|photo by Visentico / Sento||via PhotoRee|
Q. So, did Robin Van Persie start against Everton on Monday?
A. This is the real world and not a movie. Of course he didn't start. The guy played about 30 minutes in total this pre-season, and with his injury history, you can expect Fergie to bring him along slowly.
Q. Ok then, did Shinji Kagawa at least get the nod?
A. Yes, in a squad that featured no less than eight offensive players, United's shiny new midfielder saw his first League start.
Q. Did it help?
A. Not really. Kagawa played some nice through balls, but overall the offense looked slow, unjointed, and in largely the same form that we saw for much of the pre-season.
Q. Did anyone from United have a good game?
A. Yes, David De Gea was at his spectacular best in the first half, and kept the Reds in the match, when they could have easily been 2-nil or 3-nil down.
Q. Were there any images from the game that stand out?
A. Why, yes, there were. Marouanne Fellaini winning virtually everything in the air, for one. The Belgian looked about eight feet tall as he repeatedly towered over both Nemanja Vidic and makeshift center back Michael Carrick, unfortunately. Fellaini was a beast, almost unplayable on Monday.
Q. Anything else?
A. Yes: Nani's consistent failure to take a corner that cleared the first defender. It's a miracle that Fergie left him on for 70 minutes.
Q. Could United have done anything to stop Fellaini?
A. Sure. We could have bought him in the off-season, along with Van Persie and Kagawa.
Q. Any close calls for United?
A. Other than the balls off the woodwork at the wrong end of the pitch, only Tom Cleverly came close to hitting the mark for the visitors. Unfortunately, his shot was parried off the line by Everton's Phil Jagielka.
Q. But Van Persie ultimately came on. Surely, his introduction must have changed the game...?
A. Even Van Persie couldn't save United's bacon on Monday. After entering the game in the 67th minute, it quickly became apparent that Robin doesn't know all his teammates yet. That's the only reasonable explantion I can come up with as to why no one attempted to pass him the ball during his brief spell on the pitch.
Q. Any cause for optimism?
A. Not much based on that performance. It may take awhile for this team to gel, and the defense is wobbly at best. But it's only a game, and Everton away was always going to be a tough way to start the season.
This is farlieonfootie for August 21.