AIK Fotboll 1-1 Manchester United: Five lessons we learned

by Sam Peoples

Moyes like Anderson. Another game and another 90 minutes for Anderson that means he has started and finished three out of United’s six pre-season games.

The signs are there that Anderson has turned a new page under David Moyes. He admitted he had to lose weight and given that he completed 90 minutes less than 20 times in six years prior to our pre-season tour, he has already shown significant improvements with his fitness.

It is clear that Moyes likes Anderson. He is a unique midfielder in United’s current squad in his ambitious and forward thinking style of play compared to the pragmatic Michael Carrick and methodical Tom Cleverley.

Despite fans calling for his departure, Anderson’s continued presence under Moyes indicates that the Brazilian is going to get one more chance to kick start his United career.

Henriquez loves scoring goals. On his first appearance with United’s senior squad, Henriquez grabbed his opportunity with both hands and netted the equaliser from close range after a superb cross by Wilfried Zaha.

The 19-year-old might be down the pecking order in terms of strikers at the club this year but Moyes will have been very impressed with him. He played out of position on the left but it didn’t stop him getting his goal and his natural ability in the 18 yard box is reminiscent of Javier Hernandez.

A loan move looks likely for Henriquez and it is probably the right move for him to gain more experience. If he can continue to progress at the rate he is, he will be knocking on the door of a first team spot sooner rather than later.

The return of Nemanja. It has been too long that Nemanja Vidic has been marred by injury so to see him come through a full 90 minutes with a clean bill of health is fantastic.

Despite the impressive Evans, the growing Jones, the evergreen Ferdinand and the improving Smalling, there is no doubt in my mind that Vidic is still our first choice defender when fit.

His no nonsense approach adds a steel to our defence that no player in the squad does. Without him, United always feel more vulnerable and if he can hold his fitness, United will be better off for it.

Injuries already. Nani and Jonny Evans were both substituted with injuries and while Moyes has confirmed that they were done in precaution, it is a trend I hope does not repeat itself this season.

Rooney has already suffered two separate injuries (…) and two years ago, United were hampered all season long with niggling injuries that kept cropping up.

Our squad needs to make sure they are fully fit this season as they would be less likely to pick up injuries. Having a fit squad counts for so much when it comes to challenging on all fronts during the course of a season.

Pre-season over. That’s it. United’s pre-season tour of Asia and Sweden has now come to an end. Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial is the last practice match that Moyes will have to use his side before he walks out at Wembley to play Wigan in his first competitive game as manager.

It has been a fast five weeks since Moyes officially took over from Sir Alex Ferguson but it is going to be an even faster season. There are no certainties about anything this year for United in any respect and Moyes has arguably got the toughest job in football.

The pre-season tour would have helped his team in terms of fitness but it is now down to business, starting with Wigan on Sunday.

Image: Twitter/CheGiaevera

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