|Image from The Mirror|
Throughout the rollercoaster ride that has been United’s 2019/20 season, there have been highs, lows, star performances, scapegoats for poor performances, and pretty much everything in between. However, there has been one player, that opposition fans cannot seem to value, whilst United fans cannot stand to see the team without: Big Scotty Mac.
Ask most fans what they think of McTominay and you will get an answer much like opposition fans will give of someone like Roberto Firmino: how does he get into the team? Yet, if you ask a United fan they will give the same answer as those very fans of the Liverpool striker: this team doesn’t work as well without him.
This is highly reminiscent of the days that Michael Carrick used to absolutely boss the field of play, whilst baffling opposition fans of his inclusion. Similarly, Scotty goes about his work in a very understated way, making those crucial interceptions or pushing the team forward when nobody else will, keeping the team ticking every moment he is on the pitch. These are comparisons that no United fan would scoff at, he is really that important to the team. With McTominay on the pitch, United have won 66% of their matches this season, losing less than 20% of them. Consequently, when he was not on the pitch during his knee injury, the team lost almost half of their games without him, whilst not having lost since his return in mid-February. If anyone questions his impact, these stats are sure to quiet them.
But not everything that McTominay provides for the team can be found in the stats, it is also in his general demeanour whilst on the pitch. He has a certain mean streak about him, often throwing himself into the tackles, almost as if to show those around him of the committed-ness required when pulling on a shirt for the Red Devils. If you though the previous comparison put him in with lofty company, here comes the next one: Scott McTominay shows the bulldogged attitude that Roy Keane showed whilst growling around Old Trafford. Scott has most certainly got it in him to be a future captain of the team, the way he leads from the back and pushes those around him to be better.
It is a quality that was missing during those murky years between Sir Alex’s departure and Solskjaer’s arrival, a certain targeted meanness in the challenge. During those days of despair for United fans, players came and went, and a lot were just very wishy washy. That is no longer the case so long as McTominay is commanding the Old Trafford turf, the players must fall in line with his example.