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Can’t win with kids? United just did.
“You can’t win anything with kids,” said former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen of Manchester United’s young team in 1995. Alex Ferguson’s troops went on to win the Premier League that season in 1996.
Are we about to see a similar outcome in the 2011/12 season after Ferguson hauled off the experienced trio of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick with United 2-0 down to rivals Manchester City before they staged a second-half comeback to win the Community Shield 3-2 on Sunday?
Centre backs Phil Jones and Jonny Evans coped well with City’s vast array of attacking talent, while Carrick’s replacement Tom Cleverley was pivotal in the move that led to Nani’s sublime equaliser, pinging passes with Wayne Rooney around the box.
Rooney even called them “young”, the England man himself only 25.
Another youngster is new keeper David de Gea, who was far from convincing in the first half but saved smartly from David Silva in the second period and will need some time to convince any early doubters that he is the man to fill the boots of Edwin van der Sar.
The Premier League season is now just a week away, and while Ferguson has been quick to point out the limited significance of any pre-season matches he will be quietly confident after another typical United comeback.
Picture: Manchester United’s Chris Smalling (L) celebrates scoring with Tom Cleverley during their FA Community Shield soccer match against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London August 7, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville