Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley wasn’t a popular selection for United’s derby match with Manchester City.
The Manchester United youth product has endured a difficult campaign for David Moyes’ struggling side – often being the scapegoat for United’s poor Premier League defeats.
David Moyes lined-up with a 4-3-3 formation for the clash with Manchester City – presumably looking to wrestle back control from the ever-dominant Yaya Toure.
Whilst the initial idea made sense, perhaps the personnel didn’t. Tom Cleverley was named alongside Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini – and they struggled from the first minute of the match as Manchester City ran out 3-0 winners.
Cleverley – an England international – has proven this season that he is capable of retaining possession, but he only registered 37 touches in the first half, completing a low 82% of his passes and was ultimately sacrificed at half-time for the more attacking Shinji Kagawa.
The midfielder isn’t a bad player, however, it’s obvious that his possession-based style is the contrary of Manchester United’s philosophy of fast and direct wing-play.
Does he have a future at United? The answer to that question may become entirely dependable on him adapting his game, but for now, the Manchester United supporters remain apathetic.
Here is some of the reaction to his inclusion on Twitter:
Playing Tom Cleverley against your biggest rivals? It's like Moyes wants to be sacked— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale22) marzo 25, 2014
Manchester Derby Tactical Preview: Yaya Toure vs Cleverley: pic.twitter.com/2Wm4mDqSXV— Not Too Xabi (@NotTooXabi_) marzo 25, 2014
Tom Cleverley vs Yaya Toure in a midfield battle is against the Geneva convention isn't it?— james (@zwerxn) marzo 25, 2014
One of the biggest games of the season and you start Cleverley— Amy✌ (@amycfc90) marzo 25, 2014
Where's Andre Marriner when you need him, Man United fans hoping Tom Cleverley gets 'accidentally' sent off— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) marzo 25, 2014
Cleverley's job tonight, whether you like it or not, will be to pass the ball sideways and backwards— Dafydd (@UnitedNews12) marzo 25, 2014