Scott Wootton made his debut for Manchester United in the defeat at home against FC Cluj. He can hold his head up with a respectable performance.
Sir Alex Ferguson often keeps the conveyor belt of Manchester United talent running and quite often picks the best young players from it to throw in at the deep end once the serious business of qualification or progression in a tournament has been taken care of.
Scott Wootton performed well despite the side losing 1-0 at the hands of FC Cluj, the strike was a very good effort from a long way out that was too good for David De Gea and the only criticism is that the midfield players didn’t surround Luis Alberto as he let fly with a belter of a shot.
Wootton looked like a very competent defender throughout the game and although there are improvements to be made to his game, the signs are very encouraging. He seems a lot stronger and aggressive than his size would suggest which means he is not going to get bullied around the field by big and experienced strikers in future matches.
He seems to have that half a yard of pace which is vital at the top level of English and European football. It gives him a better chance of recovery because his position needs to improve a little bit and was questionable in the game against Cluj. However, this is something that will come with further experience through first team appearances.
He doesn’t make catastrophic decisions which Ferguson will like. He has a basic style of defending, keeping things simple. If he is under pressure, he’ll knock the ball out for a corner or throw in, if he’s not going to win the ball in the air then he’ll either drop off a yard or use his frame to push into the back of the striker looking to hold the ball up, technically a foul but all good defenders do it.
He seems to read the game very well which is a positive sign for him personally going forward in his career. That ability to cover for other players who are out of position is very important. His pace allows him to get over to the full back areas where he can fill in if the opposition have counter attacked with the full backs still up the pitch joining in for attacks.
He also has a great added string to his bow in the respect that he looks dangerous at corners and free kicks. He seems to always be thinking about how he can get an advantage against the person who is man marking him or marking his area which gives him a touch of space which is important in terms of trying to put that header away.
A work in progress but there are many reasons to be optimistic.
image: © Gordon Flood