Former United player Peter Coyne gives his reaction to the win over Aston Villa and looks back on his own debut at Villa Park almost 40 years ago.
Friday night’s game saw United claim a 1-0 over Aston Villa at Villa Park, making it two wins out of two in the Premier League. Although the two games so far haven’t been the most exciting, Peter believes it will take time for the manager to find his best team: “When you look at the team in three of the most important positions, we’ve got a new keeper, Daley Blind playing centre-half, and a brand new central midfield player – Schneiderlin. It’s the same old thing, it’s just going to take time and the manager has to find the best eleven to put out there.
“We’ve just got to try and keep our noses up there which we didn’t do last season while Van Gaal manages to get the best formula. Two wins out of two is a great start but it’s not that exciting at the minute, there’s not a lot of crosses coming in and I think we’re going to make a signing before the deadline, we have to.”
Adnan Januzaj scored United’s goal at Villa Park and Peter thinks he needs a run of games in the first team if he is to fulfil his undoubted potential: “I think he needs to be told he’s a good player and to forget about going out on loan now. He’s been around for a while and he’s a big strapping strong lad with pace and defenders hate that.
“I just think he needs a run of games, while we’re winning I suppose the manager can keep him in but I think if we were to lose he’d be one of the first players to be left out. He needs time and they don’t tend to give you a lot of time these days. For me he’s got to be a wide man, whether that’s on the left or on the right coming inside.”
Wayne Rooney had a poor game against Villa leading to question marks over whether he is undroppable: “I think he is undroppable, simply because if we did leave him out I don’t know who we would put in and I don’t know what would happen to him if he was left out.
“We don’t want any problems with our captain, it has happened a couple of times before where he’s asked for a move and we don’t want that happening again. I was a bit worried about him at times last season with his form, I think it’s just the way we’re playing because I don’t think he’s involved enough.
“If we can get more crosses in for him I think we would see a different player and for me we should be trying to get the ball into him as much as possible because if he plays well the team plays well. I think that could be why we haven’t done brilliantly in the first two games, because he hasn’t played well.”
For the rest of the current transfer window, Peter asserts that United need to bring in an attacking player with pace and an experienced defender: “We definitely need pace and I’m not sure about Daley Blind playing centre-half all season, whether he’s just filling in for Phil Jones I don’t know but I think we need to bring someone in because it looks like Jonny Evans is going to go.
“If they can get John Stones from Everton we’d have him for the next ten years and he’s English as well. Otamendi looks ok as well and I wouldn’t mind getting him, someone with a bit of experience who has been there and done it.
“We need to sort De Gea out as well, one way or the other. I don’t know whether Van Gaal is trying to turn the fans against him by saying he doesn’t want to play but that’s the worst thing you could ever say about a player and I’m sure he does wants to play. So I hope he sorts it out one way or the other quickly.”
It’s now nearly 40 years since Peter made his United debut at Villa Park in a 2-1 defeat and as well as being able to remember all the details of that day, he is proud to have worn the shirt of the club he grew up supporting: “I can remember the day dead clearly. I can remember getting to Old Trafford on the morning, getting on the coach, getting to the hotel, getting to the ground and coming on as a substitute.
“It doesn’t seem like 40 years ago, Lou Macari scored for us that day and as soon as I went on Villa scored from a free kick. I hadn’t even touched the ball and remember thinking ‘welcome to the first team’.
“I was a massive United fan and I must have been about eight when I started going with the big lads from our estate. Like any kid I used to think that one day I wanted to play for United, never thought in a million years that it would come true. But it did and I’ve always got that to look back on and that I played with my heroes.”