Dale O’Donnell, freelance journalist and editor of Stretty News gives Football-Oranje the lowdown on Manchester United ahead of their Europa League clash with Feyenoord. 

ibra-pogbaAt last we are free of Louis van Gaal’s rigid football and dinosaur ways. It wasn’t very easy on the eye and Manchester United fans could see how tiresome it was becoming for the players.

Memphis Depay, who your readers will be very familiar with from his time at PSV Eindhoven, is regarded an explosive player. Under Van Gaal players of such ilk were held back and that is how I would explain his shortcomings at United last season.

However, Jose Mourinho is manager now, looking to reintroduce a winning mentality back into the Manchester United dressing room. The domestic league started brightly — 3 wins from 4 — albeit losing 2-1 at home to rivals Manchester City is considered a blow.

The loss was a hard one to take but it brought everyone back down to reality again. Mourinho has a lot of work to do with this squad before we can expect Premier League titles and automatic Champions League qualification, but thus far we can satisfied.

New players will take time to gel. Paul Pogba is already receiving criticism but that won’t bother him one bit — players of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s experience will help guide him in the right direction to prove doubters wrong — and the squad is only going to strengthen once others blossom.

The Europa League doesn’t excite us one bit but with a group full of established European sides, aside from FC Zorya Luhansk, we want to see United progress comfortably with fringe players handed opportunities. Depay has not been handed a single chance since the season began, so Thursday could be the start of something for the Netherlands international.

While I fully expected Matteo Darmain to start at right back against Feyenoord, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, another Dutch prospect, is not too far behind in the pecking order. After showing fans glimpses of what he can do last season under Van Gaal, it’s no surprise everyone is keen to see him feature more often. In fact, it begs the question whether Mourinho will grant youngsters much football.

In conclusion, Rotterdam via Amsterdam is a trip reds are looking forward to. Even if they are unhappy about Feyenoord reducing the ticket allocation to 1,500 while authorities warn travelling fans not to wear club colours (not that many bother in the first place).

I’m predicting a 2-1 away win.




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