Manchester United: Community Shield performance assessment

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David Moyes made a winning start to his tenure as Manchester United manager, by winning the Community Shield on Sunday against Wigan Athletic - his first competitive game in charge.

How did United look one week before the start of the season? Let's find out.

Let's start with the defence: a fairly solid showing, exemplified by the clean sheet.

David De Gea looked competent dealing with the high ball, a tactic employed by Wigan frequently during the game. However, the right-back position looks to be an area of concern for Moyes, with Rafael going off injured and being replaced by Phil Jones.

Jones seemed to struggle with the ball being played in behind him, and lacks the same pace as Rafael, who is said to be out for around 4-5 weeks.

Moyes may want to consider searching for a back-up in case the squad becomes stretched. Better news lay on the other side of the defence, with Patrice Evra showing that he still possesses decent pace and a real attacking flair.

I would expect him to keep Alexander Buttner out of the team for the start of the season at least. 

The midfield showed a calmness and composure which is vital in the big games, with Michael Carrick in particular being at his metronomic best.

Wilfried Zaha showed huge promise on the right wing, but, as is to be expected for such a young player, he needs to develop his decision making; too many opportunities were squandered due to a needless step-over or back-heel.

Giggs was almost on a par with Carrick in terms of quality, again proving that he is perhaps one of football's greatest ever players.

Anderson, the Brazilian central midfielder, came on as a second-half substitute, and despite showing the odd glimpse of how good a player he could be, still needs to find some consistency in his playing, and perhaps in his eating habits too. 

Finally, the strike-force. Van Persie was in imperious form, picking up where he left off from last season by scoring two goals, one of which was an outstanding header.

However, Danny Welbeck was very much the catalyst for much of United's attacking play, usually being able to beat players on the half turn and rampage up the pitch.

Again, his finishing was slightly suspect, but overall a very encouraging display from the England international.

Adnan Januzaj, United's breakthrough performer during pre-season, came on as a late substitute. Despite not making too much of an impact, he did make some intelligent runs and showed good pace; keep an eye out for him during the next eight months or so. 

Overall, it was a comfortable win for United, against opposition who were somewhat lacking in ingenuity.

The question remains whether the Red Devils will be able to conquer more illustrious opponents.


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