Manchester United’s Workmen Amaze Us

Manchester United at Aston Villa wide shot | James Baylis AMA

Januzaj wears black boots. It is quite the oddity, mind you, particularly in this era of the overly flamboyant look-at-me footballer, and that in itself is quite refreshing. What’s even more refreshing? Seeing a young player who puts his head down, decidedly unflashy, void of the dyed hair tips, and choreographed swagger most commercially driven young stars adopt as they embark on their perpetual campaign to cuddle attention. Not Adnan.

The young Belgian has been virtually frozen out of the first team since his histrionic rise to the fore during the underwhelming reign of David Moyes. In spite of the slim opportunities to showcase his silky trade, Januzaj has stayed the course with admirable professionalism and plodded along in virtual silence. He is a modern day representation of the anti six-pack-selfie player that Roy Keane famously bemoaned as the core content at the Emirates Stadium.

This work-like attitude seems now like an epidemic at the Old Trafford outfit. United, admittedly, look unspectacular but very solid – fantastically solid at times. They remind you more of a Mourinho team than a Ferguson team, for some of the red devil fans still cursing the decision to shun the petulant Portuguese manager, well now you have his football if not the man.

Louis van Gaal is building a formidable side at United with fierce competition at most positions.

In his place, a far better man, Louis van Gaal has created a symphony of texture and pattern with sumptuous triangular playing patterns forged with steel from his team defense schema. It is industrially beautiful, especially for those who see the eloquence of suffocation as being equitable with the excitement of goal bombardment.

Adnan Januzaj scores the goal that settles the contest with help from a Clark deflection.