Written by James Jackson @Doublejayz72
For those supporters of a certain age, you will remember Sham69`s song “If the kids are United”. The next line was “Then we will never be divided”. Ole we’re saying just give kids a chance.
It’s still very early in the season yet and already Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is getting pelters from sections of the fan base. 4 wins in 18 games isn’t exactly what the fans expected after the amazing start last season and flowing football reminiscent of days gone by.
There’s no doubt that there were contributing factors to this though, after being sluggish and slow for most of the season Ole came in and asked the players to attack at all costs which they duly did initially before tiredness and the limitations of the players began to tell. Looking at the squad over the summer it was clear that there were things that needed to be addressed at least in the short term and that was to invest in the defence.
However this meant that coupled with player departures United would be left with a wafer thin squad. This meant that surely the fans would finally get what they have craved for so long, playing time for the U23 graduates? Here Man United have some real potential.
Attacking midfielder Angel Gomes, winger Tahith Chong coupled with the much vaunted centre forward Mason Greenwood and midfielder James Garner. These lads seemed destined to play a big part in the coming season especially Greenwood with the lack of striking options at Ole’s disposal, but for some reason this has yet to materialise. I’m not about to criticise Ole just yet myself because he’s been giving the biggest rebuilding job in football with very limited funds. Knowing that the owners and fans will need to see at least some improvement on last year.
In most people’s eyes Leicester was the ideal opportunity to integrate some of the kids especially with the injuries to Lingard and Martial. Instead we saw Pereira, Fred and Juan Mata. It just didn’t make sense at all to play Juan Mata with Ole placing such an onus on speed and fitness, then playing one of the oldest members of the squad who has never been blessed with pace. Granted Mata offers something different but the fans don’t want to see another United manager stuck in the same rut that others have playing reliable but older players.
I’ve already mentioned that I see Gomes as the successor to Lingard, who given his current form does not deserve to come straight back into the team. Also, I don’t know many united fans that would be overly upset to see Greenwood start upfront. Ole has the perfect opportunity to see how these kids can play in the coming weeks. There is a free hit on the horizon with the visit of Astana in the Europa League. With the injuries to players it makes perfect sense to unleash the boys and see what they can do on the big stage. Also the Europa league should be comfortably at the bottom of the priority list this season, Top 4 is obviously the goal. Do the right thing Ole, take a deep breath and pick them and maybe you’ll be surprised at what they are capable of.
If the kids are United………
Images courtesy of Manchester Evening News/Telegraph