Years!! I hear you cry and you’d be right as I’m a firm believer that the two young United stars will are good enough to carve out successful careers at the greatest football club the world has ever seen. However this season we may not see the two get as much of a chance as they have these last two games.
Chicharito’s recovery from injury now means Welbeck will surely be dropped sooner rather than later- possibly even for the Arsenal game, in favour of the smiling adorable assassin. Cleverley on the other hand has Ji Sung Park, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and possibly even Darren Fletcher, all potentially waiting to move him to a reserve role, should Sir Alex Ferguson decide to go for more experience against the Gunners or any other team for that matter.
Anyone who reads my posts on this site will know I’m a massive fan of both Cleverley and Welbeck and love the fact that regardless of what hasn’t happened with the entire Wesley Sneijder/Luka Modric/Samir Nasri sagas, United are playing some of the best football on the planet. That may sound somewhat melodramatic but some of the goals I’ve seen this season by the men in Red have been better than anything else I’ve witnessed.
Despite Cleverley and Welbeck both playing a massive part in the Community Shield and six points earned this season, it seems that the sword of Damocles was hanging over them even half an hour into the West Brom game. It’s a folly of mine reading and repeating tweets and forum posts I read, regarding United, but it’s often a good barometer of what many fans are thinking. When the game wasn’t going United’s way at the Hawthorns many Reds were laying the blame at Welbeck and Cleverley’s door- albeit in a ‘they’ll come good soon but they’re not ready yet’ kind of way.
Some were calling for the reinstatement of Carrick in the middle claiming Anderson and Cleverely lacked the defensive capabilities to fully protect the back four. Not the most outrageous claim to be fair and there was evidence to support that idea. My own theory regarding protecting the back four is to move Phil Jones to a DM role- when the standard of opposition- and defenders at our own disposal calls for it.
Welbeck on the other hand seemed to be keeping a place warm for any of Chicharito, Dimitar Berbatov or Michael Owen. Again not a bad shout when you consider the standard of strikers the aforementioned trio are, but it seemed unfair and almost counterproductive to finally give Welbeck a league start only to drop him in the subsequent game. Thankfully Sir Alex knew that Welbeck could do a job against Spurs even when at half time many thought he should be taken off- along with Cleverley.
I missed the first 20 minutes of last night’s game as I was waiting for a mate coming up from London and I had his ticket, but when we eventually took our seats in the stretford end, we were a little underwhelmed but knew it wasn’t time for panic stations- I’ve never been overly concerned when United start slow- at least not at home as our second half performances are usually winning ones.
Visiting twitter at half time, made me wonder just how bad the first 20 minutes had been as, many Reds were again calling for the two youngsters to make way for more experience. Understandable when on the bench you’ve got over 40 goals from the previous season, the most successful player in the history of football and the most energetic player we’ve got then it’s not difficult to see why people wanted a change.
As Aristotle -and one of the commenters on this site wrote: “one swallow does not make a spring” and Cleverley’s sublime cross doesn’t mean he had the best of games, but it does show the value of having him on the pitch- he can produce a match changing moment.
Welbeck on the other hand simply grew in stature as the game wore on, until he was arguably the best player on the pitch- although my own personal choice was Phil Jones.
Many could look at Anderson and argue he may be ‘droppable’ but I’ve argued so many times, I’m sick of hearing myself, that for him to either ‘make it or break it’ at United, he needs a decent run and he’s certainly doing his best to earn that now.
It seems Welbeck and Cleverley may soon be dropped in favour of more experienced players and we may have to wait to a little while to see them both starting again. With Arsenal at home, then a tough trip to Bolton followed by the visit of Chelsea, it would be a real surprise if they both started all three games. I’ll say it now though, if Cleverley and Welbeck are in the starting line up for the next three games, here’s one Red who won’t be complaining.