Manchester United 0 Everton 1 - Five Thoughts

Michael Regan

We pick out some of the key talking points from a joyous and historic night at Old Trafford.

That’s why we love football

We supporters have had so many ups and downs, so many times where we wonder what the point of it is, and then a result like this hits us and the whole world seems beautiful again. People that don’t get football will never get the feeling that a result like this can bring. And aside from winning, it’s the delicious side story of first game against ex-manager, never won at Old Trafford under him, etc, etc, we literally couldn’t have written it any better.

Positive Mental Attitude

If you read our excellent mailbag this week you’ll know that one of the biggest impacts Roberto Martinez has had on the team is introducing positivity to the game plan. There’s no more play not to lose, the derby was the first clear example of the renewed belief of the squad, and the United game continued that. It’s one of those things that us supporters don’t get to see but it’s been Martinez’s biggest achievement so far.

Marouane who?

Now don’t get me wrong, Marouane Fellaini was immense for us - most of the time - and I thought he’d be a success at United, and he still might be. Apart from the obvious, selling for more than his release clause, the major plus point of his move is that Fellaini would never have fitted into our new style of play. The passing is more intricate and quicker than under David Moyes, and Fellaini is not capable of that. In fact watching his performances for United so far you wonder what’s happened to the player we knew.

Tim Howard & Phil Jagielka

Everyone loves attacking football, the Romelu Lukaku’s, Ross Barkley’s, Kevin Mirallas’; but without a solid defence it would all be for nothing. In fourteen games we’ve kept eight clean sheets, that’s an amazing statistic when you think that Wigan Athletic couldn't defend for toffee last year. The two main reasons for this are Tim Howard (and there were calls for Joel Robles to start the season between the sticks) who is playing the best football of his career, look at the number of proper saves he had to make tonight. And Phil Jagielka, who has improved his passing game whilst holding it all together at the back, again he was immense at Old Trafford.

Gerard Deulofeu isn’t quite there

Yes he looks amazing when he’s running at defenders. Yes he’s got pace to burn. Yes he's direct and exciting. But he doesn’t have anywhere near the level of decision making that he needs. If you look at the number of times he could, and should, have passed in his limited appearances you’ll see why Barcelona want him to get experience, and why Martinez doesn’t yet trust him fully. One day he will be absolutely fantastic, today he’s still raw.

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