United 1 - 0 Tottenham
Darmian(Valencia) Smalling Bling Shaw
Mata Carrick(Schweinsteiger) Schneiderlin Young
So it's the start of the new season. A lot of us had high expectations but the combined effort of our players failed to break these expectations (Sorry Adidas, stole your tag there). Let's all be honest, we expected more from today's game. There were some excellent individual performances but Tottenham's pressing game forced us into errors in the final third. The one shot on target we had all game tells that story. However, it's points that count and we can say that we started this season better than the last one. There is much room for improvement but when our new signings bed in and things start to tick, we'll obviously be much better. At the end of the day, an own goal by Walker won us the three points.
There were two performances today who really caught my eye and they happen to play in our defence, perhaps the area everyone keeps blabbing about the need to invest in. Smalling was my man of the match. He was absolutely terrific and timed his tackles to perfection. I've said it time and again, this guy's good. If the world class centre back eventually comes, he'll be coming to partner Smalling and no one else. Smalling should be a fixture in our back four when fit. Excellent performance!
The guy on Smalling's right was almost as impressive. Darmian was willing to attack and was always in his position when Spurs put us on the back foot. Class performance from the Italian. A lot has been said about our other signings this summer but this Darmian guy might well be our signing of the summer. He was later replaced by Valencia who showed us exactly why the Ecuadorian should not be a fullback; his positioning was quite poor in the few minutes he played. Let's hope Darmian keeps fit, keeps working hard and keeps Valencia away from that right back slot.
Blind was shaky at first but read the game better during the second half. Shaw had a decent game on the left. This will be a huge season for Luke. He's had an on-off season last year so, hopefully, he can prove his doubters wrong this year. Schneiderlin was doing a lot of work and his drive and determination will undoubtly make our midfield a force this season. Carrick was his usual self. With four players debuting, we needed an old head to keep things calm and provide that composure. Carrick provided that. Both Young and Mata had good games and combined well to create our first goal. Rooney was a bit isolated up front and fluffed his one chance, which was quite an easy one. Thankfully, Walker still made sure the ball ended in the net.
Memphis tried hard and grew in confidence as the match wore on. He'll have better days once he gets used to the Premier League. I've got high hopes for this man. Finally, a big well done goes to a footballer who was under much scrutiny. Sergio Romero started today's game and made a couple of good saves. What was even more impressive is his excellent timing to deal with balls on the edge of the box. His distribution leaves a lot to be desired but he'll get better at that once he's more confident in goal. Great debut.
So, one game out. 37 to go. I'm expecting a couple more signing that will take us to the next level. On paper we're definitely a better team than last season but we need to show this in our play. It's good that we've managed to get through today with the three points. The first game of the season never is an easy game and we found a really organised opponent today. Van Gaal has got 6 days to right today's wrongs before we face Villa. Thank fuck the new season's on. Come on United!