Manchester United’s most recent visit to Goodison park ended successfully with the reds picking up a much needed three points to bounce back after the, lets just say, poor showing against City. However, something that may have been just as important happened under the radar that day.
Sir Alex’s team selection did raise a few eyebrows and many tried to stick the pieces of the puzzle together and work out how Fergie could fit three strikers into the fist team. The team lined up in a 4-5-1 variant with Welbeck on the left, Rooney playing in a more deep position than usual, but still played in the familiar “hole” role (no pun intended) and Hernandez acted as the lone striker. The most interesting of these developments was Danny Welbeck playing in the left wing role in the absence of Ashley Young through a toe injury. Welbeck is traditionally thought of as a striker but he is known to have played on the wing in his younger years and also played a part in a 4-3-3 formation under Steve Bruce while at loan with Sunderland.
Welbeck’s form so far this season has been immense and he lived up to the plaudits he’s been receiving with his performance on the left side of midfield. Danny’s link u play with the returning Tom Cleverley was one of the most exciting aspects of our brilliant start to the season and this link up play continued during the Everton game with Welbeck regularly cutting in and passing to his fellow English under 21. This tight passing caused Everton serious problems at times and was the platform that started our first chance which Park failed to convert, and indeed our goal. While Welbeck cut inside, the right back Tony Hibbert came with him to keep the pressure thus allowing space for Evra to whip in an immaculate cross to Chicharito, who tapped in from under 10 yards.
Ji-sung Park’s inclusion on the right side also proved impressive with the South Korean regularly cutting in too and providing ammo for Wayne Rooey and Tom Cleverley. While Nani and Ashley Young’s form so far has been good, neither will stroll into this team if this tactic continues to work. Nani and Young’s style’s are not dissimilar with both’s primary to take on the defender and get cross or shot in. This style is quite the opposite of Welbeck’s and Park’s style who prefer to cut in and pass. Their tippy-tappy style works well and to be able to break down to well set up defensive unit of Everton is no mean feat. The return of Rafael to the team will only work well with this new dimension, as the Brazilian is known for his lung bursting runs down the sideline.
This new style did, and hopefully will in the future, provided us with some really neat build up play and with re-emergence of Tom Cleverley after injury, Welbeck’s current form and Hernandez’ poaching abilities it seemed to work a treat. It also manages to fit in the in-form Welbeck, the always reliable Rooney and dangerous Hernandez in the one team seamlessly. Overall, the Eveton game got us back to winning ways while also incorporating a great new dimension to our game. More of the same, please.