The international break came after United humiliated Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford and my hopes were high that they would be able to continue their vein of form after the 2 week absence from the Premier League. How Capello justified not having Jones or Cleverley on the England bench is beyond me, especially considering he openly states that he chooses players on current form ahead of anything else. Regardless of that disappointment, vindicated by England’s dismal display against Wales, I was in high spirit going into the game against Bolton and was looking forward to see if Cleverley was able to keep his form and bring it to what should have been a physical and daunting fixture away at the Reebok.
As quickly as my excitement grew for the fixture, Kevin Davies dangerous lunge on Cleverley ended it even faster. A disgusting slide tackle from behind by Davies in the 5th minute forced Tom Cleverley off the field and hopes of seeing another composed performance from our new found midfielder were dashed. The instant grimace on the face of Cleverley was worrying to say the least. It was bad enough to see Welbeck limp off against Arsenal after scoring 2 goals in 2 games but to see another England U21 star hobble off the pitch was a terrible sight to see and I was instantly angered to find out that Davies didn’t apologise to Cleverley immediately after the incident:
“Got the scan tomorrow, thanks for the comments! so angry right now, want everyone to know I got no apology from Kevin Davies! season could be over and received no apology.”
Great showing Kev. He obviously felt that he hadn’t done enough damage when he slid in on Patrice Evra and sent him flying through the sky – how he stayed on the pitch after those 2 tackles is a disgrace to refereeing standards in the Premier League. In the grand scheme of the game, the injury to Cleverley seemed to boost the players and they stormed out to a 5-0 victory courtesy of Rooney’s second hat-trick in as many games as United made it 18 goals in their first 4 Premier League games this season – a statistic that is a testament to how wonderful United have started the season.
Tom Cleverley has been a major factor behind United’s cracking start to the season and although I am happy to find out that it is only ankle ligament damage that will keep him out for 4 weeks, it is aggravating that the spine of the United youth squad has been tainted. The partnership and understanding that was building between Anderson and Cleverley was a sight to behold – they had dominated any midfield they had come up against and brought the ball forward in such a fluid fashion that United were seemingly back to their 2007/8 double winning days, brewing up a concoction of fantastic football that brought new levels of excitement back to a United squad that had looked pragmatic to say the very least last season. The return of Darren Fletcher to the squad is considerably well timed after this injury and Michael Carrick impressed on his return to the first team but I hope that Cleverley will get his chances back in the squad when he returns from injury because on the form he had shown so far this season, he was shaping up to be a fantastic midfielder that could be a key member of the United squad for seasons to come.