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It's been a bit of a mixed bag for us so far. Hopes were high going in to the season: we have a young, confident manager and a group of players who were still riding the wave of momentum that took us all the way to our playoff final victory. Things started reasonably strongly and we continued the trend from last season of attempting to play expansive, attacking football. However, a number of poor defensive displays - particularly individual errors - have cost us dearly on several occasions, and combined with a lack of incisiveness in front of goal, the last month-and-a-half have been more difficult. Manager Alex Neil has moved towards a more defensively solid approach of late

I think one of the main problems has been Tony Pulis' tactics. For the majority of the season we have been playing some pretty uninspiring defensive football, with central midfielders out wide and central defenders in the full-back roles. It's certainly not the type of football that a player such as Gnabry would fit into. Only recently, after much criticism from fans, has Pulis recalled Stephane Sessegnon - who is very smiliar to Gnabry - to the team, but you get the feeling before long he will be sidelined by Pulis again. Gnabry is not the only one that can feel hard done by, Callum McManaman is another quick and skilful player that Pulis has by and large ignored this season in favour of hard-working 'plodders'.

After David Moyes then anything would have been considered an improvement! No, we were a mess. Like when Van Gaal first came to the club and said that the whole squad was unbalanced and he was dead right. We've still got about 5 players whose ideal role is to play as a number 10. I think Van Gaal has done a great job personally as he's trying to impose a whole new style on United whilst also fighting numerous fires behind the scenes. The Spanish players were rebelling against him at one stage but the re-signing of De Gea seems to have appeased them for now. I know some United fans think our new style is boring but if they just give it time they'll see that we'll actually be a much better side for keeping the ball and not just aimlessly banging it forward. The problem is that

Alexis Sanchez always has an eye for a goal, and a knack of arriving in the right place at the right time. Santi Cazorla usually plays well against us, and Theo Walcott's pace will be tough to defend against. Having said that, both teams will probably put out reserves and none of the above will feature. If we are mentally in the right place I don’t fear any of your players. Giroud occasionally scores against us, Ozil has the potential to do something other than disappearing, but honestly the days of fearing Henry, Pires, Ljunberg and co have long gone. You aren’t a scary team anymore which can be seen in how defensively you tried to set up against us last year, and how you played vs Chelsea when you had 11 men on Saturday

Above all else, he’s just taken the reigns off the squad. Villa were dull, negative, and just looking to hold possession (though doing nothing with it) under Paul Lambert, and he’s completely flipped that around, which was exactly what the club needed; there’s not a lack of attacking talent here. He also brought Jack Grealish properly into the first team, which has been huge.

Our main threat of course is Saido Berahino. Whilst his goal tally is impressive there is much more to his game than just scoring. He can hold the ball up well and his link-up play is also good. It's easy to see why the country's top clubs are 'sniffing' around him. Callum Mcmanaman, if he features, is also capable of causing problems for most teams. We haven't seen a great deal of him since his move from Wigan but in the glimpses we have seen of him he looks to possess pace, skill and trickery, a nightmare for opposition defenders.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more