Lukaku's class but United fans should be really worried about their favourite son now 11 months ago

Lukaku's class but United fans should be really worried about their favourite son now

Old Trafford is rocking again.

Sweeping counter-attack moves, rock solid anchors, chests out and swaggering strolls as 'United are the team for me' belts out in full voice from the Stretford End.

Dare say it, it was a glimpse back to the good, old days and when you consider that this is Jose Mourinho's second season - and we all know what happens in his second season - there's reason to be optimistic after that 4-0 cruise over West Ham sealed top spot for the Red Devils.

Paul Pogba was effortless. It was like he was playing in an underage game, just always a level above in strength, in composure, in skill than the rest of them and he took it handy before stroking in his first goal of the season.

Nemanja Matic has already proven that he isn't going to just bring destruction to opposition engine rooms, but he offers legs, energy and he covers ground like two men would be proud of. He won the ball back for the first goal of the day when Rashford carried the whole way before teeing up debutant Lukaku.

And the Belgian striker doesn't look for a second like he's going to let that red shirt shrink him. He doesn't seem for one inch of him that he'll buckle under the pressure of leading the line for Manchester United. If anything, he looks even more assured. He looks like he has even more conviction and that he'll score even more goals.

Mkhitaryan just picked up from where he left off - intelligent, sharp, deadly.

Martial came on and scored one and assisted another. As days go, it was pretty decent.


But not for one man. Not for Ander Herrera.

Look, this is never a good sight anyway.

But when it cements Herrera's place on the bench for the entire game, there's cause to be concerned.

As good as the Spaniard was last season - player of the year and all that - it doesn't seem like Jose Mourinho has him in his key plans for this campaign.

When it was thought that the arrival of Matic would free up Pogba to push even further forward, he just took Herrera's place in the starting team for the game against West Ham.

And three subs all got the nod ahead of the popular United midfielder.

  • Fellaini for Mata (76')
  • Martial for Rashford (80')
  • Lingard for Mkhitaryan (88')

Mourinho's transfers were probably curious anyway. All big men - 6 foot plus. All athletes. All men who have helped to transform the team from a nice possession-based side to an outfit with more power, more directness, more ferocity.

What was also telling was that back in the first week of July, Ander Herrera was named the vice captain of Manchester United and, with Carrick selected as club captain, it was presumed that Herrera would be captain on the pitch for most of the season.

Then, 10 days later, Mourinho said: "We don’t have a vice-captain, a captain is enough."

And after 90 minutes against West Ham without Herrera playing, some fans are already turning.

There's room for Herrera yet. He's a quality footballer, he's an aggressive one and a tigerish one. He can fit into that system just fine. He'll probably be brought in for bigger games at the expense of an attacking player but maybe, just maybe, Mourinho doesn't fancy him in there anymore.

Not as first choice anyway.

This is the new United. And it ain't a bad start.