I love wingers, I love them. It was a crushing realisation when I was growing up to learn that I ran about as fast a geriatric on valium and was better suited to clogging than crossing. Due to the lack of kids with a sense of direction at our school my lot was to play up front, the glory position, and try and direct our side’s frantic clearances towards the opposition’s goal. People compared me to Mark Hughes at the time, probably because my name was Mark, I certainly didn’t have any of the Welshman’s skill, guile or toughness.
It would be pushing it to say that United invented wing play, but from Busby through to Ferguson it is a position our club has cherished and honed into a much loved art. One league game in to this season and, although it may be tempting fate, I am happy to sing the praises of Ashley Young.
That really was a terrific league debut, it is a shame that the ping-pong nature of our flukey winner at the Hawthorns denied Young the goal his performance deserved. Flukey as the winner was, the result was certainly justified and the fact that it was in question until the last ten minutes is slightly worrying. Our opponents over the next month will be tougher fare than West Brom.
Baggies manager Hodgson looked twitchy and worried this time last year in Scouse-land, on Sunday he seemed enormously peeved throughout. His anger is nothing compared to what you would usually expect from Fergie at De Gea’s Bobbins impression for the equaliser.
We need to give this guy time, he has produced enough excellent saves in the past two matches to confirm his talent. However, teams like Arsenal, Chelsea and lob-it-in-the-box Stoke, all of whom we face in the near future, will be aware of the Spaniard’s tendency to lapse. Fergie has decisions to make.
None of this is unexpected. My forecast for the season sees United conceding more goals than usual, scoring themselves out of trouble and swashbuckling their way through. With Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool starting their campaigns in whimpering fashion we have little to complain about. What’s more, all of United’s football in pre-season, and again this weekend, has been pretty darn entertaining. In Rooney’s opener we have scored yet another beauty too. ‘Bring on Arsenal, Chelsea and Stoke’ I say, ‘lob as many crosses into the box as you like’. We look like we can score against anybody at the moment.
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