It is really hard to be critical of a young player coming into this Manchester United side.
So we are not going to be negative about Angel Gomes’ display away at AZ Alkmaar.
After all, if this week taught the football world anything, it is that giving up on young talent is foolish, see Arsenal ditching Serge Gnabry, who scored four goals for Bayern Munich this week against Tottenham.
So some perspective is needed, and this was a valuable learning experience for 19-year-old Gomes, playing his first ever away game in the Europa League for Manchester United.
Also note he was just returning from an injury, and playing on a plastic pitch, out of position. Over reacting because he didn’t win the game single handedly is no good to anyone.
Gomes was started out on the left wing, rather than in a central attacking midfield role, which is his preferred position.
Some of his best touches took place when he did drift inside into the centre of the pitch.
He was one of only four United players to create a chance on the night, and he attempted more shots than any player (2), although sadly both his efforts were off target.
Gomes completed 86 per cent of his passes, touching the ball 58 times in total – more than double Jesse Lingard’s touch count against Arsenal.
Also noteworthy for the diminutive youngster – he won one aerial duel.
It isn’t really fair to be critical of Gomes for not doing more, when there are senior players like Juan Mata in the side contributing less.
Whatever United were trying to do with Dan James and Mason Greenwood rotating up front didn’t work either, it was ineffective, and hurt the creative players trying to find a breakthrough.
This was a night which will help the teenager in future appearances, when hopefully more space will open up for him and he will have more time in possession and hopefully a better game plan from the side as a whole.
Here is a look at some of the reaction to Gomes’ performance. We have tried to keep it positive…
- Predicted Manchester United XI v Liverpool
- Dan James is victim of Manchester United’s poor squad building
- Three players Manchester United should send out on loans, and where
- Manchester United fans react as Harry Maguire is named captain
- Young departure is a testament to Williams’ quality