Director of football David continues will his assessments of forthcoming games and now turns his attention to the challenge presented by the trip north to face Manchester United.
EVERYONE WILL HAVE been looking at Wednesday night's game against Maccabi Haifa to see if Manchester United revived their spirits and goals tally after a start to the season which has had their critics chuckling. A 5-2 outcome suggests they did.
Manchester United has become an institution over the years through their unparalleled success and ability to replace players accurately whenever they are 'moving over the top'.
The main thrust of the criticism has come from some supporters, who cannot equate the playing values of the likes of van Nistelrooy and Veron with the prices paid. It was, indeed, quite a shock when they decided to lay out so much money on individual players.
But, as I felt at the time, as a PLC and as a club - whose future is in their own hands - they make whatever choices they wish with their money. Nobody has criticised their spending policies before.
There is a new group of younger players now at United. Several of them are out on loan at the moment like Davies at Swindon, Webber at Watford and the outside left Djordic, who has temporarily gone back to Sweden. They also have players in place at their sister club in Belgium, Royal Antwerp.
I believe there is something of a new era dawning - O'Shea and now Stewart following Chadwick in getting their opportunity. Look out within the next two years for a young boy called Eagles, who comes from this area and was within a whisker of signing for Tottenham.
United's immediate task, of course, is to resurrect their fortunes with one or two good victories in the Premiership and therefore Saturday's game becomes a doubly hard task for us. Particularly if Veron and Butt are fully restored to health.
Beckham seemed to have difficulty with his longer diagonal balls in the game against Leeds United and Giggs, although sparkling in the first half, didn't maintain that form in the second.
When Beckham and Giggs are on form United take some stopping and, of course, this year much has been made of the fact that van Nistelrooy hasn't started in such prolific scoring form as last.
Our task will be to build on the confidence shown in the attacking play shown in the last few games.
Away from home it is always a more counter attacking style that has to be adopted because rarely, particularly with a young team, is a group good enough to control and monopolise possession of the ball for long periods.
Usually that comes from the home team and the strength of the away team has to be the resistance of the attacks and how quickly they can break out.
Since Simon Davies and Matthew Etherington have come in on our flanks, they have shown a progressive mentality in this respect.
All our supporters must be hoping that it is a tight game and we can get the breaks. It is always one of the more difficult games of the season until a team is an established top six side - when one can go to Manchester United and appear to perform off a level playing field.
However, United suffered six home defeats last season and one already in this. This does suggest they are fallible for the first time in many seasons?
Can we take advantage? It would be a massive coup for our club if we can pick up any reward there and give Glenn and the boys great hope for the coming games - Middlesbrough at home and Blackburn away.