Former United starlet Markus Neumayr joins us to speak about Robin van Persie, David De Gea and much more…
How have you viewed United’s start to the season? We were poor against Everton, exciting in patches against Fulham and relatively poor again against Southampton…
It is true that the start wasn’t very promising until this point. United are going through a change tactical wise as I said in my last column. This means it takes time and a lot of work. But the most important thing is that they took the points, even though the football wasn’t what everybody expects of United this season.
You were excited about van Persie and that excitement proved to be justified; he scored a great goal on his debut but topped that with a hat-trick against Southampton. You said that he and Rooney could guarantee you 40 goals as a pair but with Rooney being out, it’s encouraging to see we still have a great goal threat isn’t it?
Yeah I mean that is what the Gaffer was looking for when he signed Robin van Persie. With United having so many games throughout the season, you can even give players like Rooney or Scholes a rest without dropping the level. This can be a very important point when thinking about the end of the season.
What was your favourite from the hat-trick he scored? And how good was it to see him have the mental strength to recover from the penalty miss?
My favourite was the first goal. This is what van Persie is all about. Great control,unbelievable touch and the shoot itself was just magnificent. We have seen that from him last year in Arsenal week in and week out. I didn’t expect him to give away the penalty so cheaply, but the reaction was something very special… not many players bounce back from such a disappointment. This will help him in the future to overcome difficult situations like missing a penalty, or missing a great opportunity.
Last time we spoke you said you felt United had to change their system. We’ve played the 4-2-3-1 you suggested, with certain selections forced on us due to Wayne Rooney’s injury. However we’ve tried a number of different combinations in that “2”; who would you like to see be given a proper run in our midfield?
In midfield it is all about Paul Scholes.He is such a great passer of the ball and he picks out his teammates from nearly every position on the pitch. With him as a central midfielder, I suggest Tom Cleverley or Michael Carrick to play alongside him. As an offensive midfielder I can only see Kagawa at the moment. Even in the first games, which are not easy for a foreign player, he showed his qualities. Moreover his work rate for the team is tremendous.
David De Gea was surprisingly dropped by Sir Alex and he made the reason public; were you surprised that he was so open about it? Also, do you think it was the right choice to put Lindegaard in?
I don’t know what the intention was of the gaffer with making all that public. But it could be the right choice. With David De Gea being quite young, it can be seen as a learning process. Although it is very difficult to see if it was the right choice. Sir Alex sees both of them day in and day out so he will know what he does. But generally it is not very smart to drop your first goalkeeper. We just have to wait and see what Sir Alex will be doing in the upcoming games and weeks.
United drew an interesting Champions League group; some are saying it should be fairly straight forward but we all saw what happened last season. Would you have preferred us to get a tougher group or are you satisfied that we won’t make the same mistake again in playing weakened sides and taking progression for granted?
I cannot see United making the same mistakes like last year. If they want to win the Champions League they just have to win against any team that is playing against them. It will be very exciting to see what reaction United will give to Europe after being defeated against teams like Basel last year.
For Bellinzona, after a good start you’ve struggled as of late; though our readers will know you as a youngster, you’re one of the more experienced forward players for the club – after 8 games, what are the hopes for the season?
We were going through a hard time after our coach has been dropped. It was very surprising for everybody of the team. Unfortunately clubs in lower leagues or lower positions in the league tend to drop their managers faster than the big clubs in Europe do. Of course we as a team need to adapt to the playing style that our new coach wants to see from us. Luckily there is a break of three weeks now which is quite positive for us. We need to work hard and improve in every aspect of the game. Regarding hopes of the season,we just have to start playing and winning each game. At the moment it doesn’t help to talk about ambitions or hopes… It is not an easy time for anybody at the club. But the only thing we can do at the moment is working hard and being honest with ourselves. That is the key to success.