I wasn’t surprised that Ole opted to start with a mostly young squad. Because he said in the past that he would give the youth quite a lot of playing time this season. I believe that is the right approach because these players need to gain experience in big matches so that they can mature faster.
I was impressed with Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes in particular. Their youthful exuberance and their willingness to make runs into the box were important qualities for their development . We established ourselves in the game early and dominated the match from the start. Gomes is a creative player that can score and can create chances for not only himself, but for others. He has good balance, passing skills and made good decisions on the ball. He also has good one-one skills that enables him to go past players. Gomes has pace also which is a plus.
Tahith Chong has good dribbling skills that can unsettle defences. He’s especially dangerous when he runs at opposing players. His tall frame and his speed are assets for him as well. I like his footwork and they way how he negotiates his way out of tight spaces. Chong is one of our future stars that can help United get back to where we belong.
Then there’s Mason Greenwood who was the the player that got most of the spotlight and praise for his performance and his magnificent goal. He drifted from the middle to the wings and was constantly involved in the build-up of the attack. I liked that he was mobile and made himself available so he could receive passes in and around the box.
His dribbling skills opened up the chance to score with a beautiful individual effort. He has poise and doesn’t rush when making passes and makes simple passes without trying to do too much with the ball. These young players are good role models for other young footballers because they make the right passes at the right time, and they know when to hold possession of the ball and when to shoot.
I was pleased with the all-around effort of the team against Astana. Everyone worked together as a team and not as individuals like what we saw last season. Even though this was a much younger line-up, the squad looked cohesive and showed determination to win the game. The future of Manchester United is bright and the youth was a reflection of that in this game.