So Manchester United’s pre-season tour of America has come to an end. We played five games in just over two weeks and we won every single game. Every. Single. Game. Which is nice; there’s nothing better than a pre-season with 5 wins out of 5. We have two more pre-season games to go (again Marseille on Tuesday and Paul Scholes’ testimonial against New York Cosmos on Friday) before the Community Shield on Sunday against Manchester City. Then the week after the season gets under way proper. I can’t wait.
We started the pre-season campaign against New England Revolution, before playing the Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire, an MLS Allstars team (including Becks and Thierry Henry) and then last night we played Barcelona. We’ve gained in confidence, fitness, strength as the games have gone on and a lot of our younger and newer players have impressed.
Last night’s game against Barcelona was brilliant. We won it 2-1 and although neither sides were at the best, most top-strength team, it was still a brilliant and competitive game. Barcelona were without Messi, Puyol, amongst others whereas we didn’t play Berbatov or Ferdinand but Rooney, David Villa, Vidic, Valdes, loads of big names still played and it was an excellent game. Nani’s goal was exquisite so was the Barcelona equaliser (De Gea had no chance to stop that) and then Owen’s winning goal was wonderful. We played so well.
David De Gea has impressed me so far. He has big boots to fill, boots left by Edwin Van Der Sar but he’s acquitted himself well so far. The real litmus test will come against City in the Community Shield, but he seems confident with the ball, confident shouting at players to get in line and do as they’re told. I think Ashley Young appears to have slotted in well, and Phil Jones seems OK though I haven’t seen much of him.
I can’t wait for the season to get under way properly, to see everyone tested properly for the first time, to see who Sir Alex’s starting XI will be week in, week out, to see if De Gea can fill those large boots and become our next big goalkeeper. To see how the other teams in the Premier League are shaping up, too. Pre-season is always hard to tell, hard to judge, but I’ve enjoyed our pre-season and we seem to be ready for the League to get into action again. Not long to go now, woohoo!