We here at The Busby Babe are proud to present our sparkling new weekly power ranking post, based on our own highly advanced statistical model. Maybe.*
The idea is that we'll pick a handful of the week's best and worst performers on and off the field, and at the end of the season we'll be able to bring you a wholly scientific and indisputable ranking of United's most valuable entertainers and assets. So without further ado, here's who scored best and worst in the new season's first week of action:
*We can't guarantee that it is a highly advanced statistical model, but we can guarantee that it really is a player rankings post, and unless we get bored, it should be weekly.
3. Chris Smalling
It has long been thought that Chris Smalling wasn't good enough to become a starting United centre-back. However, if his performance against Spurs is anything to go by, he's still got the chance.
He seemingly did the job of two men (perhaps unsurprising given that he was partnered with Daley Blind, a man who resembles a centre back even less than Phil Jones), and could often be found scampering the length of the penalty area to win the ball back. Hopefully Smalling either continues this impressive run of form or has a complete nightmare against Villa on Friday, thus forcing Ed Woodward into pulling off a deadline day swoop for Sergio Ramos. We can dream.
2. Sergio Romero
Who'd have thought that a goalkeeper capable of performing well enough to get to a World Cup final would actually be capable of catching a football?! Certainly not some of the British football press, who seemed to think that United had re-signed Massimo Taibi's younger brother to take De Gea's place between the sticks. As it was, Romero's Old Trafford debut went almost totally smoothly, with him not only keeping a clean sheet but making a couple of vital late saves too. United appear to have signed an efficacious goalkeeper for nothing but the cost of his wages. Good business.
1. Matteo Darmian
Matteo Darmian seems an endearingly sheepish character, though nerves certainly didn't get the better of him on his competitive United debut. His forays into the Spurs half were United's only real source of penetration early in the match, but he still had the industry to mop up his teammate's mistakes at the back. He's certainly an upgrade on Antonio Valencia, and he should be able to build on his bright start. United's best summer acquisition could yet turn out to be their most unheralded.
3. Victor Valdés
No, you're completely right, Valdés didn't play, but he did turn up to Old Trafford wearing his own suit. ‘What's unusual about that?,' you may very reasonably ask. Well, United's other two WANTAWAY SHOT-STOPPERS, Anders Lindegaard and David De Gea, were both still clad in their official Manchester United clobber like duteous schoolboys.
See that Louis: you can make him train with the reserves, but until you turn up to his house to dress him in the morning, Valdés is still his own man! Either that, or it's a hilariously pointless gesture that just makes him look even more petty than his coordinated social media whinging a few weeks ago.
2. Ed Woodward
The veneration of the Glazers' lackey Ed Woodward shifted from ironic to genuine after he completed four signings pretty early on in the summer transfer market. However, it's possible that he's cocking up the fifth, with Barcelona winger Pedro now possibly either set to stay in Catalonia -- or, even worse -- join Manchester City instead. As it stands, United will finish the summer with a gigantic hole up top and a marginally smaller one at the back. Spare us the Woodward love-in.
1. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is a man paid £300,000 a week. That means Manchester United paid him just under £3000 for those 90 minutes. Around 60 quid for every one of his laboured, lumbering 46 touches of the football. We're praying that Rooney hasn't started the season as he means to go on, but we're not optimistic. Thanks again, Moyesey.