Monthly Review: Scholes sets the benchmark in August
This is odd. Do Manchester Unite usually end August with seven points from three? Of course, historically, United are slow starters. By no means was August a great start to the season (use Chelsea’s start as a reference to define ‘great’) but it was solid, no less, and very encouraging. Anyway, what normally makes deciding a Player of the Month so difficult is the fact that football is a team game, so opinion is usually split over whom deserves the recognition. But you’ve got to invent a whole new word to describe Paul Scholes’ performances in a red shirt last month, having not put a foot wrong in any of the games played so far. He set the benchmark against Chelsea in the Community Shield where he passed the Blues to death, and so consistent as he has been, started all three league matches this year.
In my non-biased/biased United ratings created for the new campaign, fittingly called the United Index, Paul Scholes averages 8.33 (or 8.3333333333, thanks Microsoft Excel!) in his three Premier League games thus far, summing up just how good the veteran midfielder has been in his near-flawless displays. Honourable mentions must go to Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney, for they have managed three goals and three assists respectively so far. Berbatov’s impressive start to the season comes to no surprise to me, and if he continues this, it may mean Javier Hernandez might have to prolong his stay on the bench while Berbatov continues to excel on the pitch. Hernandez will get him moment soon, but so heated is the competition at Old Trafford, that there is simply no margin for error. Own Goals is also back in amongst the goals, having scored what looked like the winner at Craven Cottage a fortnight ago.
So all in all, it’s been a decent start although September looks far more trickier. A difficult tie, annoyingly dubbed ‘Battle of Britain’, against Rangers is sandwiched between games against Everton and Liverpool while the youth and fringe-players could be given a chance to shine when the Red Devils take on Scunthorpe in the Carling Cup. You know that song by Tinie Tempah (I think it’s called Pass Out?), which goes “I’ve been Southampton, but I’ve never been to Scunthorpe,” yep, United players can no longer sing that…
That’s it for our August Monthly Review. I leave you with some shameless City poking.