Juan Mata backs Ander Herrera to star at United
Juan Mata has backed his friend and new team-mate Ander Herrera to become an influential figure at Manchester United following the new signing's hugely impressive debut in the 7-0 win over LA Galaxy.
Herrera was one of just two Reds to complete a full 90 minutes at the Rose Bowl, where he pulled the strings in midfield while notching two second-half assists for Ashley Young to score. That was enough to earn the Man of the Match award in Pasadena.
Mata was understandably elated by his team-mate's performance and is looking forward to developing his flourishing relationship with the former Athletic Club midfielder, who he got to know well while both were playing for Spain's Under-21s.
"He did great," Juan told ManUtd.com. "I know him very well from our days with the Spanish national youth teams and he was very good tonight. I am very happy for him. We have a good connection on and off the pitch and I think he will give us a lot of good things this season."
One of the most fascinating elements of United's emphatic victory over the Galaxy was Louis van Gaal's decision to use a 3-5-2 formation, a shape the 62-year-old used frequently while managing the Dutch national team at this summer's World Cup.
The decision paid dividends as the Reds strolled to a comfortable success, controlling possession while providing a potent attacking threat. As Mata says, it was a positive start considering his team-mates aren't used to the new system.
"We are all pleased with the result but we know this is just the first step," the Spanish midfielder explained. “Some of the players have only been training for three or four days so we have more improvements to come, both physically and tactically.
“But I think we had a good understanding of the new system and the football the manager wanted us to play. It was a good game for us. The manager wants us to play quickly with the ball in the middle, try to look for options and also play with width as well. That’s what we’ll keep trying to do.”
United’s next pre-season tour match is against AS Roma in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, when kick-off is scheduled for 21:06 BST (14:06 MT) at the Sports Authority Field in Denver. Like every other Tour 2014 match, it will be broadcast live on MUTV.
Juan Mata backs Ander Herrera
Dont bother bah. Its not like they even put much effort into it. The white away jersey is last season's home dipped in white paint.
Good that they won 7-0, but that's LA Galaxy. I assume AS Roma will be a much more challenging opponent.
Then we will be in a better position or rather going to play AS Roma, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Valencia CF with higher confidence level.
Bebe signs for Benfica
Manchester United forward Bebe has joined Benfica in a deal worth up to €3million, with the right to 50% of any sell-on fee.
Bebe sparkled in the Portuguese Primeira Liga for Pacos de Ferreira during a loan stint last season and his form took him to the fringes of his country's World Cup squad for Brazil.
After arriving at Old Trafford in 2010, he also had loan spells with Besiktas and Rio Ave and made two substitute appearances in the Barclays Premier League for the Reds.
One feat he managed was to score in two different cup competitions for United, with efforts against Bursaspor and Wolves in the Champions League and League Cup respectively.
The 24-year-old will link up with Jorge Jesus' side and help cover the recent sale of winger Lazar Markovic to Liverpool. Benfica completed a historic Treble last term and also reached the Europa League final.
Everybody at United would like to wish Bebe the best of luck for the future.
We need a holding defensive midfielder. Right now playing 3 at the back is a time bomb with those qualities.
A 3-2 win against AS Roma, it was 3-0 at half time! A spectacular half way goal from AS Roma at 75mins.
So far so good....
Pictures always should have a special story behind it or a special meaning to the photographer.
2 matches on, with Rooney not captain haha
The defence and midfield aren't gelling, as expected, even with the 352 system. Because Cleverly is not a leader and does not command the midfield. Herrera and Mata are good sprayers and skilful ballers but don't have that fear factor yet. Smalling, evans and jones are part-timers, trust me.Rafael is a loose canon and nani is the canon. Valencia is a hit or miss , so is Chicharito.
VG needs to solve that missing link and get that guy(or 2) that commands the pace and direction of play. Right now, any good team will break down the midfield and destroy that weak defence with a bit of pace and turn. They will struggle in the EPL, mark my words, with this team. All it takes is a string of consecutive losses and the morale will crumble, like last season. Bite the bullet and spend the money now.
In the mould of Scholes or Keane or Robson, hopefully.
Last edited by christeo; 28th July 2014 at 12:28 AM.