By Andy Hyslop
- Mata was taken at half-time against Everton this afternoon
- United youngster replaced Mata at Goodison Park
Despite United being 2-0 up at half-time against Everton this afternoon. United’s attacking midfielder Juan Mata was replaced at half-time.
United manager showed he is not afraid to make changes to his team line-up at half-time. Whether United are winning, losing or drawing. If he feels a change needs to be made. He will make it.
Already this season, he has hooked Memphis twice at half-time, the first occasion coming against Liverpool, with game 0-0. His replacement, Ashley Young; had an immediate impact. Whilst Memphis was also replaced at half-time against Arsenal along with Darmian.
Darmian was also taken off at half-time against Southampton. As he was struggling to deal with Dusan Tadic. All these substitutions were made for tactical reasons. As was the decision to take Mata at half-time today.
Mata was replaced by United youngster Jesse Lingard. Lingard has had several loan spells away from Old Trafford. Most notably with Championship sides Birmingham and Derby. You have to feel it is make-or-break for Lingard at United this season.
The 22 year-old from Warrington, impressed Van Gaal enough in pre-season at the start of last season; to be picked in Van Gaal’s first Premier League game in charge of the reds. But unfortunately he suffered an injury after 24 minutes.
The decision to take Mata off was made because the Spaniard was struggling to deal with the threat from Everton down United right side. Especially from the full-back Brendon Galloway. Who went past Mata like he wasn’t there on several occasions.
Van Gaal was pleased with the performance of Lingard in the second-half as he did all the defensive work that was asked of him. And he was neat and tidy on the ball. Keeping the ball for Van Gaal’s team.
Lingard will be looking to push for a starting place in United’s upcoming games on the back of his second-half showing. Jesse is a player that can cover in a number of positions and I’m sure will do a job for United whenever he is asked to.