The reds lifted the Chevrolet China cup yesterday after beating Drogba and Anelka's (Didn’t feature) Shanghai Shenua by 1 goal to nil. Nick Powell started the game in a mish mash team of reserve and first team players including Shinji Kagawa, first pre season impressions?
Sluggish start as per usual with the first pre season games but there has been some encouraging signs in the forms of Kagawa, Powell and.....Bebe? Firstly the Japanese trequiartista looks a class act, the more you watch him the more the signing makes perfect sense. He loses himself in the blind spot between midfield and defence and picks the ball up regularly in this dangerous area, causing all sorts of trouble as he did against Shanghai and as he did in his time at Dortmund. He looks as though he could provide that cutting edge in the final 3rd that we have lacked the past few seasons. He not only took his goal well but he lined up well with the team and looked a threat, playing as part of a 3 pronged attack behind a lone front man looks as though it could suit both Kagawa and United this season.
Nick Powell is another that could play behind the front man but it seems as though Ferguson see's him in a deeper central role. The former Crewe youngster only played a half against Shenhua and managed to be on the receiving end of a crunching tackle and miss a good chance in this period. It wasn't a sitter as suggested by many on Twitter, great touch to bring down Petrucci's ball and then dragged wide on the turn. Federico Macheda's chance was a much easier one in the second half. Obviously too soon to tell with Powell, its certainly a long term investment and he won every individual award possible at Crewe last season at such a young age.
The introduction of Bebe at half time livened things up a bit in the second period...yes Bebe.
The first half against Shenuai was played at a very slow pace and the introduction of Bebe at half time livened things up a bit in the second period...yes Bebe. A late goal against Ajax Cape Town and an assist for Kagawa's goal against Shenuai wont get 99% of United fans on the Bebe bus and rightly so. I am still a bit intrigued by him though and wondered what sort of player would come back from Besiktas until he damaged his cruciate ligament. Someone must have seen something there, although he's apparently on his way I still wouldn't mind seeing him climb out of the abyss and transform himself into a squad player at Old Trafford.
Ferguson seems keen on strengthening the squad further and rightly so, Chelsea are splashing all sorts of cash on potential match winners and we all know how strong the Man City squad is. Lucas Moura looks like someone they are going all out to buy; he's a bit of a mix of Nani and Valencia so I'm not sure where he is going to fit in. He is very highly rated at Sao Paoulo however and would give the team more options; competition for places is a good thing after all. A Robin Van Persie signing would be a real sign of intent, imagine the Man United squad if they obtained both Moura and RVP. Along with Kagawa and all of the teams existing stars it would give Ferguson real options and depth, 4 4 2 with RVP and Rooney against the smaller teams and a fluid counter attacking 4 5 1 against similar teams to ourselves in Europe and the Prem.
I think this is where Ferguson is going with these potential signings and they are perhaps a necessity, we came close as you can get to Man City last year but now they have a taste of winning they will be an even bigger monster to compete with. Kagawa, Powell and co have made an encouraging start but more is needed in the transfer market to stamp our authority back on the premier league.
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