Terrace Talk: Man United - Mason Greenwood is like an olden day gunslinger

It’s not been a common pre-kick-off feeling this season but, for once, looking at a United teamsheet gave me hope last night.

Terrace Talk: Man United - Mason Greenwood is like an olden day gunslinger

It’s not been a common pre-kick-off feeling this season but, for once, looking at a United teamsheet gave me hope last night.

Santa had given me the selection box I wanted — no Lingard or Pogba, andGreenwood to start — whilst Ole had wisely decided to give the tiring James a rest.

“Got a good feeling about this,” I brightly informed my companion.

Twenty minutes gone, with United a goal down and a couple of boos heard from the stands, I was keeping my mouth firmly shut and figuratively cowering under a Main Stand tartan blanket. But enter the Christmas miracle. Hark the herald angels sing; Tony Martial had decided to kickstart the one good hour of football that he deigns to produce every six weeks, and Old Trafford finally had cause to strike up the song in his honour.

He wasn’t the only wised-up man bearing unexpected gifts. Hark, too, at AWB, not only crossing the halfway line into virgin territory but also producing a succulent goal-bearing cross.

Or what about Pereira, finally looking as if he might at least warrant a squad place with a lively, committed, and forward-thinking display?

Moreover, overall, United collectively finally did something we had begun to think was beyond them — win a match where they dominated possession. How ridiculous that sounds, right? But before kick-off, papers had been full of stats showing how comically bad we had become at this most basic of footballing missions.

Martial’s opener came just at the moment when Red confidence appeared to be starting to drain away, and as Newcastle even hinted at a second.

This will all be forgotten in due course, I daresay, but it deserves to be registered as a moment.

Imagine where we might have been this morning had that first half continued to unwrap what seemed to be its remorseless logic…

Never has the old adage ‘goals change games’ nodded its head so smugly.

Pogba thus had the undeserved good fortune to be able to come on and have the luxury of not having to do very much, rather than being asked to perform a rescue act.

Perhaps his agent will have regarded it as an excellent bit of shop-windowing? Speculation about his future, and links to that of Haaland because of the mutual connection with Mino Raiola, had continued all week, despite United’s PR movements.

Theoretically, Pogba should now start at Burnley tomorrow night, having proved he is fit enough for first team consideration. Does he fancy it? Generally speaking, no-one fancies a night in Burnley, footballing or otherwise.

But you’d hope that he would want to prove a point. If he’s struck by another of his mysterious colds in the next 36 hours, you can draw your own conclusions. Let us not be cynical, though; he has his redemption chance now.

One player who doesn’t need to be told how to grab a chance is Greenwood. You may be growing weary about this column fawning over him every week but the sense of sheer drama that his mere presence on the ball generates is wonderful.

Something about him makes you expect that he will score, if selected, which obviously can’t be said of Martial or Rashford.

The difference may be that he, too, seems to expect it. Indeed, he looks like a lad who is now calmly considering what potentially awaits in his career, and has decided that he is going for it. All the goals, all the medals, all the adulation; yes, he would like to grab it with both hands, via both those magical feet.

Incidentally, think on, kids; there’s a lesson right there in the value of making sure you develop both your left and right, Charlton-style. Greenwood’s like an olden day western gunslinger , with two pistols equally quick on the draw.

May his victims be many and never-ending.

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