Man United 1 Tottenham 0: Three talking points
Three talking points as Manchester United eased to a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford
Is Blind a centre-half?
It would not take a genius to work out that Manchester United were in need of some defensive reinforcements after some shaky performances at the back last season. Statistically, United’s defence held up well last season, however, they did look shaky and not a defence that is capable of winning a Premier League title. Big names such as Mats Hummels and Sergio Ramos have been touted as possible recruits for Louis van Gaal this summer, however, the talk on both of those transfers has now gone quiet. As Premier League fans will know, any player hoping to become a successful centre-half in the English game needs good strength and height. Players such as Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and John Terry are great examples of the type of players who thrive in the centre-half role in the Premier League. Even though Daley Blind has the ability to read a game very well, some fans may question whether he lacks certain characteristics to be a success at the heart of United’s defence. Although the United defence succeeded in keeping a clean sheet against Spurs, Daley Blind did not look to be completely comfortable at centre-half. His partner, Chris Smalling, outmuscled Spurs’s attackers, but Blind failed to replicate that form. Surely Van Gaal needs to make another big signing at centre back before the end of the window, as Blind does not look like he would cope well with some of the Premier League’s best forwards.
Will Rooney score goals at centre-forward?
With the signings of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin to reinforce United’s midfield, this has given Wayne Rooney the freedom to focus on playing in a more attacking role without having to cover any midfield injuries. With Rooney able to cover in midfield, he has often been asked to play deeper in the United line-up, as was seen last season when he played in a defensive midfield role against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge whilst Michael Carrick was out injured. However, with the two new signings in central midfield, Rooney will not have to worry about dropping back so much and can concentrate on doing what he does best – scoring goals. In his early years in the Premier League, Rooney found the back of the net for United by playing an attacking role. Van Gaal will be hoping that the Englishman can repeat this kind of form this season.
Spurs lack star quality
After a disappointing display from Tottenham at Old Trafford, fans will be wondering whether the team have any individuals who can step up and produce something out of nothing. The Premier League has been graced with talent in the past that can make something out of nothing. Players like Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez all have the capability of making something happen even when the team is playing poorly. Spurs fans would have been looking to their big players today, such as Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane, to make something happen – unfortunately they were left disappointed. In order to break into the top four in the Premier League, Spurs will need to find a way of grinding out results in games where they perform under par. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and United have been known to take points from games where they perhaps did not deserve to do so. That is what it takes to challenge at the top of the Premier League. After today’s poor performance, Spurs fans will be wondering whether their team has any players who can do that for them.da