Manchester  United  _ Need    players  to do  what  kobbie  Mainoo is doing


Manchester United _ Need players to do what kobbie Mainoo is doing



Kobbie Mainoo produced another accomplished performance in the Man Utd midfield as they battled to a hard-fought 2-1 win at Luton Town.



This was another typically chaotic Manchester United game, but in amongst the mayhem on the Kenilworth Road pitch there was one player who often managed to put his head up and bring some structure to proceedings. He was the youngest player on the pitch.


Kobbie Mainoo was outstanding in midfield for United at Luton Town



For all the experience in the  ranks, for all the trophies won and the international caps collected, it is Stockport-born teenager   who seems to make it all work. The academy really has unearthed a gem in this precocious midfielder.

Once again United had to ride their luck in recording a fifth successive victory – although they missed chances on the break to kill this game off – but they do have momentum now firmly behind them in the race for a top-four finish, especially after Tottenham’s defeat to Wolves on Saturday.

This was a game played at a frenetic pace and a near-relentless tempo. United’s early two-goal lead should have been their invitation to kill the game, to take the sting out of proceedings, but we know by now they are incapable of that.



For a team that led by two goals, they again conceded space in midfield. Casemiro was given the run around by Ross Barkley and the flanks, especially the left, were a constant source of encouragement for Luton.

There was an element of fortune about the way the goal that got Luton back into the game came about, although Andre Onana was indecisive when the ball did break to Carlton Morris, but United couldn’t stem the tide. As is the case almost every week, they were too easy to play against.

The opposition will always be happy to turn games against United into a slugfest because the reality is that Erik ten Hag’s side almost always have the better players. Too often they’re incapable of demonstrating that on the pitch. Leading by two after seven minutes, they should have turned this into a Sunday stroll.

But the reality was that the only time they ever looked to have control in this game was when Mainoo was in possession. His quick feet and poise in a midfield where space was at a premium for United were a joy to watch.



When Mainoo got the ball he kept it. There were pirouettes away from defenders, stepovers to create space, one poke through the legs of Amari’i Bell that opened the game up. It was an exhibition of technical quality from a central midfielder.

It’s no exaggeration to say Mainoo was the best midfielder on the pitch, although Barkley pushed him close. He was certainly United’s most adept footballer. But when the 18-year-old with just 11 Premier League starts to his name before this game is the one bringing some calm and control to proceedings, then you know there is a problem.

Casemiro was hooked at half-time after collecting yet another yellow card and Bruno Fernandes had one of his more ineffectual days. United’s midfield offers up spaces that are too big and commits too many players forward, but Mainoo’s industry and excellence are trying to solve that problem.

If anything, he’s being asked to do too much. He’s now started 11 games in a row in all competitions and you wouldn’t want to see the state of United’s midfield without him.

At full-time Mainoo stood chatting to former academy graduate Teden Mengi, one of the many youngsters Ten Hag has deemed not quite good enough this season and sold. Mainoo was never going to fall into that category.






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