Manchester United have had a few strong performances this season but the 4-0 win over Feyenoord on Thursday was our most complete 90 minutes under Jose Mourinho.
From front to back we attacked with verve, panache and a real intent that lasted the full game and enabled us to score a fourth late on despite already being 3-0 up. Previously, we’ve sat back on a narrow lead but that wasn’t the case against Feyenoord.
That fills me with hope about our clash with West Ham today, a game we now simply must win after victories for Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea at the top of the table. In particular, there are two players who I am looking towards to spark a strong performance today – Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba.
Mkhitaryan was in sparkling form against Feyenoord. Despite being frozen out for so long, he looked immediately comfortable and helped speed up Man United’s attack so much but he did it with a real touch of class that nobody else has been able to offer in that position. There really is no justification for him not to start again today. With him in the side and an old school looking Wayne Rooney, United’s attacking football was gorgeous on Thursday and I want to see the same again today.
Just as crucial to that performance was Pogba because he’s really starting to dictate our play and is beginning to lead the midfield by example. His raking passes split Feyenoord open but for me it was his power in possession which helped us boss that game; whenever he had the ball at his feet, Feyenoord couldn’t get it off him and that allowed him to control the tempo with ease, speeding it up when necessary and equally so slowing it down if it was needed. That’s the sort of midfield control which made Paul Scholes so good.
West Ham are down in the dumps at the moment and as I’ve been saying for a few weeks United are on the edge of pumping a Premier League team by four or five goals. Is today that game? I certainly hope so but regardless of the overall scoreline we’ve got to make sure we stay in control like we did against Feyenoord and I think both Pogba and Mkhitaryan are going to be crucial for that.