Singha All-Star XI vs. Manchester United: 5 Things We Learned

Max TowleAnalyst IJuly 13, 2013

Singha All-Star XI vs. Manchester United: 5 Things We Learned

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    A team's preseason tour should rarely be considered a true mark of how it's going to perform later that term.

    It would be easy for the headline writers to say "David Moyes' reign kicked off with a loss," but his first true game in charge of Manchester United will come in August in the Community Shield clash with Wigan Athletic.

    Nevertheless, it is worth highlighting some deficiencies that were on show in Bangkok in the Red Devils' first summer friendly.

    The 1-0 loss to the Singha All-Stars was a bit of an embarrassment for United, who will need to improve before the season kicks off proper.

    Here are five things we learned from the game.

Adnan Januzaj Still a Rough Diamond

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    Perhaps the biggest drawcard from Saturday's friendly was the chance to see talented youngster Adnan Januzaj on show for the first team.

    The 18-year-old Belgian has bags of potential, and he will truly be a world-class player in three to four years. However, he showed his inexperience against the All-Stars, lacking the first touch and attacking awareness to create much penetration up front.

    He still showed his raw talent in flashes, though. At one stage, he twisted an opposing defender inside-out with his sharp turn of pace and adroit footwork.

    It remains to be seen if Moyes will consider him an important member of the first team this season.

English Breed Fails to Impress

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    With the possible exception of Anderson, perhaps the two most disappointing players on the pitch from the Red Devils' perspective were Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley. The England internationals looked extremely rusty and out of sorts during the game.

    Welbeck blew a couple of chances during the game that any forward should expect to put away in his sleep. And his composure in the box still leaves a lot to be desired.

    Meanwhile, Cleverley failed to keep things ticking in midfield, marauding across the pitch without having any real influence on the game.

    They will get chances under Moyes, but both will need to perform a lot better to stay in contention.

Wilfried Zaha Is the Real Deal

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    The biggest positive from the game has to be the brief cameo from Wilfried Zaha.

    The buzzing English forward made an immediate impact after coming on in the second half, going the closest to scoring with a wicked shot that cannoned off the post.

    He looks the real deal.

    Like Januzaj in some respects, he is still raw, but the roof on this kid is immense.

    Per ESPN, after the game, Moyes told reporters that, "Wilfried did well. He gave us a little bit of something different. We have brought him here to give him a chance. It is the first time I have worked with him and had a chance to see him up close."

    He will remain at Old Trafford to fight for his place on either flank.

United Look Tactically Inept Without Shinji Kagawa or Robin Van Persie

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    With Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie yet to meet up with the squad, glaring holes in the team were exposed against the All-Stars.

    Tom Cleverley in the hole behind Danny Welbeck is never going to be an imaginative, creative combination.

    With the future of Wayne Rooney uncertain, Kagawa must be fearful of his role in the team next season. But the Japan playmaker must be given a chance to play in the trequartista position, which he made his own at previous club Borussia Dortmund.

    Saturday's loss also suggested that the Red Devils need to pick up another creative attacking player in the transfer market. The Thiago loss hurts even more.

Ben Amos Makes the Save of the Summer

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    I have little doubt we will not see a better save across Europe this summer than Ben Amos' terrific diving stop against the All-Stars.

    In the first half, he palmed away a powerful volley from close range with stunning reflexes and strength, one that will live long in the memories of the fans who witnessed it.

    It's unfortunate, then, that he was caught out at his near post for the All-Stars' goal. For that, he should have done better.

    Amos will prove a fine No. 3 this season, and he is almost good enough now to displace Anders Lindegaard as the second choice.

    David de Gea will still be a welcome return in Australia, though.


    What did you make of United's loss to the Singha All-Stars? Who impressed? Who didn't?