Three things we learned from Manchester United's opening day win

Published Add your comment

Football News

Manchester United kicked off the English Premier League season with a 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur.

Despite the satisfactory result, Louis van Gaal will not be happy with United’s overall performance. This stems from the fact that the Red Devils won the match on a lucky own goal.

With numerous talking points to discuss, here are three things we learned from this fixture.


Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article:

Daley Blind cannot play center back

Many fans questioned Van Gaal’s decision to play Daley Blind in the heart of defense. It turns out that they were right to do so.

Blind struggled against Tottenham, a large part due to his shambolic positioning. At one point, the Netherlands international was caught so far forward that he looked as if he was playing holding midfield.

His positioning is not the only problem though. Blind’s small frame and lack of pace make him vulnerable during aerial duels and closing down.

Don’t get me wrong. Blind is a fantastic player in central midfield or even on the left-hand side of defence. But playing him at centre back is like hammering a square peg into a round hole.

Far too patient passing is not creating chances

If you were to follow Wayne Rooney’s movement in the match, one would notice the number of times the captain peeled away from centre backs, trying to get in behind.

What was even more noticeable was the number of times his fellow teammates neglected to play him in.

Manchester United’s patient short passing has become a norm at Old Trafford. Recycling the ball from side to side is neat and tidy but United need to start being more inventive in their play.

The absence of created chances will not fare well at all against the smaller teams that “park the bus” or the bigger teams that can score numerous goals themselves. Crafting a hybrid of Van Gaal’s possession tactics and Alex Ferguson’s swift attacking style would greatly benefit United.

Memphis needs a wide berth

As was predicted, Van Gaal persisted with playing Memphis Depay in the no.10 role and once again, Depay underwhelmed.

The Dutch star got was fairly involved in proceedings but was often facing away from goal. Playing in between the lines does not suit the young player as it does not allow him to run at defenders.

With his back to goal, Memphis’ goal scoring threat is neutralised. An easy solution to this would be moving Juan Mata into no.10 and shifting Depay onto the right. Its either that or waiting for however long it takes former PSV man to adapt.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Louis van Gaal
Premier League
Manchester United

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again