The decisive moment came early, maybe too early, as you always felt the red devils had more 'umpfh' packed into their new-look dynamite, but were settled down quickly by the early goal and tended to play within themselves. Louis van Gaal’s newest recruit Morgan Schneiderlin, a tower of a Frenchman, sent a looping header to the far side of the Club America goal to open his account for the red devils and make certain LVG maintained his one hundred percent record in the pre-season tournament.
If we are honest, we would admit that the former Southampton midfield general’s arrival has been clouded with the gold dust from the Schweinsteiger arrival from Bayen Munich – a more prestigious club, a more decorated player. These are not up for debate, however this isn’t either: Morgan Schneiderlin is the second most important signing United has made in the last 3-4 years. Schweini brings the leadership, sexy calm and glamour. Schneiderlin is the engine room, he brings the steel, power, and fear factor back to the United midfield – enter at your peril, the French axe man lurks.
The man who did an Italian job on Rafael, Matteo Darmian, started along with fellow new recruit Memphis Depay. Darmain was very tidy, and it was evident he is still trying to blend into the squad. You could see he was slowly building some understanding with Juan Mata. The Italian did not undertake any risky forays. The ex-Torino man kept in functional, effective, and mistake-free.
My first note upon actually seeing Memphis was this; he is a hulk of a man. The dutch winger wonder kid looks like he ate Shazam. I was actually concerned, because he is known for his pace, it always felt like he was going to break, or pull something when he ran. The lad is massively ripped, and bulked out of his United jersey like a Hollywood bouncer.
The other thing of notice was his shirt assignment. My eyebrows arched Ancelotti-style when I saw he was wearing the number 9 shirt– that was a surprise and a bit of a worry. He slotted in behind Rooney, and played okay but nothing worthy of a headline. He has massive potential to be the total package with his strength; players were bouncing off him like pinballs, and football intelligence.
However it was apparent to me that playing centrally dulls his main strengths, and would be a grave misuse of his abilities. LVG will just be settling if he continues to use Depay there, when he could absolutely thrive in a wider position like Ronaldo, Neymar, or Ribery do for their respective outfits. In the same vein LVG announced United are still looking to bring a couple of players in, let us hope one of them is a proper forward, as rumors of a Pedro acquisition from Barcelona constitute the same problem. The Spaniard is also a player that plays best from wider positions rather than centrally.
David De Gea was conspicuously missing from both halves. Van Gaal opted to start with Sam Johnstone, and Anders Lindegaard in the second half. We have to wait to see what this actually means going forward. That saga has been drawn out and is now quite an annoyance.
Last observation reconciles the cliffhanger earlier on, as I proclaimed Scheniderlin as the second most important signing, the first? He is no other than the mercurial Spanish ace Ander Herrera. After I saw him in action in the second half, I was instantly convinced that we have an absolute gem on our hands. For me he is an automatic starter, and the midfield should be built around him. His dynamism, intelligence, off the ball movement, awareness, and intensity are so inate – a natural footballer. I would renegotiate his contract preemptively, and include a prohibitively blockbuster release clause that targets both La Liga bully’s because this lad is the heir apparent to the Xavi’s and Iniesta’s, so Spain will come calling soon.
The red devils will leave their Seattle camp for San Jose, California where they are billed to face the San Jose Earthquakes in their next match of the International Champions Cup tournament.
**Note: All photos in this article are courtesy of Chuky Akosionu @TheDailyManc