Monday, 23 July 2018
Understrength tour far from ideal preparation for 2018-19
We shouldn't be reading too much into the two draws on Tour so far - the 1-1 with Club America and the goalless stalemate with San Jose in game two. After all, in 2015-16 we won every game in pre-season in swashbuckling style to hint at brighter things to come under Louis van Gaal. The Reds 3-5-2 formation was the talk of the town - but things fell flat and the Dutchman would be gone less than a year later. So it stands to reason that we shouldn't be too concerned by an underwhelming tour so far this time around as the team that runs out at Old Trafford for that curtain raiser with Leicester in 18 days time will be very different from the one that stuttered to a 0-0 draw against a lowly MLS side last night in the 30 degree heat of Santa Clara. There was little rhythm, pattern or tempo to United's play, but - missing Messrs Lukaku, Lingard, Fellaini, Rashford, Young, Fred, Matic, De Gea and Pogba to name but nine - is that really any surprise? Travelling Stateside with a jumbled mish-mash of fringe players, reserve/youth players and players that should be nowhere near Manchester United, there was always a risk that things would look equally as ragtag and incohesive. That's definitely showing to be the case.
I don't care about the results, but the one thing I'm worried about with this pre-season is that with the World Cup, the lack of transfer business, with the way we are as a club at present, are we learning anything and getting in the best possible shape we can be ahead of the season. There's no signs of improvement so far, Jose does not seemed to have worked things out or tried anything different. We've known that this would be the case but nonetheless it's still frustrating and a bit worrying. Although the results are insignificant, you want to be looking for positive signs but there has been little to go on in the first two run outs. It's all been very underwhelming so far.