Early signs suggest Man Utd won’t suffer post-World Cup or post-Ronaldo hangover

Almost six weeks have passed since Manchester United were kicked out of Old Trafford, but they started there by getting past Burnley to progress to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

In the interim, the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo has left United free – financially off the pitch and tactically on it – while the Glazer family, their owners, have announced they will sell the club they bought in 2005. are open to

There was also a trip to Cádiz in southern Spain, where Erik ten Hague took a youth squad of non-World Cup players to what was supposed to be a warm-weather training camp, only for the rainy weather in Andalusia to show up. . Day in Manchester.

Go deeper

During that camp, Ten Hague admitted that United were “not very good” at the start of the season, yet he is confident they will continue to improve in the second half of their inaugural campaign.

The good feeling around the Dutchman’s squad continued when Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot and Fred were all given one-year contract extensions by the club.

World Cup hangover? Not on United.

Facing Championship leaders Burnley in their first competitive game since a 2–1 win away to Fulham in the Premier League on 13 November was a welcome return to their business. on the the pitch

Also Read :  Marcus Rashford and the goal celebration that is transcending football

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – making just his ninth appearance of the calendar year – grabbed his first assist since May 2021, players returning from the World Cup ran onto the field and those not in Qatar shook off any remaining rust. rocked and played important roles. As United entered Thursday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final draw.

Although they might not admit it in an open forum, you would expect most managers to have their players – if they are competing for their national team in a major tournament – ​​be eliminated after the group stage.

Ten Hague, however, did not have that luxury across the board.

Christian Eriksen had a disastrous World Cup with Denmark, who went out at the first hurdle alongside United colleague Facundo Pellistri’s Uruguay, but most of United’s players selected for Qatar 2022 progressed to the knockout stages.

Tyrell Malaysia did not feature for the Netherlands, but they remained in the competition until losing to eventual champions Argentina on 9 December.

Brazil trio Casemiro, Antony and Fred were ruled out on the same day, while the World Cup dreams of Bruno Fernandes (Portugal) and Rashford (England) were dashed after just 24 hours.

Despite leaving Qatar less than two weeks ago, Casemiro, Rashford, Eriksen, Malaysia and Fernandes started against Burnley, with Antony and England’s Shaw coming off the bench during the second half.

Also Read :  Jadon Sancho returns to Manchester United training as he nears first-team comeback

Harry Maguire will likely be the sixth World Cup player in the starting XI, only to be ruled out by illness. United will assess the England defender in the coming days before deciding on his availability for the home league match against Nottingham Forest on December 27.

In Maguire’s absence, Casemiro showed his versatility by playing in defense alongside Victor Lindelof and – barring an errant pass in the second half – was excellent.

The intensity of the match is not an issue for those who have been competing recently on football’s biggest stage, their quality shone through against second-division opposition.

Fernandes played a key role in the opening goal, picking out Wan-Bissaka, who clipped a ball towards an unmarked Eriksen. The Dane then scored a sharp move from close range.

“You never know (how they will play) because it is always difficult after the international break, especially when they are not playing together for five weeks,” Ten Haag said. “I don’t think the team we put on the pitch (ever) played together, but they played on our principles and rules.”

Rashford made his mark on the night – and continued to play with a ruthless streak that saw him score three goals at the World Cup despite only one of his five starts with a stunning solo effort to double the lead. mark

Also Read :  Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 World Cup season

He took possession in his own half before advancing into the Burnley penalty area, beating defender Jordan Baer in the process, and drilling a shot into the bottom corner.

“Rashford is at a very good level and his performance is improving a lot from game to game,” said ten Hag. Will continue at the performance level.

The win at Burnley leaves Ten Hague and United just three wins away from winning the competition in February.

The Hague is used to impressive performances in domestic cup competitions, winning two KNVB Cups in three attempts at previous owners Ajax, and his starting XI on Wednesday night indicated that he is in with a chance of any trophy in his first season. Will not turn his nose. As United manager

While it wasn’t a vintage United performance, there were enough positive signs to dispel any thoughts of a World Cup hangover and get them headed in the right direction when the Premier League campaign resumes on Tuesday.

Go deeper

Go deeper

Ten Hague praises Rashford and ‘hungry’ Man United players

(Photo: Isaac Parkin/PA Images via Getty Images)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button