0 which was an FA Cup third-round fixture played at Old Trafford on the 9 January 1986, before Sir Alex Ferguson managed the club. Mark Hughes and Frank Stapleton scored the goals in that match. United will need to show improvement in this match.

Manchester United 2-0 Rochdale

copyright: JW