Manchester United fans may be in for some happy moments with reports coming from the SON Training Complex indicating that the pair of Phil Jones and Michael Carrick are likely to be fit for the West Brom clash on Monday.
Phil Jones, who has been our of action foe the greater part of the season is reported to have started some light training this week and with the look of things, the former Blackburn defender is likely to be available for selection next week when Manchester United take on West Bromchich Albion in apremier league game.
Michael Carrick on his own part has been on the sidelines since July this year due to an ankle operation he had. Louis Van Gaal, Manchester United manager is reportedly determined to switch the English midfielder to a central defense role apparently because of his experience and passing skills. This is coming at a time that the Red Devils are in dearth need of personnel in the defense line. Injury seems to have so much decimated the clubs crop of defenders this season with Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, and Phil Jones all bowing out to a variety of injuries.
This has led the Dutch tactician to hang his hopes on youngsters Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett. And on a candid note, the two Manchester United Academy graduates have given a fair account of each other. Blackett has been involved in more that 70% of Manchester United’s competitive games this season and his form has seen the Old Trafford hierarchy deciding to up his wages from a mere £2000 to as much as £50000 per week. Perhaps, this serves as a reward for a job well done.
Paddy McNair has only been invoked in two Manchester United games this season. The one that really caught the eye of the fans was his performance against the physically imposing Minsky during the Red Devils’ premier league match against Everton two weekends ago. The Belgian, who has a knack for bullying opponents as a result of his physical attributes struggled continually against McNair throughout the duration of the match. Worthy of note is the that Paddy McNair won a good 70% of the duels he had with the Everton striker. Even any of the injured trio of Jones, Smalling and Evans couldn’t have done a better job on that fateful day.
But the likely return of Phil Jones to action will ultimately result in the brilliant youngster taking a place on the bench. It is unlikely that Van Gaal will decide to continue starting Paddy at the expense of other established players butdon’t forget that this is Van Gaal. The Dutchman may actually try that given his penchant for fielding particular players that really understand his football philosophy and also able to play according to his dictates. Whether he starts or not, in McNair, Manchester United have an up and coming youngster who is not afraid to engage any premier league bully if given the responsibility.