Manchester United played out a dull 0-0 draw against San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday evening. The match, played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, offered another opportunity for the club’s youngsters to impress with the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard still enjoying their post-World Cup holidays, and Alexis Sanchez was given his first minutes of game time this pre-season having joined the team this weekend after a visa delay.
“One more training session,” said United manager Jose Mourinho in his post-match interview with MUTV. “We are not a team. We’re a group of players from different teams. Some are first-team, some Under-23s, some coming from loans and going on loan, some are younger, Under-18s. We don’t have a team to play much better than we did but [it’s] one more training session.”
Sanchez managed an hour, with the Chilean looking industrious and dangerous, coming close to breaking the deadlock with his set piece delivery. Of course, these matches are all about improving fitness and preparing, and the manager was happy with the former Arsenal midfielder’s contribution, whilst appraising former loanee Andreas Pereira.
“Good for Alexis. The first time he plays after some individual sessions. He needed this and he made a good effort, a good physical effort, which is important for him in this moment. Andreas is playing okay. In the first match, he was okay and today too. I think he has to play even more simply than what he’s doing but he has the personality to want the ball and to organise. I’m happy.”
Mourinho’s tone suggests that he’s less-than happy with the current situation at the club, given that several of his first teamers are currently absent on holidays, and there appear to be no concrete plans to bring in any further players this summer. Perhaps a few impressive displays by this youthful squad will help to raise this spirits.