Manchester United picked up their first win over Wigan at the DW Stadium, as Jose Mourinho’s side won 2-0, with goals from Will Keane and Andreas Pereira. The team looked good under the Portuguese boss, with the summer signings being played as well, who made a major impact in the side. It was a good start for the former Chelsea man, who took over at Old Trafford at the end of the previous campaign and here are 5 things that we learned from the game:
1. Louis Van Gaal is gone for good.
As Manchester United walked out for the first time under Mourinho, it was evident from the start that José Mourinho has planted seeds of his game play and that Louis Van Gaal’s tedious possession play is a thing of the past. Even though he played the same 4-3-2-1 system, there was much more fluency to the play and the game was controlled at a higher tempo.
Player’s had much more freedom to express themselves and the likes of Mkhitarayan, Lingard, Herrera and Depay looked much more threatening and direct in their approach. Mourinho’s style looked brooding among the player’s even though it’s too early to judge anything based on a pre season friendly.
2. Timothy Fosu Mensah is too good to be a reserve player.
Timothy Fosu Mensah’s size belittles his tender years, with the 18-year-old stepping up to United’s Under-21 team already.
Able to play at centre-back or further forwards as a central midfielder, Fosu-Mensah adheres to the Dutch traditions of being technically excellent with the ball, as he has a good footballing brain on his shoulders.
He also has pace and the kind of attitude that could see him emerge as a leader as his career develops. He signed a three-year deal at the club, so United should give him plenty of time to reach his potential.
Mourinho deployed him as a right back and from the very start the way he moved the ball across the field and his composure over the ball was enough to prove that he’s too good be playing for the reserves.
3. Mkhitaryan looks like he’s already home.
The panache was discernible from the Armenian’s first touch, he was deployed as a no. 10 by Mourinho and he seemed like he’s well known to the system and to those around him, his awareness of what was around him and his effortless energy created a sheer euphoria.
Mkhitaryan looks like a real deal and it’s fascinating to watch how he plays when he has likes of Martial, Ibrahimovic and Rooney around him. It’d be also interesting to watch what position he’s going to be sited by Mourinho and also that if he keeps on playing such dexterous football then he can seriously make Manchester United Captain Wayne Rooney run for the money.
Jose Mourinho believes “magnificent” talent Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be a huge hit with Manchester United fans after watching the Armenian’s debut against Wigan.
Speaking to MUTV, Mourinho said: “Mkhitaryan is a top-class player and currently at the best stage for a footballer – 27/28 years old.
4. A Resurgent Shaw.
It was heartening to see English youngster on the pitch again after a 10 month gap due to horror of an injury but expectations must be kept sensible.
Luke Shaw started his training ahead of the club’s schedule to keep himself in shape and to speed up his recovery. He looked good in his limited display but it’ll take time before he hits his peak again.
5. Mata isn’t going anywhere easily.
It seemed Spaniard’s future was in doldrums when Manchester United announced Jose Mourinho as their manager because of the relationship the two had at their former club, Chelsea.
Also his performances under the Dutch master weren’t so evoking that he could make a point for himself.
Against Wigan Juan Mata was brought on at half time and he looked like he had something to manifest and with an assist he showed that he isn’t gonna anywhere so nimbly.