Coming out of the pub with a bigger smile on my face than most Man United fans after a 1-0 loss is a weird feeling. But I think I speak for most, when I say I felt the performance was encouraging in most aspects, from a team that seemed like a work in process, not a finished product. Defensively solid with a few exceptions, the club’s focus should now be solely on midfield and attacking additions.
The first area I fill needs to be quickly sorted out is the striker to share the goal scoring weight with Harry Kane. With Roberto Soldado not being the goal machine he used to be, but still useful enough to be a third striker option and maybe utilized in a deeper attacking mid position, where he can use his passing and football mind better, Emmanuel Adebayor hopefully leaving the club and Shaq Coulthirst seemingly not ready to make the step up to a Premier League standard, reinforcements are needed. Chicharito, Clinton N’jie and Saido Berahino are the latest names in the rumor mill said to fill the vacancy and personally I fancy Chicharito most of the three names, but is the most unlikely to come.
The second area I felt we needed reinforcements in was the lack of speed in the wings. Even though I like Dembele, Lamela and Chadli they are not the speedsters we lack. Pritchard can be the answer to that need with his elegant and smart runs and although we currently have Lennon and Townsend in our books it seems that at least one of them will leave and a replacement maybe needed.
Thirdly, even though I really liked Eric Dier in the defensive midfield role, especially after being tested against a very dangerous Man United side, we have no other defensive midfield player in our books, assuming Nabil Bentaleb will occupy the more free central midfield role and Milos Vejikovic will move on to another loan move, a DM is another essential addition.
Lastly, the club needs to push forward with the sale of the deadwood players on our books. Players like Adebayor, Lennon and any other that the manager feels he has no use for need to leave soon so we can clear their wages from our books and their negative influence off our first team and especially the youngsters.
All in all Saturday’s match filled me with optimism for what’s to come later on from the team. We were solid defensively and although midfield and attack did not pop our eyes out, there were positives to take and I feel with some needed reinforcements we could really challenge for something better than 5th place and have another great, if not better, cup run.
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