Now that the international break is well underway, it could be a fair enough time to look back at the season so far and reflect on the team’s performance. Well, it wasn’t necessarily electrifying to start with, but things have been picking up and, hopefully, we’ll continue in the same vein as we left off against Wigan.
So let’s look at our players — those who have played in the team — one by one.
He has taken a while to get into his groove, thanks to an ill-timed foot injury that kept him out for a month. But now, he seems to be slowly picking up pace and begun scoring goals. It is still too early to say much about his form – he is working his sock off, as usual – but if his hunger and recent form is anything to go by, there is a high chance that we may be seeing the best of Rooney this season. Rating: 6.5/10
I wouldn’t have even talked about him, but for his crucial goals. His injury situation is now stuff of legend and songs have been written in recognition of the famous Mr. Glass. However, when he is on the pitch, he does play intelligently and we seemed to miss him in the early stages of the season. A goal against Sunderland was extremely crucial while the penalty against Chelsea came when victory was all but sealed. Of course, now he has relapsed into his favourite place, the club’s rehabilitation centre. Rating:6/10
Took time to adapt himself at Old Trafford. Not so much the country as much as his role in the side. His work rate was undoubted and he seems like a confidence player, just like he was at West Ham — he needs the first goal to start rolling on. That’s what happened after the diving header against Chelsea. His performances were only upwardly mobile after that and was topped off by the goal against Wigan. Looks extremely promising. Rating: 7.5/10
Was never expected to play a significant role this season. This came from the gaffer himself. But with suspensions and injuries, he was promptly pressed into action. He has his faults — seems indecisive with the ball at his feet, gives the ball away too often. But all that can be excused because he is still learning his ropes. Aside all that he’s still done a very good job considering the environment he’s had to adopt to and he is an excellent crosser of the ball. That speaks for his three assists so far already. Not to forget the screamer against Tottenham. Another good young prospect from the assembly line of Sporting Lisbon. Rating: 6.5/10
Was suspended for three games after an ill-advised headbutt which made our performances suffer in part. He has been a key component of our attack, without doubt. So we did miss him quite a bit. He took his time to get back to his form of last season and with four goals in five games he looks on course to make a fool out of Drogba’s earlier assessment. Rating: 7/10
Has been criticized for his form throughout this season. While his pace might be deserting him, he has given the ball away on numerous occasions, something you don’t expect him to do with alarming regularity. He was dropped from the starting line-up for the Roma game and that seemed to work for him as the game against Wigan was his best of the season. It’s worth noting that his performance also coincided with United’s best performance of the season. Rating:6/10
As one would have noted, I have been very conservative with the ratings. That is because we haven’t been particularly great going forward and that reflects on our goal tally. Most of you might agree that it has been the defence that have been our saving grace this season, and I will get to that, and the midfield in subsequent posts over the week. Keep watching this space.
PS: Don’t ask why I haven’t included Anderson. He is a central midfielder, according to me. I will get to him when I discuss the midfield.
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