Football

Tom Cleverley must start against Arsenal

Cleverley deserves starting place (©GettyImages)
Cleverley deserves starting place (©GettyImages).

Tom Cleverley may not be one of the more recognised names at Manchester United.

And the midfielder has certainly come in for criticism since breaking into the first-team at the Theatre of Dreams, however perhaps he is unfairly treated.

He may not be the goalscoring midfielder United fans crave and he is not in the same mould as the midfield class that has gone before him.

He certainly doesn't have the passing technique of Paul Scholes, nor does he have the influence in the side as Roy Keane.

However, he does give the Red Devils a great deal of energy and is one of those team players that even the best sides need.

In the past, under Sir Alex Ferguson, United have had the likes of Ji Sung Park and Darren Fletcher operating the high energy role at Old Trafford.

And now, when put into the first-team, Cleverley possesses a similar trait.

That's Why David Moyes should opt for the England international this afternoon. Many critics have suggested United will get overrun by the Gunners in the midfield areas.

But Cleverley can be key to helping United attack themselves. If him, alongside a returning Michael Carrick, can intercept key passes between the Gunners' midfield and Olivier Giroud up top, then United can break. 

Cleverley and Carrick have the ability to find the likes of Wayne Rooney, Adnan Januzaj and Antonio Valencia - if they all start. 

And Moyes' attacking stars can hit the Gunners on the break. Despite playing in-front of their own fans, United's biggest strength today could be their pace on the counter attack. It has worked for the Red Devils in the past against sides of Arsene Wenger.

And with Cleverley's energy and breaking up of play, he can be the catalyst to this style of play for United. 

United have looked better with him in their side this season. Think Manchester City. United only started playing when the England star came on to the pitch. Cleverley also didn't feature in United's shock home loss to West Brom this season. 

In last week's 3-0 first-half drubbing of Fulham, Cleverley starred in the first-half, before picking up a knock and having to be removed at half-time. 

United were off the pace in the second-half and ended up winning the game 3-1. His influence in the side may go unnoticed at times, but he is crucial to the way Moyes can set his team up for victory.

A certain Aaron Ramsey came in for harsh criticism throughout his early Arsenal career. The United man must look to the Welsh ace as an inspiration as he looks to get the fans on side and he can start by proving his point today.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Tom Cleverley

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