The whole Manchester United world is on a high after the 4-0 victory against QPR and, in particular, the performances of the new signings who have had so much expected of them in the last fortnight.
As good as it is to have gotten off the mark with a victory and a comfortable one at that, I think some of the supporters need to slam on the breaks and not get too carried away.
There was a lot of positives to take out of the match against QPR, as were touched on by Louis Van Gaal in his post match interview. Daley Blind provided what we have been lacking in midfield for a long time. Roy Keane was the last to do that job, and more recently Owen Hargreaves and Alan Smith; win the ball. Blind made 119 passes; this is the 5th highest of any player in the league this season. The Dutch International was combative and tough which are qualities you need from at least one player in the modern day midfield battle.
Angel Di Maria was exceptional on his Old Trafford debut. He scored, albeit fortunately, and although Wayne Rooney will be credited with the assist for the second, it came from a 70 yard surging run made by Di Maria. Not to mention, THAT outside of the foot pass to set up an opportunity for Robin Van Persie.
It’s easy to get carried away and talk about how good all these players are, and soak up the fact that the bookmakers have moved United into 3rd favourite to win the league this season but there are other aspects to look at.
Gameweek 2 of the Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 QPR
Spurs were flying high, two good wins to start the campagin and fans were delighted but when it came to the third match when they got their real test, they fell at the first meaningful hurdle. The Scousers went to White Hart Lane and stuffed them 3-0, when, in reality, it could have been more but for poor finishing and decision making on their behalf.
United face Everton and Chelsea in the month of October and they will provide what should be the first two big tests of the season, irrespective of the opening three games.
Now, before getting carried away, remember the chance presented to Charlie Austin by David De Gea. Add to that the opportunities spurned in the second half by Kranjcar, Vargas and Fer when shots on goal were either poor or not taken. If those opportunities were given to Romelu Lukaku or Diego Costa, we would have been in trouble.
Austin’s gilt-edged chance immediately after the opening goal would have levelled matters. The complexion of the game would have been very different and it wouldn’t have been as easy to add goals number two and three against Chelsea or Everton.
Yes, it is a very exciting time to be a Manchester United fan. After spending a couple of years watching other clubs making the ‘marquee’ signings while we ‘nurtured’ talent, we have finally dipped into the the market and made a bit of a splash.
In the modern era, spending money is the way to go. Man City, Real Madrid, PSG and Chelsea have all proven that and now we must do it to compete on the same level that we have for nearly thirty years.
But, we need to be cautious. We are off the back of a poor season and confidence will still be low with the players remaining from the Moyes era. The signings were good yesterday. They made the team tick and we saw a bit of the cutting edge that has been lacking in the last 18 months but we still haven’t been tested. As the saying goes, ‘You can only beat what’s in front of you’, and yesterday that was QPR but it’s not enough. Hold your judgement for the ‘big 6’, the teams who finished above United in the league last season. Those games are when we will find out how the signings have adapted and how far United have come this summer.