The 3 & 3 this week is just as tough as ever, but for the exact opposite reason to what we have been used to this and last season. Prior to the game an expectation of home debuts for Blind, Di Maria, Rojo, Shaw and Falcao, combined with a return to fitness of Herrera and Rafael, a positive mood was in the air around Old Trafford. That positive feeling was proven to be justified, with Louis van Gaal going for a back 4 of Rafael, Evans, Blackett, Rojo ahead of De Gea supporting an extremely dynamic and highly entertaining midfield diamond of Di Maria, Blind, Herrera, spearheaded by Juan Mata. Four goals later and our season looks a lot more positive, so here are my 3 & (very harsh) 3.
I watched Real Madrid again this weekend, a rotten performance in the home defeat against Atletico, to follow up their rotten performance in San Sebastián last week. What that team needs, I thought, is one or two players in midfield willing to track back, tackle, dictate the tempo and do the box-to-box thang. Then, on Sunday, I watched Manchester United destroy a desperate QPR and thought, “Look how they track back and dictate the tempo and how several of the players do the box-to-box thang.” Particularly that Di Maria lad. Imagine my mirth when I noted in my mind, for the thirty-thousandth time that Real actually sold him to us because they preferred to have the latest must-have gadget, the ‘James’. I’m sure that Carlo Ancelotti thinks about this too, and then googles ’101 ways to kill your f*cking President and get away with it’. In reality it will surely be the manager who gets metaphorically disembowelled, because life isn’t fair. C’est la vie.
What a difference a £200 million investment and a manager who knows what he’s doing can make to a club eh? After a few teething problems which involved rubbish results and terrible performances, United under Louis Van Gaal finally hit their stride and duly put a hapless Queens Park Rangers side to the sword.
De Gea – A bit shaky at times, especially with his passing, and nearly cost us a goal early on. However, he made a truly outstanding save in the second half. 5.5
In a fortnight which has seen a popular Manchester lad depart and a Columbian arrive, Louis Van Gaal will certainly be looking to get over his stuttering start to the new Premiership Campaign with a win over QPR on Sunday afternoon. Although United have a game in hand, Chelsea’s 4-2 demolition of Swansea has taken them 10 points clear of the Reds with just 4 games played.