Five things we learnt in Chicago
By Nathan Thomas.
1. Ryan Giggs shows no sign of stopping
Despite a summer he would rather forget Giggs has shown no ill effects of the alleged troubles in his personal life since the start of the tour. Each time he has featured he has looked to be enjoying his football and is clearly relishing taking on the inevitable stick he will receive from opposition fans this season. Against Chicago his poise on the ball was brilliant, along with fellow lefty Anderson he controlled the play and showcased a number of well executed flicks and showed that his trademark body swerve is still in perfect working order. Another event of note came as the game began to draw to a close, Giggs was penalised for a foul and in frustration Giggs booted the ball away and screamed at the referee that he had got the ball. Replays showed Ryan may well have had a case however he was subsequently booked for kicking the ball away, some may call it petulant, unprofessional however I see it as a boiling over of his insatiable appetite to win, even in a pre-season friendly it’s all or nothing for Ryan. Perhaps because of the alleged events in his personal life Giggs could not fully appreciate winning the historic nineteenth title, and his twelfth so now with things seemingly settling down for Ryan he is determined to right a few wrongs and bring home title number twenty.
2. Will Ferguson stick of twist?
Post-match comments have emerged from United manager (admittedly not 100% verified yet) claiming that it is unlikely Man United will sign a new midfielder and instead opt to replace Paul Scholes with a collective influence of a few members of the squad. There is clearly a significant amount of interest in Wesley Sneijder from the United camp however it appears that a move to Old Trafford is becoming more and more unlikely. What is the sticking point remains unclear, in fact whether or not there is a sticking point also remains unclear, in other words are United really that interested. Clearly Sneijder is a player Ferguson admires but he also admires Messi and Ronaldo and Modric and that doesn’t mean that they are nailed on arrivals. Ferguson may well be put off by the price, rumours suggest Inter Milan want £35 Million and of course there are Sneijder’s astronomical wage demands to take into account, both of which got against Ferguson’s ethos. After signing then twenty-seven year old Dimitar Berbatov for £30.75 million in 2008 Ferguson stated that he would only spend big money on young players, in order to maintain a higher resale value, it appears that Ferguson is tempted to break his promise however spending that amount on a player approaching thirty who could perceivably not adapt to the rigours of English football is a risk but football is a game of risks, stick of twist Sir Alex?
3. New deal for Park a shrewd move by Sir Alex.
Although he is yet to agree to it all expect Ji-Sung Park to agree to a new two year extension to his current United deal. Tying Nemanja Vidic to a new deal this time last season proved to be a crucial move by Sir Alex and securing Park’s extended service could be equally as crucial. Park was brilliant last season and had it not been for the Asia Cup and then a lengthy hamstring injury Park surely would have been a contender for United’s player of the year. Scoring eight goals he would have surely bettered that tally possibly even doubled it, his versatility is extremely valuable and his work ethic unquestionable but his ability as a footballer seems to be shining through now. He appears quicker, stronger and as I have already referred to his ability in front of goal has improved dramatically.
4. The fight for the number one spot promises to be intriguing.
Eighteen million pound Spanish stopper David de Gea made his debut for Manchester United in Chicago and made an impressive start to what could be a very long and successful United career. However he will not simply walk into that number one spot as Anders Lindegaard promises to put up a stern fight after impressing in his first two games on the tour this year but de Gea, despite not being overawed with shots to save showed a calmness and composure that is vital to be a United stopper a trait showcased by the number one’s previous incumbent Edwin van der Sar. It has emerged that de Gea’s former Atletico Madrid team mates used to call him ‘van de Gea’ let’s hope that nickname proves truly prophetic.
5. The secret to the Da Silva’s energy revealed.
One thing Rafael and Fabio don’t lack is stamina, constantly up and down their flanks akin to a jack in a box. Rafael showed in Illinois his affectivity as an attacking outlet showing his strength, speed, awareness and finishing ability. But where does this boundless energy come from, well for those of you who watched MUTV’s coverage of the came on Saturday night will now know. During Rio Ferdinand’s video diary the lads were relaxing together in the hotel playing FIFA, at the start of the film both twins mysteriously exited the room, Rio popped up in front of the camera an declared ‘I’ve just sent the twins to bed’. So there you go, plenty of shut eye!
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