Manchester United convincingly won 3-0 against West Ham in the 23rd round of the English Premier League. The Red Devils showed enough on the field to leave the three points at Old Trafford and overtake the Hammers in the Premier League’s temporary standings. Besides the three points, United fans can also be pleased with the performance of the emerging young stars at the “Theatre of Dreams.” Rasmus Hojlund scored once for the victory over the London opponent, while Alejandro Garnacho added two more goals to shape the final 3-0. The knee injury of Lysandro Martinez, who had recently returned from the infirmary, definitely overshadowed the victory for United, but if we have to highlight a bright spot of hope in the team, it shines on three of the starters in the match – Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho, and Kobbie Mainoo.
Joy after the second goal in the match – the symbol of hope
When Alejandro Garnacho received the ball on the right side of the attack at the beginning of the second half and scored, even after a deflection off an opposing player, Manchester United led 2-0 and thrilled the fans in the stadium and those watching on screens. The goal definitely brought joy to the stands and beyond, but what some United players did next instilled hope! The celebration after Garnacho’s goal was not like the usual celebrations after a goal near the corner flag. On the contrary, the joy after the second goal was visibly calm, without inspiring shouts, but it said much more than that. When Garnacho, Hojlund, and Mainoo sat on the advertising boards by the pitch to celebrate the goal embraced, they illuminated Old Trafford, giving it hope and faith for a better future!
This embrace shows more than joy; it signifies friendship, teamwork, unity. And exactly this is necessary and lies in the successes of any team, whether playing football or another sport. Garnacho and Mainoo are products of Manchester United’s academy, while Hojlund was brought in before this season. And while the first two probably have quite a few minutes together on the field for the club’s youth teams, with Hojlund the time has been less. However, it seems to have been enough to unite the young players in the team and to make them the blend that Manchester United needs.
The hope for a better future has been in the souls of every Manchester United fan since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. So much time has passed since then, but United still can’t find the right path to the Premier League title or a breakthrough in the Champions League. Yes, some trophies have been won over the years, but the title is what every fan of the Red Devils craves. With the arrival of the INEOS Group, led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, these hopes in the fans now seem a step closer to reality. Ratcliffe and his team will acquire a minority stake in the club, with confirmation from the Premier League expected, but they will be fully responsible for the football operations at the club.
With Hojlund, Garnacho, and Mainoo, the work of INEOS at Manchester United seems to have a starting point, a core, on which to build. Because all three are young, have qualities, and a desire for development. However, how far they will go depends entirely on them and on the work of the club and the coaches with them. As Erik ten Hag shared after the match against West Ham, the three must continue with hard work in the training process and develop, because if they believe they are already at the top, they will make a mistake. Ten Hag may have made many wrong decisions this season, but the conclusion about these three is definitely correct.
With his two goals against the “Hammers,” Alejandro Garnacho shaped his goal tally to 7 goals in all competitions since the start of the season. Five of them are in the Premier League. Since the beginning of the campaign, Garnacho has earned a starting place in United’s lineup and proved that he can play both on the left wing and on the right. The Argentine prefers to attack from the left, but when needed on the field with Marcus Rashford, he is shifted to the right. However, Garnacho proves he is strong on both flanks of the attack, making him an indispensable part of the team’s development plans.
The 19-year-old offensive player has been accused more than once of arrogant behavior on the field after trying to finish an attack alone and not passing to a teammate. However, Garnacho possesses that spirit of a footballer who will stand up against any defender and try to overcome him. Garnacho has the class, football skills, and desire to become one of the best in the world! The Argentine also scored one of the goals of the season when he netted against Everton with a bicycle kick. It’s important not to forget that he still has a long path of development ahead, where he needs to minimize the mistakes in his game and improve it. Over the years, Garnacho must also acquire those qualities that will clear the mistakes from his game and reduce his arrogance to a minimum. After all, let’s not forget that the South American possesses that temperament of a footballer who seems ready to shoulder the task of doing things himself, a quality that has created more than one or two great footballers.
Rasmus Hojlund was brought to Manchester United in the summer from Atalanta for a sum of just over 70 million euros. Many people criticized the club for this transfer because the Dane’s start in the Premier League was not successful. However, if you ask the same critics for their opinion now, hardly any of them will have the same view.
Hojlund now has 10 goals in all competitions, 4 of which in the Premier League. He improves with every passing match and shows that the money spent on him will not be in vain. In the match against West Ham, Hojlund celebrated his 21st birthday, and the goal he scored in the match was certainly the dream gift. Hojlund possesses all the qualities to become one of the best strikers of our time, but he must not stop his development. The Dane has the necessary physique, speed, and technique to score from any position and has already started to prove it with his goals for Man United.
Kobbie Mainoo, only 18 years old, but already compared to some of the great midfielders in football. According to many analysts, Mainoo plays not like a teenager, but like an experienced 30-year-old midfielder of world level. His star rose during the summer, in the preseason period of United. Unfortunately, however, he suffered a severe injury and had to miss the first part of the season. Right after his return, he quickly reminded everyone why he is at Manchester United. 16 matches for him from the start of the season in all competitions and 2 goals. His first such in the Premier League came in the last round against Wolverhampton in an exceptionally interesting match, in which the Red Devils won 3-4 after a goal in the 97th minute by Mainoo!
Kobbie Mainoo shows enviable calmness in his plays and an exceptional view of the game. With a bit more physical development and improvement of his skills, he definitely has a future at United and can easily become the main player from the center of the field.
What Does the Future Hold for Manchester United?
With the arrival of INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe in the management of Manchester United, many fans of the team are certainly expecting high-profile transfers to Old Trafford. Attracting some world-class performers would undoubtedly not harm the team, but it is extremely important not to forget what United itself produces as footballers. Garnacho and Mainoo are products of the team’s academy, while Hojlund was brought in against a transfer fee, but is also part of the young generation in the team.
This season, the team can also boast of more young players who made their debut in the first team. Defender Willy Kambwala impresses with enviable physique and can certainly contribute to the future of the team. Omari Forson also recorded his first minutes with the team of his favorite team and often falls into the group for the match, which is proof that the team has faith in him and is ready to give him more chances for performance. With proven fighters on the field like Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford, the future of United looks really good.
Many fans may not know, but this season the team of Manchester United under 18 years old is in first place in the youth Premier League and after 14 rounds, the team has 14 victories and a lead of over 10 points over its closest pursuer. This is just another fact that shows that something good is coming!
The joy after the second goal in the match against West Ham and the embrace between Hojlund, Garnacho, and Mainoo inspires courage in the team’s fans. Manchester United fans may remember the glorious team of Sir Alex, in which youth stars like David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Ryan Giggs shone. The Class of ’92, however, is now history, and United’s opponents must be ready to face the new generation of the team, which has shown that it is ready for battles, possesses the qualities for them, but also must continue to work and develop, to take Manchester United back to where it belongs – at the top!