Manchester United 3 Tottenham 0 Premier League, Old Trafford. Monday 22nd August 2011.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS, EVERYBODY’S WATCHING YOU; and on Monday night they were. Tottenham came to Old Trafford and although a lot was made of their poor record at Old Trafford, Harry Redknapp has always had this knack of being a bit thorny in our side when we least need it. Tottenham were impressive at times last season, and looked like they would give our team a real run for their money. With the team’s average age lower than the Whoops discount shelf at Tesco, big things are expected and so far they have indeed been hitting the marks. Monday was no exception.
If I am being honest, I expected more of Spurs. They gave us a game for a while perhaps but they didn’t offer up much and when the cracks appeared the resistance fell away quickly. United can only play the team that is in front of them and they dealt with Spurs well. I expected a lot of Brad Friedel and for a long time in this match, he delivered. He has denied us many times in the past and tried in vain to do so this time. Tom Cleverley tested him early with a quality shot and he was instrumental in the goal too with a gorgeous cross just begging to end up in the back of the net, thanks to Daniel Welbeck it did. Last time GTS saw Welbeck it was against Wolves (check the Fledglings category to read what we had to say then), he is only going to thrive in a team that is learning and growing together in front of our eyes every week. For confidence, see the overhead kick and the back heel into Anderson’s path for his goal.
“Anderson: trust us to sign the least Brazilian, Brazilian player ever. We should take him and Welbeck off about 60 minutes, early in the second half.” Andrew: GTS Assistant
For a lot of the United team this game at home would have come at exactly the right time. After fighting back and showing their quality and promise in the early outings away from home it was right for them to show us. A game at home is equally as welcome if you have had a bit of a mauling for your performances so far. Everyone, without exception did just that. Anderson was very impressive, a quality performance from him and a classy finish for his goal. More of that please. It was important to get David De Gea out there too, he needed a game like Monday night in front of us. Where a clean sheet would be a bonus but more importantly, the majority of those watching would have been supporting him. In the end, he stood up to Spurs well, literally too, at one point. Moments like that are good to see, because he has taken a lot in only a few games and he has come back to be counted each time. The confidence he will gain from that performance will be valuable to the team when the season gets interesting.
David Jones needed to experience playing at the Theatre of Dreams and he handled the tempo well but that wont surprise anyone because every member of this team is experiencing the ups and downs together. Being there in person you really get a sense that we are indeed blooding something new. Jonathan Evans is giving us the performances we expect from him after taking a holiday from consistency last season. Players like Chris Smalling are growing in to their roles and being the dependable United lads we need to replace other dependable former United lads currently swaying for the cameras on Sky Sports (and building environmentally friendly houses). The job is not done, but the kids are alright and with Javier Hernandez back and the injury list getting shorter, it feels right to be ending on these words…
Bring on Arsenal.
In a bit… GTS