Last night Ritchie de Laet was my MotM against Wolves. Please note that apparently he’s our No 6 right-back (behind Brown, Neville, O’Shea, Rafael and Fletcher) and No 9(!) in the centre-half pecking order (behind Ferdinand, Vidic, Brown, Evans, O’Shea, Neville, Carrick and Fletcher). We must have a pretty awesome strength in depth.
Posts Tagged ‘Ritchie de Laet’
Posted by hakanrylander on December 16, 2009
Posted by hakanrylander on October 23, 2009
A good result for the reserves who went top of the Premier Reserve League North. But let’s face it, who cares about the result in these games? More important is to spot the individual performances that indicate whether a player is ready to move on to the first team. Or not. In this respect the game contained three positives and one negative.
United were captained by Ritchie de Laet who seems to keep up his remarkable improvement. I was particularly impressed by a couple of forward surges of the kind I would like Rio Ferdinand to make more often. Solid at the back, dangerous going forward and comfortable on the ball. I would be surprised if he doesn’t get a game against Barnsley in the Carling Cup next Tuesday.
Hopefully Gabriel Obertan will also be in that game. He played the full 90 minutes yesterday and suffered no apparent injury problems. He was involved in many of United’s best moves and combined well with King, de Laet and others. Judging from this game he’s equally comfortable on either wing or through the middle.
I’ve read a number of positive reports about Josh King, but was still surprised by how good he already is at 17. Good movement, pace and control and also linked up well with Obertan. He faded in the second half, but maybe Macheda and Welbeck will soon have to look over their shoulders.
Zoran Tosic scored a good goal from distance in added time, but otherwise again failed to impress me. He saw a lot of the ball but ran into dead-ends most of the time. Still a long way from the first team in my opinion since he couldn’t really trouble an inexperienced Blackburn side (I didn’t recognize any of their players apart from Santa Cruz Jr). Nani drives me nuts, but I still prefer him to Tosic.
For a different angle on this game and a completely different opinion about the performance of Tosic, please check out the excellent United Youth.
Posted by hakanrylander on September 23, 2009
A Carling Cup tie against Wolves is unlikely to provide anything near the excitement of last Sunday. It’s not a trophy that too many fans care a lot about, but what makes it interesting is of course that it’s the main opportunity to see some up and coming stars in action.
Sir Alex might have a bit of a selection headache. He should pick some youngsters on the fringe of the first team and also some newcomers who are unlikely to start a single game in the PL this season. But he should also consider that some more established stars need games to keep sharp (Owen), find their form after an indifferent spell (Foster, Carrick, Nani, Tosic) or regain full fitness (Brown). Among these players the case for inclusion is strongest for Brown and Owen. Owen needs to play a bit more than just the last 20 minutes of big games while Brown is probably still our best right-back but need playing-time to get back to full fitness. Perhaps Tosic also deserves another chance to prove himself after being left out of the CL-squad.
Among the young fringe players Macheda, Welbeck, Fabio and Gibson virtually pick themselves, which leaves room for three more outfield players. My choice would be Corrie Evans in central defence, Magnus Eikrem in midfield and Ritchie de Laet (who improved beyond recognition towards the end of last season) at left back.
Ferguson has made some disturbing comments about Macheda and Welbeck lacking focus and forgetting “where their real place is” due to international commitments. Hopefully it’s just his way of stirring them into action tonight. Time to step forward for these two exceptionally promising youngsters.
My line-up: Kuszczak; Fabio, Brown, Corrie Evans, de Laet; Welbeck, Gibson, Eikrem, Tosic; Owen, Macheda.
Posted by hakanrylander on May 25, 2009
In the past Between the Lines has occasionally poked fun at the signing of Ritchie de Laet, and even questioned his very existence, mainly because his record seemed close to non-existent or at least not anywhere near United-quality. De Laet arrived in January from Stoke City where he spent a year and a half without even once playing for the first team, and since then the reports from the reserves didn’t indicate that he had made much progress.
I was therefore very surprised, and delaeted, by his MotM performance against Hull. He was adventurous going forward and solid at the back, and was voted our best and second-best player by the readers of Daily Telegraph and Manchester Evening News respectively. Full marks and an unreserved apology to Ritchie for doubting his ability.
De Laet was signed on a short-term contract until the end of the season. His performance yesterday should earn him an extension.
Edit: De Laet has signed a new one-year contract. Great news!
Posted by hakanrylander on January 29, 2009
Sir Alex has sent his brother Martin to cast an expert eye on 17-year-old Rangers forward John Fleck (source: The Sun….). Fleck is the nephew of former Rangers, Chelsea and Norwich striker Robert, and his direct running, powerful style and extreme confidence has made many people compare him to Wayne Rooney.
Fleck was 7th on The Times’ recent list of the hottest young football talents in the world. I’m not completely convinced that this is a good sign since the same list ranked non-existing Moldavian superstar Masal Bugduv as No 30.
Posted by hakanrylander on January 16, 2009
An intriguing story in The Guardian reveals that the 16-year-old Moldavian prodigy Masal Bugduv doesn’t exist. It appears that the player has been created out of nothing by a number of bloggers using e.g. Wikipedia and fake Associated Press-stories. What makes it all the more remarkable is that, while not existing, Bugduv still managed to be ranked 30th on The Times’ list of the hottest young football talents in the world. His name has since been removed from the list, for obvious reasons. But even without Bugduv the list is a rather strange hotchpotch, mixing unknown English teenagers with established stars like Karim Benzema and David Silva.
The non-existence of the Moldavian superstar-to-be raises a couple of important questions. The first is how much you can rely on information in a blog. The second, and perhaps even more important, is how many of United’s own prodigies that really exist?
I’ve seen photos of Adem Ljajic alongside Sir Alex, but let’s face it, Photoshop can be a devious tool. A thorough search of the Internet gave no indication as to the existence of United target Jack Sampson. And newest recruit Ritchie de Laet is supposed to have spent a year and a half at Stoke City, but hasn’t been seen anywhere near the first team.
For final proof of the existence or non-existence of these and other young stars we might have to rely on Descartes. Meanwhile, I’m just waiting for City to lodge a “massive” bid for Bugduv.
Posted by hakanrylander on January 8, 2009
Only a few days ago, after the official announcement of the signings of Tosic and Ljajic, Sir Alex Ferguson said there would be no more signings in January. Then today United suddenly signs 20-year old Belgian defender Ritchie de Laet from Stoke City.
The transfer is all the more puzzling since his record is anything but impressive. In over a year at Stoke he hasn’t once played for the first team. He was loaned to Bournemouth where his greatest achievement apparently was that he took part in a 4-1 friendly defeat against Portsmouth. And he has made three appearances on loan at non-league Wrexham.
The most logical explanation is that while at Royal Antwerp he impressed Warren Joyce who was then manager of Royal Antwerp and is now assistant to reserves coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
I’ve never seen the lad play, or even heard of him. But for the time being I still choose to be delaeted with the signing.
Through sterling work by manunitedyouth you can find a translation of a Belgian interview with de Laet here. Highlight: “I haven’t got a driver’s licence yet, but I won’t be asking him for lessons, that’s for sure.”