I'm currently watching United play the Malaysia all star side on MUTV ( where - for some reason that is beyond me - they're showing Ronnie highlights during the halftime break ) and I'm in a good state of mind after the first half of this match and their previous Asia match.
Fabio and Tosic both did well - causing problems for the Malaysia attack and creating great chances for the United strikers.
If you want to look at the strikers - its nice to see Michael Owen playing the way he is. He's scored twice - almost three times - in the past seventy minutes on the pitch. And if you've picked up an English paper or checked your RSS feed this week you'll have seen Owen's personal proclamations of his fitness:
"I feel like I did eight years ago."
It wasn't just Michael Owen - or as I will now call him "MO7" - who saw quality in the new #7. SAF publicly applauded Owen's goal and performance after the first pre-season match. I'm not at the stage where I want to call him the answer to all of United's post-CR7 problems - but I don't think I ever will. But I think he'll have a good season if only he can maintain his fitness. If he continues to produce in this pre-season that might produce a good show of faith from United supporters in his fitness.
SAF has also spoken about Macheda. I think he's young but incredibly talented. If you put him in - he will make chances. He will finish well. He will see the back of the net. I think Rooney, Owen, and Macheda will really be able to get results in this season. And he's already scored in the pre-season. If he keeps getting starts and scoring goals it will be great for his confidence and he should go into the season on the right foot.
Rooney had a nice goal during the first Asia match. SAF was happy with his performance, stating:
''You are seeing maturity from him now, which is what you expect from all young players,'' said Ferguson. ''I don't believe he needs to look at anything but himself because we know there is a lot of improvement to come from him yet. Wayne is not the finished article by any means.''Rooney just came into today's match - the crowd really went wild. He almost had a goal in his first minute on the pitch. Now it's common knowledge that I have a special place in my heart for Wayne Rooney. I really hope that this proves to be his season. I think getting out of the shadow - and ego - of CR7 is the best thing for his career.
I really need to see more from Berbatov. I've never been too impressed with him.
I also think we'll see a lot more in terms of Fletcher this season. He greatly improved in the last campaign and I think he will continue to do so. I think Carrick and Nani will also have decent seasons. Nani just needs to be put on the pitch - but if he doesn't have a better time of it this season I wouldn't expect to see him around in 2011.
We've seen a bit of Foster in goal so far - something we'll be seeing a lot more of this season as he prepares to replace VDS as the number one. Unfortunately I bet we'll see Kuszczak in the second half of this match. Kuszczak - or as I refer to him "The Pole" - is still technically in the running to replace VDS but I hope that SAF realizes that he just isn't going to cut it for the club. Not in the long run. Maybe he'd do well at Blackburn or Sunderland. Maybe he'd be a solid first choice there. But I just don't see the quality that's needed to be the number one at a top club. I'd been hoping United would send him off on loan to do damage somewhere else. No such luck.
On a slightly related note I have to say that I'm really fond of the all white keeper's strip.
The older crowd is looking well - and its just as important for them to prove their fitness. Giggsy has created some good opportunities today and looks to me in better form than when they ended last season. Neville is seeing some action but I'm not counting too much on his fitness.
I'm eager to see the Asia tour continue. Safely. I was upset about what happened in Jakarta and am grateful none of the players were hurt. Lets keep it that way.