Manchester United succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund. It was a disappointing performance from Jose Mourinho’s team who were second best to a Dortmund team who had already played 5 friendly games prior to this match and were therefore miles ahead of United in their preparation and fitness. For Jose this game was about building up the players’ fitness and enabling them to take his methods onto the pitch from the training ground. Jose will have learnt many things about his squad and a lot of those things will deeply concern him and in the case of Phil Jones will scare him deeply. So, what did we learn from this game?
Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are not good enough:
Despite his new hair colour it is more of the same old rubbish from Phil Jones. His positional play was frankly horrific at times with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang leaving him chasing shadows in the first half. A liability throughout and uncomfortable on the ball Dortmund were swarming all over Phil Jones and he couldn’t handle it. Like every Manchester United fan Jose had clearly seen enough of the Phil Jones horror show and subbed him at half time. It was a similar story for Marcos Rojo who replaced Jones for the second half. Like Jones Rojo couldn’t cope with the attacking players of Dortmund and was left flat on the floor by 18 year old Osoumane Dembele which led to Dortmund’s 3rd goal. One on one defending isn’t Marcos Rojo’s strong point which is a little bit problematic don’t you think. After seeing 45 minutes from both of these players Jose will be wanting Mr Woodward to move these two on.
Eric Bailly looks to be a quality defender:
After todays performance and despite being part of a team that conceded 4 goals Eric Bailly looks to have the attributes to be a fantastic player for Manchester United. The Ivory Coast defender was solid throughout and had the confidence to play the ball out of defence to a really good effect. No fault can be placed with Bailly for any of the goals conceded.He looks like a proper Jose Mourinho player. A very impressive performance from Bailly who looks to be the type of centre back United have missed over the last few years. The only negative for Eric Bailly was that he had to play alongside Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.
Luke Shaw is like a new signing:
After 10 months out with a leg break it was an anxious wait to see how Luke Shaw recovered. Thankfully the injury appears to have not done any long term damage with Shaw looking like his old self rampaging down the left hand side. Shaw’s return has brought balance back to the backline and his attacking attributes bring another diminution to the team with his soaring pace something that caused Dortmund problems. It was brilliant to see Luke get the full 90 minutes as he continues his comeback and will no doubt be a key player this season.
Memphis is in trouble:
After a terrible debut season at Old Trafford impressing Jose Mourinho in pre season was going to be crucial for Memphis to have a chance of remaining at the club. Invisible against Dortmund apart from his ability to be pushed to the floor by players who are smaller than him despite his incredible physique and lacking the work rate Jose demands. Memphis will certainly be hoping Jose is unable to find a replacement for him as that will probably be the only reason he will remain at the club.
Despite the disappointing result the most important thing about this game was building up match practice and for Jose to get a look at the players he his unsure about. One thing for sure is some of the players certainly gave a case for Jose to sell them and may have encouraged the manager to look to his list of secondary transfer targets sooner than expected.