United 3 - 1 Hull City
Valencia Jones(Jones) Smalling Buttner
Adnan Kagawa Lawrence(Giggs)
Adnan Kagawa Lawrence(Giggs)
This game was all about Nemanja Vidic and what could be Giggsy's final game at OT as a Manchester United player. However, when I saw the line-up uploaded on Twitter I quickly forgot about Vida and Giggs and looked forward to see what a couple of our very own players (plus Adnan) are capable of doing on the big stage. The prospect of seeing three teenagers leading United's line of fire was very exciting and they did not disappoint.
I've been following young Wilson this season and I was quite impressed with his attacking prowess. He's an excellent box player who knows where the net is and seems to find himself in the right position at the right time. A bit like Chicharito. Still a long way to go before he'll truly be in the reckoning to be amongst United's twenty-something player squad. There'll probably be some loan periods before he'll get his chance to grace the Old Trafford pitch again but that was definitely a great debut for him and a dream come true. Let's hope he turns out to be a Wayne Rooney and not another Federico Macheda. The lad has got talent in abundance, if he didn't, he wouldn't have scored for the under 18's, 19's, 21's and the senior team in a single season. He was denied a chance to complete his hat-trick as RVP replaced our young striker after the hour mark.
As for the other debutant Lawrence, I didn't think he did bad at all. He was the first player to actually try and trouble Hull's keeper and looked like he wasn't afraid to get at City's defence. I just hope youth players are given a chance after the inevitable arrival of a foreign manager. With British managers, you know that young British players will be given a chance every now and then, just look at Rodgers' trust in English players at Liverpool. I'm not sure whether a high profile foreign manager will do the same. Let's hope United's tradition of giving youth a chance is kept going, just as Giggsy suggested in his post-match speech.
|Our shining light in a pretty bleak season|
Anyway, Wilson might have stolen a few headlines but my man of the match was undoubtedly Adnan Januzaj. That was a performance that brings back memories of a young Giggsy or Ronaldo attacking their flank and terrorizing defences. It's been a while since we've had a winger who's as good as this young kid. The good news is that Adnan has only turned 19 last February so he'll definitely improve in the future. We've got a real gem in Januzaj. That's the left wing (or even right) sorted for a good number of years.
The youthful exuberance of this trio of players did not hide the inefficiency of their older, much more experienced, team-mates. The likes of Kagawa, Carrick and Fellaini did not impress me at all. They've all had a bad season which is quite odd given that both Carrick and Fellaini were players of the year with their respective clubs last year. Fellaini did produce an assist but seemed to be getting in the way of play far too often and he even blocked a dead cert Buttner goal late in the game. Let's see if the new manager has the former Everton man in his plans.
"You have seen a glimpse of the future tonight. Keep supporting us & the good times will come back soon."
This was Vidic's final Manchester United game on the hallowed pitch of Old Trafford. The guy has been simply phenomenal in his eight years at the club. He's won the Premier League 5 times and the Champions League. He's also led our team to numerous finals and cup wins. Nemanja has been a rock at the back for United and his partnership with Rio was perhaps the best I've ever seen. I was only 15 when Vida arrived at United so I don't really remember any other formidable central defence partnerships at United. I do remember Stam and Johnsen but I don't think they were on par with Ferdinand and Nemanja. Unfortunately, I'm too young to remember the Bruce and Pallister combination in our central defence.
I wish Vidic all the luck in the world in his new adventure in Italy. He's got at least 2 more years playing at the top so he's got to make the most of his time in Italy. He was a rock during his first 6 seasons at the club but a series of niggling injuries got the best of him and he hasn't been as effective during the past couple of seasons. It is obvious that Nemanja has slowed down and this is evidenced by the constant fouls he kept giving away during matches this season. So, if United really wanted to improve, Nemanja had to go and I guess the right decision was made. He'll now enjoy the Italian sun, their mediocre football and one final cash windfall in his footballing career. His final lap around Old Trafford was pretty emotional and we saw another side to the combative defender we've all grown to love. During his brief speech he was almost in tears and, to be honest, so was I. Despite him signing with Inter midway through the season, the fans still supported him and sang his name during games and, apparently, he is very appreciative of that. His warrior-like qualities will certainly be missed. Let's hope we can find another 'Nemanja' this summer or perhaps the likes of Evans, Smalling and Jones can step up a gear and emulate the Serbian colossus. All the best Nemanja! Definitely a legend at our club.