5 Things Learned From The U-21’s | Manchester United News

5 Things Learned From The U-21’s

5 things the reserves taught me this week…

1/ If overlooking talent was a criminal offence…..

Then Tom Thorpe would have a case to take to the courts against Louis Van Gaal.

I write this as a huge fan of Tyler Blackett, I believe he’s been the stand out product from the academy of the summer tour to the US, but having watched the lad twice this season I’m in the process of developing a boy crush on the guy.

Strong in the challenge, calm in possession & an exceptionally good coordinator of his back line to keep things tight, these are qualities we’re not exactly blessed with currently, so his absence from the first team set up is confusing to me to say the least.

2/ Possession is good…..

But goals are better!

What this team do well, particularly so in this game, was press the opposition, win the ball regularly, cleanly & then most importantly, they’ve used it well, keeping the passing simple while they waited for the attacking runs to be made, and my word, those runs were made, time and time again, it was so simple it’s hard to understand how the senior side don’t replicate it, they pulled Norwich apart like you would slow cooked meat time and time again through this simple but effective style of football.

3/ Class of 92 being repeated…..

Not likely, that class was like a marital BJ, something you hope for, but know deep down that it’s highly unlikely to happen no matter how much you hope for it.

There’s talent, large amounts of it, Thorpe, Wilson, Pearson, Perriera, Blackett, & Lingard to name just a few have more than enough talent to achieve a great deal in their careers as professional footballers, I hope that that success is achieved at United, I really do, it’s something that I’ve loved about United since I fell in love with the club in 88, we don’t buy success, we build it from the bottom up, and talent coming through the academy is vital to achieving that.

4/ Positional variation…..

Gone are the days of young players being brought up as a player only being comfortable in one position, this team looked to constantly freshen things up by moving players around the pitch, that the players involved could do so without any drop in quality is a huge testament to the attitude of the individuals involved, and the staff who’ve coached them through the ranks, they play with a versatility that the senior squad is crying out for as I type.

5/ Positivity…..

There’s a huge amount of it attached to this side, both in how they play the game, that they as individuals will go on to have fine careers in the game, and that there’s a coaching structure in place at the club that will continue to produce players who can play the united way, the relief at knowing a large part of our history in promoting youth is subject to such focus for the future is greatly reassuring and pleasing in equal measures.

I live in the hope that the club will provide LVG with the players he needs to allow the senior squad to provide the same level of optimism that the under 21’s give me at the minute, but if as expected they don’t, then I feel these young lads will be my footballing salvation throughout this season.


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  1. Nicopoleides

    JonnyBrook1512 TalkOfTheDevils Decent read, some similarities with my own piece on the game/U21 in general.

  2. JonnyBrook1512

    Nicopoleides TalkOfTheDevils cheers squire, I’ve not watched the reserves since the Rossi & Pique days, so it’s good to see where we’re at

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