Former United winger Jules Maiorana assesses his old team’s fortunes ahead of two season defining games.
Jules, who was at the club between 1988 and 1994 believes that Leicester City’s recent achievement shows the big clubs like United that money doesn’t buy everything: “They look dodgy at the back, take Chris Smalling, the pundits always complain about foreigners grabbing shirts but he does it about four or five times a game and he’s lucky he hasn’t been caught.
“Memphis Depay doesn’t even start after the amount of money they paid for him, the best thing about football at the minute is what Leicester have done because it proves that money doesn’t buy you success all the time. I thought several times that they would bottle it but the difference is there’s no egos there and they all play for each other.
“If De Gea leaves, and I think he’s going to go then United are going to struggle without the amount of points he saves them in a season. I’d expect more from Wayne Rooney as well considering the amount of money he’s on.”
Jules has however been impressed with the quality of the young players who have begun to establish themselves in the first team this season: “Jesse Lingard looks a decent player, he’s comfortable on the ball but I’ve heard a few people say he needs to take his chances. Rashford has been ridiculous, if you score two on your debut people will say you’ve done well but question whether or not its luck but he’s done it a few times and if he keeps that up he’ll be doing well.
“Martial is a good player, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has made a couple of mistakes but he’s only young and he can put a good cross in. When I’ve watched him he’s looked promising.”
With the FA Cup final approaching, Jules was a non-playing member of the squad the last time United played Crystal Palace in the final in 1990 but believes the competition has lost some of its prestige over the years: “If they don’t win that game then it will be an awful season especially after City slipped up in the league and United only needed to win their last two games to qualify for the Champions League. Now they need to beat Bournemouth and City to lose at Swansea.
“If they just win the FA Cup it’s still been a bad season, if they manage to finish in the top four then I think Van Gaal has done well. The FA Cup isn’t what it used to be and is more for the smaller clubs now I think.”