I don’t normally write down my thoughts immediately after a game for good reason. I, like everyone else, get really emotional during matches and often let my emotions dictate my feelings on the match.
That’s why I think it’s really important to always re-watch a game before analyzing it. As fans we come into every match with biases in our minds, and that influences what we take away from a match.
For example, If you think Luke Shaw is terrible, you’ll likely come out of a match remembering the two little mistakes he made and not remembering all the little things he did really well. Thus, you’ll still think he sucks.
It’s really important to rewatch a match when you take the emotion out of it. Your biases don’t stand out and you really see what happened. Sometimes you see right away that your biases were wrong. You often see a lot of things that you missed at first.
I figured this would be a good match to write down my thoughts immediately after this match and then be able to compare it when I do my full right up. Why this match?
1. My biases were strong coming into this match
2. I’m not at the bar for this game and it finished at 3:00. Aka my mind is clear and I have the time.
This turned out to maybe not be the most perfect game because of how mundane a 3-0 win it was – played with all the intensity of a July friendly. It wasn’t very emotional so it’s possible I was just thinking very rationally throughout.
Nevertheless here are my immediate thoughts
What a difference having a second midfielder who can actually pass the ball makes. The movement from United’s front line was the best it’s been all season. Maybe because they actually felt like the ball might come to them.
The development of Mason Greenwood’s all around game has been tremendous. He hasn’t played as much as fans have hoped this year because he’s been a defensive liability. That wasn’t the case today, all over the place, and always in the right place defensively.
It was immediately apparent what Nemanja Matic brings to midfield that Scott McTominay doesn’t.
All year been saying I needed to see more from Martial to prove that he can be the #1 striker. We know the talent is there, we just need to see some consistency. I said this would be a massive stretch for him over the final eight games. He delivered today, now let’s see it consistently.
Paul Pogba was immense today. All over the pitch, doing a bit of everything and I’m not sure he even broke a sweat.
Keep seeing people suggesting Diogo Dalot come into the team against teams that sit back, or that United Wan-Bissaka to RCB and play with a right wing back and it always baffles me. I’ve been saying for quite some time now that Wan-Bissaka has really made strives offensively and there’s been noticeable improvement since Boxing Day. His attacking prowess was on full display today and he was rightfully awarded with an assist.
Six of Anthony Martial’s 14 Premier League goals this year have come with Paul Pogba on the pitch. They’ve played 460 minutes together…
Got a flack for this tweet this morning and was paying extra special attention to it. Fernandes’ decision making has been questionable at best in his time at United so far. Overall I thought he was pretty good today – but then I went on twitter and saw a lot of people now highlighting the same concerns I got killed for before the game! So, should be fun to watch this one back.
Love that Ole whipped out the quintuple substitution. Wish he would have made the changes a bit earlier though as it’s important to not burn out the players. Then again, the pace of this game was nothing so it’s not like they were burning themselves out. Norwich in the FA Cup at the weekend gives you the opportunity to rotate but there shouldn’t be wholesale changes.
The FA Cup shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a really good opportunity to win a trophy this year and you have to be sure not to slip up. One of Pogba or Fernandes should play (I’d play swap em after 45 minutes unless the match is under control). I would have had Mason Greenwood in there too but his performance today has made him a first choice PL player so can’t burn him out which makes it tricky.
Early thinking I’d go
Romero, Dalot, Bailly, Maguire, Williams, McTominay, Fred, Mata, Pogba, James, Ighalo