Januzaj on a high?
It seems like the young Belgian is loving the number 10 role hat he bagged for himself against Aston Villa. He was wily, quick at times and managed to score a well worked goal (nice fake and turn!) from close range. It is a new responsibility for him as he has a lot of players on the bench and on field who can play it better than him. However, he should be given adequate opportunities to earn that place in the side. United have believed in his talent since Moyes and groomed him. Now it is time for him to step up to the big stage and make his presence felt.
But Van Gaal is not happy with his performance and I understand why. The Premier League is physical and it gets really tough for players like Januzaj who are not well built. Januzaj was dispossessed quite a few times during the game and because the EPL is extremely demanding physically, it might be a while before he starts completing 90 minutes on field. In fact Rooney himself would have played a better number 10; or Mata, who ever since the latter part of last season has been a floating midfielder pre-dominantly playing from the right.
Rooney cannot be involved in the game if Depay and Januzaj lose the ball so often in mid-field. He has to drop deeper and deeper and still, there is no respite for him despite being given the free role as sole striker. Depay has to do a lot better so that Rooney gets involved in the game more often.
The best thing that I saw, was the way United were able to close down the attacks. They pressed the ball with a lot of purpose and these are really good signs for the forthcoming games.
Has Ranieri figured out the plan for Leicester?
Leicester have been very clinical in both their games, top of the league for now after their 1-2 away win over West Ham, which is a great achievement for the club as they have not been in the limelight of the Premier league for quite a while now.
The Algerian left footer Maharez who moved to the club for GBP 3,50,000 two seasons back, has proved that if given a free role, he can produce moments of brilliance. He has already scored thrice and this weeks strike for 2-0 was a peach of a shot.
With the likes of Mark Albrighton, Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki, they have an attack that is really high on team chemistry. They can be confident about continuing the momentum into the next round against a Tottenham side that is very low on confidence at the moment.
Tottenham lose the plot against Stoke……… “What is going on?”
You do not want to be in Pochettiono’s shoes right now, after his side could only manage a point after going 2-0 up in the first half against Stoke at White Hart Lane. Stoke’s work excellent spirit saw them level in the second half, leaving Tottenham to agonize over a number of missed opportunities.
Spurs have a lack of attacking options at the moment with Harry Kane being the only recognized goal scorer from the side. The have a bid lined up for Berahino from Wes Bromwich Albion, but Clinton N’Jie has not been exploited so far.
In his latest interview he has mentioned that he needs another center forward and Tottenham will be pushing to get a few deals done before the transfer deadline day.
He had a very calm and reassuring post match presentation where he emphasized that his team will continue to work hard and put more effort and the only thing he is worried about the is their consistency over a period of 90 minutes.
Ross Barkley ready for Euro 2016?
Ross Barkley has been one of the talking points of English football for quite a while now and with energetic appearances in frendlies and U-21 matches he has earned himself a place in the squad. He is one of the important players in the England mid-field along with Jack Wilshere and Raheem Sterling.
He had a very good first game in the Premier League against a tough Watford side and managed to be one of the the star players of the week. This week, he played a huge part in an Everton 3-0 victory away at Southampton. This is a great result given Southampton’s performance over the last two seasons where they have challenged the big names consistently and been successful at it (not to mention the quality of players that have come out of their youth academy). Barkley provided an assist for Lukaku, who bagged a brace in the first half, and scored a beauty in the second. Everton will be pleased to see these two dominate the game and will hope for more of the same. Futher, one can be assured that Roberto Martinez is more than capable of handling the career of a young prospect like Barkley properly.
A lot more drama will unfold on Sunday and we will cover all of the action in our review of the second round of matches.