Former Manchester United goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington shares his thoughts on the game against Norwich City and also those criticising the team already exclusively for 7Cantonas with Yolkie.
It wasn’t quite the ideal week for United with a couple of substandard performances at Old Trafford, firstly against Basel and then Norwich. After such an electrifying start to the season, it’s clear to see that there was a drop in the last couple of games. What would you put that down to?
I don’t really know to be honest. It’s (just) not the same team that we saw in the first few games of the season. I’m sure all the changes in defence aren’t really helping.
To look at the positives – first of all, praise to our opponents for approaching the games the right way, and secondly, all was well that ended well. Ashley Young’s late equaliser showed that the new United have the same old spirit, while against Norwich we did eventually find the breakthrough. Would you agree that actually developing that character is perhaps the most valuable thing they can learn?
I think you have got to praise Basel and Norwich for the way they approached the game against United. Obviously things haven’t gone according to plan for the last two games but I’m sure it’s just a blip and things will be back to normal very soon. The new players have got to learn to deal with the huge expectations and that’s where their mental strength and character will come in.
That hasn’t stopped some supporters looking for a scapegoat even though we aren’t losing. Am I being too generous to our players, or do you agree we should just get behind them? You were involved in the squad when in the early weeks of the 1995/96 season we came under some scrutiny – is there any justification for trying to find someone to criticise at this point?
I don’t think people should be looking for a scapegoat. Why would you after just two below par performances? Everyone should know by now that Sir Alex knows what he is doing and whoever he plays or whatever he does is for the good of the club.
One of the players I really wanted to discuss was Danny Welbeck. He’s scored 3 goals in 2 games, showing that the brief spell out with injury hasn’t damaged his form, momentum or confidence. Michael Owen and Chicharito have shown they have goals in them this season, but just how surprised have you been with how well he’s done?
Welbeck’s form has been great and it’s great to see the younger players being recognized for their performances. I think his spell at Sunderland really helped him realize he was good enough to play but also it helped him prepare for the physical side of the Premier League as well.
You’re right… Everyone was thrilled with his spell at Sunderland, and he only needs one more goal for us this season to equal his tally for them last year! We had to deal with a lot of injuries in September, and as a consequence we’ve struggled to find a consistent eleven or a front 6 as fluid as we saw in the first few games. Going to put you on the spot – based on what you’ve seen this season, and assuming Vidic and Cleverley are fit after the international break, who would be your first choice eleven going to Anfield?
A 4-4-1-1 with : De Gea, Jones, Rio, Vidic, Evra in defence… in midfield, Nani, Anderson, Cleverley, Young and Rooney operating behind Welbeck as he did in the early games of the season… Rooney to drop a little deeper if under a bit of pressure to make a five in midfield!
Thanks to Kevin for his time, he will as ever be joining us to review that massive game at Anfield.