Jose Mourinho’s first Premier League game in charge of Manchester United couldn’t have gone any better with new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting on the scoresheet along with Mata and Rooney, while Eric Bailly won his second man of the match award in only his second competitive game for the club.
Eric Bailly, though only 22 years old, has so far slotted into the back four and made it looks much more solid. Any defensive problems the team has had in the previous years, seemed to disappear, with David De Gea barely having to make any saves. It might have only been Bournemouth, but the early signs are there that this season David De Gea won’t be winning yet another Player of the Season Award and Eric Bailly could play a part in that.
Another player that looks to have strengthened the defence is Antonio Valencia, who since Mourinho has joined has shown an increase in confidence and he could prove to be one of the best right backs in the league this season. He has grown into this new position and has shown that he is strong defensively, whilst his recent contributions in attack prove that he could be a good acquisition for a fantasy team.
Mourinho is already building a team that puts fear into the other teams’ eyes with the signings of Pogba and Mkhitaryan as well as the threat from the players already at the club such as Martial and Rashford. However some fans were still disappointed to see Fellaini’s name in the starting eleven, but I believe that he complemented the rest of the midfield well with Mata and Herrera both starting. Mata and Herrera have a strong partnership, but Fellaini’s presence made up for the lack of strength and physicality. Mourinho seems to have already worked his magic too with Fellaini’s passing being so much better and he along with Herrera took control of the midfield.
The whole team worked out well, but I still have questions for one player who could possibly be holding the team back. That player is Rooney, who despite scoring might struggle to keep his place in the side. Playing him as a number 10 meant that Mata had to be pushed out wide and therefore Mkhitaryan was left on the bench. I’m not saying Rooney is not a good player but is he good enough to compete with someone like Mkhitaryan anymore? I personally hope that Mourinho takes him out of the starting eleven now but gives him chances to fight for his place, that should hopefully lead to better performances from him.
To summarise, there were some very promising performances leading to me being even more excitement for this season, especially with Pogba still to come. The questions mainly lie with Rooney though as even Fellaini showed he could be a very useful player despite the constant doubts.
David De Gea: 6.
Antonio Valencia: 8.
Eric Bailly: 9 (my man of the match).
Daley Blind: 7.
Luke Shaw: 7.
Ander Herrera: 7.
Marouane Fellaini: 8.
Juan Mata: 7.
Wayne Rooney: 6.
Anthony Martial: 7.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 8.
Thank you for reading!