Manchester United are getting criticism from all angles this season but one of the few to be escaping much of that stick is Scott McTominay.
The 22 year old midfielder has started all seven Premier League and scored his first goal of the season on Monday, earning Man Utd a 1-1 draw at home to Arsenal.
His experiences of playing against Newcastle United haven’t been great so far.
Back in February 2018, Scott McTominay came on for Matic with 13 minutes left but could do nothing to overturn the 1-0 lead Matt Ritchie had given NUFC. That game was Martin Dubravka’s debut and the match that launched an excellent run that took Newcastle to early safety.
The only other time the Scottish international has faced Newcastle saw Manchester United win, however, it was bitter sweet for McTominay.
Exactly a year ago today, Rafa Benitez and his team surprised Man Utd by totally outplaying them in the first half at Old Trafford. Two goals up at half-time and it could/should have been four as Muto failed with an easy header and the referee failed to give a blatant penalty when somehow looking in the wrong direction as a free-kick was taken (If VAR had been around…).
Scott McTominay started that day but was subbed at half-time for Fellaini, so absent for the 3-2 comeback/collapse.
The midfielder claims that it has been a season of ‘very fine margins’ for Manchester United this season and is hoping that this luck will change starting at St James Park.
Reading what Manchester United fans are saying, I don’t get the feeling that they are thinking this season it has just been fine margins or bad luck.
Talking about today’s game, Scott McTominay goes with a typical ‘The fans are passionate and create an incredible atmosphere’ line, which hasn’t exactly been the case this season, thousands of empty seats and a really poor atmosphere as people are so sick of Mike Ashley’s running of the club.
For today’s match, to try and fill the empty seats Mike Ashley has had his minions pushing out thousands of tickets via countless competitions and discounted seats to students/universities and other local organisations.
As for on the pitch and Steve Bruce, the Man Utd player says: ‘I’m not too sure what’s going on there at the moment…’
A sentiment that so many Newcastle fans would agree with!
Scott McTominay talking to official club site:
It’s Newcastle up next… how important is it to go into the international break with a win? We’ve been close to getting one but some decisions just haven’t gone our way…
“Other than the West Ham game, it’s been [a case of] very, very fine margins.
“In a lot of the games we’ve played, I think we’ve been 1-0 up at half-time and for us it’s time to really nail down why we’re conceding after half-time and structurally we have to do more as a group and communicate more on the pitch and things like that.
“We have to reflect on all our performances and going into the international break it’s important we pick up a big three points away from home.”
What have you made of Newcastle this season? They’ve had a difficult start under Steve Bruce but games up there with the atmosphere are always tests aren’t they…
“Yeah it’s difficult going up there.
“The fans are passionate and create an incredible atmosphere.
“I’m not too sure what’s going on there at the moment but that’s football – sometimes things can go well, sometimes they don’t.
“But I know that their fans will always be with them and there will be a good atmosphere on Sunday and it’s important for us to really set our marker down.”