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Five things we learned From Manchester United vs NewCastle United Match

Van Gaal was right to lower Depay expectations

To the United manager’s credit, he has been consistent in his analysis of the youngster even since he put pen to paper earlier in the summer - yes, Memphis has tremendous potential and was a goal machine in the far inferior Dutch league last season, but the Premier League will be an entirely different proposition. Sure enough, Memphis was subdued in his opening two domestic games then devastating, unplayable in the midweek European win over Brugge - well, Belgium is next door to Holland! Here, Memphis was back to Premier League type, pushed around a little too easily, guilty of poor decision making and even poorer execution. Memphis has a great future but let’s hold the Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons for a few weeks yet.
Depay did not have much success against Newcastle

Pedro chase concealed concerns in Utd’s transfers

Wayne Rooney’s current goalscoring drought will come under close examination but, with Javier Hernandez presumably destined for a career as Van Gaal’s resident super sub, the England centre-forward is being asked to spearhead a striking corps of one at present.

While a much fitter Luke Shaw means an upgrade at the full-back positions from 12 months ago, there are also glaring weaknesses in the centre of defence, particularly in the air, and the manner in which Aleksandar Mitrovic was able to head powerfully against the bar in the first half should have set alarm bells off. Van Gaal insisted that he was never truly serious about courting Pedro and, based on this, that makes sense - there are far greater priorities to address in the United squad before the window slams shut in just over a week’s time.

This is Adnan Januzaj's second coming

Almost lost in the debate about Wayne Rooney’s effectiveness and the arrival of Memphis Depay onto the Old Trafford scene has been the form of a rejuvenated Adnan Januzaj. It seems a footballing lifetime ago that the pacy winger burst onto the United stage under David Moyes, arguably the only bright spark of the Scotsman’s ill-fated reign.
Januzaj looks like he'll play a key role this season
But Januzaj clearly stagnated in van Gaal’s first season in charge of the club, to the extent that the natural assumption was that he would be going out on loan this season to allow his manager to determine whether he has a long-term future with the club. Instead, Januzaj has found himself starting the last three games, filling the central position of the attacking midfield three playing behind Wayne Rooney. He is undoubtedly still a work in progress, but at least there is progress. One moment, when he shrugged off a challenge in midfield and slipped through a perfect pass that sent Depay clean through on goal was the sort of moment that was all too rare last season.

Bastian Schweinsteiger's fitness is key

The German veteran has wasted no time in becoming a firm Old Trafford favourite, even if he is carrying a couple of extra pounds from his summer hols and is not exactly the most mobile of midfielders. After a couple of excellent substitute cameos, Schweinsteiger started for the first time here and it may well be that Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin will prove to be van Gaal’s midfield of choice when he plays 4-2-3-1, at the expense of Michael Carrick.
Schweinsteiger lasted less than an hour on Saturday
Given his recent injury record, however, Schweinsteiger’s durability will be the issue and when he emerged from a 28th minute tackle with a noticeable limp it was not hard to imagine what was going through the United manager’s mind. Ultimately, Schweinsteiger lasted less than an hour and, if the Reds reach the Champions League knock-out stages, it is hard to imagine Schweinsteiger being able to feature in more than one game per week.

Newcastle's spending leaves them in safe hands

The figures - based on five in and one out for a net spend of £47.7 million - apparently place the Geordies behind only Manchester City in the Premier League and AC Milan, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain as far as the rest of the continent is concerned. Of course, the figures fail to take into account the level of talent in the respective squads before the summer transfer window opened and it could be argued that Steve McClaren could have doubled that spend and still not been sure of a top ten finish.
McClaren's team frustrated Man Utd
That said, the Magpies have made a major upgrade in one important department - the dug-out. Steve McClaren may not be everybody’s cup of tea but the tactical system he set up for the trip to his old club demonstrated Newcastle are in solid hands.
Five things we learned From Manchester United vs NewCastle United Match Reviewed by Jisieike Samuel on August 22, 2015 Rating: 5

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