What we've learned from United's pre-season so far

Atsushi Tomura

Wilfried Zaha is good, Ashley Young is not, and while the youth has been hugely encouraging, there has been much to criticise too.

* The introduction of more complete forward players such as Jesse LIngard and Adnan Januzaj, while both are a long way from being starters, shows that a move away from the more traditional wingers of recent years may be Manchester United's best bet. In particular, Shinji Kagawa has looked good as part of a more fluid attacking set-up, and less like he's been 'out of position.'

* Wilfried Zaha looks more than ready to play a part in United's title campaign. As well as being excellent at taking defenders on and providing supreme pace, his hard-work and strength means the defensive side of his game is also excellent. We shoudl have no problems in starting him, given the form of our other wingers.

* Ashley Young: please just go away. Please, do anything other than play football for Manchester United. We'll make you honorary life president, as long as it gets you off the pitch. At least, try not to get progressively worse in every single game.

* 'For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: "It might have been!"' It's unlikely that John Greenleaf Whittier was talking about Anderson, but the flickers of the player he could have become - the passes, the touches - do not now fill us with hope he may make it at United. That ship has now sailed. Instead, it makes us even more angry to see him, knowing and understanding what he's wasted.

* Might be an idea to look at doing some very strict defensive work before the season begins.

* The sort of backs-to-the-wall desperation that would be required to make Phil Jones a viable option in midfield should never be experienced by a club of United's size. Against an utterly dominant opponent, he can mark someone out of a game very effectively. Against anyone approaching equal opposition he does as much to hinder United's attacks as the opposition's.

* Hey; has anyone noticed we struggle to keep hold of the ball? Think we could do with a new midfielder this season?

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