Manchester United started the new season the same way they ended their previous campaign with the players looking short on confidence and unable to even do the basics properly.
Something had to give after the Brentford thrashing and Erik ten Hag deserves praise for getting the club back on track as they have now managed to win four on the bounce.
The Dutchman tweaked his system, veered away from his favoured style of play and also changed personnel and they have borne fruit as United have now beaten the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.
Malacia has impressed one and all
He was immense against the team from Merseyside, managing to keep Mohamed Salah quiet for the entire game. Not many have managed that in the recent past.
Malacia’s personal trainer Jordan Kroon: “Most of the time, he’s the last player at the #mufc training field who’s leaving. Most of the time at the end of the day, he calls me and films the dressing room, and everybody is already gone. So that’s a good thing.” [@UtdDistrict] pic.twitter.com/c97hCkA9oP
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) September 6, 2022
That particular display caught the eye of former United legend Rio Ferdinand and he said post-match that the Dutch full-back’s game reminds him of another Red Devils legend Patrice Evra.
“He [Malacia] reminds me of Patrice Evra in many ways. He’s athletic, he looks like a pound-for-pound strong kid. There aren’t many left-backs in European or world football in the last four or five years who have gone out of a game and kept Mohamed Salah quiet.”
And the 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength since then, as United have kept two clean sheets and conceded a solitary strike against league leaders Arsenal.
Delighted with Evra comparisons
Not many had heard about him before his move to United but his infectious energy, stories of his training regimen and his modest outlook have all endeared him to the fan-base and it looks like he has made the left-back spot his own.
The former Feyenoord defender, who once said he looked up to Evra when he was young, spoke to United’s official website and was happy to know of Ferdinand’s compliment.
“It’s the first time hearing it, because I don’t watch the media. So for me it is the first time I’m hearing this but it’s a big compliment. I’m honoured to get this compliment from him, yeah.”
United’s next game is against Real Sociedad in the Europa League and such is Malacia’s current importance to Ten Hag’s plans going forward, there is a chance he might be rested ahead of the crucial league game against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
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