United 0 - 0 Newcastle
Darmian(Valencia) Smalling Blind Shaw
Mata Januzaj(Chicharito) Memphis
So that's our first points dropped. You'd think I'd be very disappointed with a draw against Newcastle at home but I'm actually not too worried. I've seen enough during the game that convinces me that we're only a signing (or two) away from being the real deal. Will Woodward and Co. get us an attacking player we desperately need? I don't know. What I do know is that I'm very pleased with our defence, an area everyone has been yapping about the need to strengthen. Our new goalie hasn't done much wrong either and our midfield is protecting our back four brilliantly but should probably do better when building attacks. The people playing in the final third are either out of form or become hesitant when near the opposition's box. To be fair though, it ain't easy trying to score against a team that defends with eight players. Yes, Newcastle had two good chances but they were the result of counter attacks. I just hate it when the opposition just isn't interested in actually trying to build attacks and score.
Darmian, Smalling, Blind and Shaw were excellent once again. I cannot really find any fault in their performance. Smalling was very unlucky not to win us the game when his header was cleared off the line. Shaw's insistence on having a fitness instructor with him during the summer holidays has worked wonders. That's what you get when you're determined to improve. He has barely put a foot wrong this season. Yes, we've 'only' played against Spurs, Villa, Newcastle and Brugge but in four games we've only conceded one goal and that was via a huge deflection from one of our own players. I'm delighted with the way things are going at the back.
Schweinsteiger started his first United game and wasn't as effective as I would have liked him to be. In fact I thought we upped a gear when Carrick replaced him on the hour mark. Schneiderlin did his job well. Januzaj started brightly, as always, but faded. Memphis was a different player to the Memphis of last Tuesday. He could have scored a goal but to a horrendous first touch that dragged him wide and gave Newcastle's defenders time to recover. Mata had a good game but when he was in the final third he hesitated more often than not and Newcastle's defenders managed to take the ball off him on a few occasions. Rooney had a bright start but was worryingly anonymous by the end. Our other striker Chicharito could have won us the game but Krul made himself big in goal and the Mexican's effort was saved.
So, third premier league game, third clean sheet. If you look at it this way, then that's a very impressive stat. The worrying stat is that we've only scored two goals in three games. We need someone who's fast and who can finish. Who? I have absolutely no idea. But with a net spend of only £8m this summer, if the Glazers are really interested in putting us at the pinnacle of English football once again, they should put their (the club's) money where their mouth is.
Lets get over the Brugge hurdle. Come on United!